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Design of Multi-Purpose Products: Guidelines From a User Perspective

[+] Author Affiliations
Vimal Viswanathan

San Jose State University, San Jose, CA

Shraddha Sangelkar

Penn State Erie, Erie, PA

Paper No. DETC2017-67150, pp. V007T06A041; 9 pages
  • ASME 2017 International Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference
  • Volume 7: 29th International Conference on Design Theory and Methodology
  • Cleveland, Ohio, USA, August 6–9, 2017
  • Conference Sponsors: Design Engineering Division, Computers and Information in Engineering Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-5821-9
  • Copyright © 2017 by ASME


Multipurpose products are the artifacts with more than one intended or realized purposes. Abundance of multipurpose products in the market raises interesting questions about the desired customer preferences that lead to success or failure of such products in the market. This study aims to set the premise for developing design guidelines for multipurpose products. The study described in this paper is a qualitative content analysis of reviews of multi-purpose products available from online vendors. A traditional content analysis method is followed, where each sentence from the reviews is coded and categorized by three reviewers. Each category is then carefully analyzed and any redundancies are resolved. Finally, an interrater agreement is achieved between the three coders. The obtained categories shed light on customer expectations from multi-purpose products, their concerns, comments and experiences and their advice from the customer’s viewpoint for the design of such products. Each category identified here shows a potential research direction and a foundation for developing new guidelines for the development of such products.

Copyright © 2017 by ASME
Topics: Design



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