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A Methodology for Integrating Customers’ Assessments During the Conceptual Design

[+] Author Affiliations
Bernard Yannou

Ecole Centrale Paris, Châtenay-Malabry, France

Jean-François Petiot

Ecole Centrale de Nantes, Nantes Cedex, France

Paper No. DETC2004-57226, pp. 79-88; 10 pages
  • ASME 2004 International Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference
  • Volume 3a: 16th International Conference on Design Theory and Methodology
  • Salt Lake City, Utah, USA, September 28–October 2, 2004
  • Conference Sponsors: Design Engineering Division and Computers and Information in Engineering Division
  • ISBN: 0-7918-4696-2 | eISBN: 0-7918-3742-4
  • Copyright © 2004 by ASME


The elementary conceptual design loop is based upon understanding and measuring the customer’s need, proposing concepts of products and propagating the customer’s need along the product deployment, and finally assessing concepts in a multi-criteria way with regards to the need. Many methods from various disciplines (industrial/design engineering, psychophysics, multi-criteria decision analysis, marketing, artificial intelligence, statistical analysis) presently partially contribute to support this design loop. But few methods propose an integrated and consistent framework to deal with this elementary conceptual design loop. In this article, we propose such a methodology which is a consistent combination of classical methods in psychophysics, marketing and decision theory, namely multidimensional scaling, semantic differential method, factor analysis, pairwise comparison and Analytical Hierarchy Process. Our approach provides designers with a tool which helps them define the semantic part of the need, it rates and ranks the new prototypes according to their proximity to the “ideal product”, and it stresses the particular semantic dimensions that could be improved. To illustrate our approach, we have performed users’ tests and applied our methodology to the design of table glasses. For clarity, each stage of the methodology is presented in details on this particular example.

Copyright © 2004 by ASME



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