Initial Findings on Design and Product Category Expertise in Aesthetic Evaluation

Oscar Person, Dirk Snelders


What appeals to designers does not always appeal to consumers. Still, surprisingly few studies have set out to investigate why designers sometimes favour other designs than consumers. Through an exploratory study on small-sized cars, we found that an effect of design expertise on evaluations of aesthetic appeal was quite different given an individual’s product category expertise. In short, when people knew little about the product category, design expertise demonstrated a positive influence on aesthetic appeal (design experts rating small-sized cars as more beautiful than laymen). However, when people knew a lot about the category, design expertise showed a negative influence on aesthetic appeal.


design expertise, category expertise, aesthetics, design management

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