AFFECTIVE DESIGN

kjs.nagaokaut.ac.jp
  • No tags were found...

AFFECTIVE DESIGN

AFFECTIVE DESIGN(Kansei Engineering)IN JAPANA Report from a DTI InternationalTechnology Service Missionsponsored by The Faraday Packaging Partnership


CONTENTSPageINTRODUCTION 3Background 4The Visits 5Some Extended Definitions with a Common Theme 6Scope of the Mission 7KANSEI ENGINEERING IN JAPAN - FACTS FROM THE VISIT 9Historical Development 10Current Status 11The Case Studies 18Future Directions 32KANSEI ENGINEERING IN JAPAN - ANALYSIS & OPPORTUNITIES FOR THE UK 35Some Answers to Our Questions 36Industry Perspectives from the Mission 37APPENDIX 40The Mission Members and Authors of this Report 40


INTRODUCTIONJames ColwillPira InternationalSean WarrenMasterfoodsChris WorkmanBootsKaren JonesAstraZenecaTerry RobinsSainsbury’sJim RaitUnileverAlan de PenningtonTom ChildsFaraday and Leeds University


BACKGROUNDThe Faraday Packaging Partnership exists tostrengthen the competitive position of its membercompanies through research and innovation. In thearea of design, members report that the rationaltechnologies and tools that support achievement offunctionality and usability in new products arecertain and swift in their results but products thatare functional and usable may not sell. The frontierof consumer goods design is at the emotional andcognitive or affective human-product interface.There are both threats and opportunities there. Theissues are generic, spreading beyond packaging toall consumer products.The ThreatAs customers come to take for granted that a newproduct or packaging will function well and beusable, failure to compete in the area of delight,affect or aesthetic beauty increases the risk that anew design will make no impact and fail in themarket place.(after Hokusai)The OpportunityBetter understanding of the mechanics of delightand how to integrate aesthetic beauty intodesign, on top of ergonomic and engineeringbeauty, becomes a driver of improvement, creatingcompetitive advantage.Customer Satisfaction IndexAesthetic beautyErgonomic beautyEvolving requirements of continuous improvementEngineering beauty(Operation, appearance, finish & fit)Time(based on Mazda Craftsmanship concept)If a product is not a success, to blame someone elseis an easy option: ‘the brief was not clear enough’or ‘it looked good but didn’t work’ the industrial orengineering designers might say. But to developtools and working methods with a reduced risk offailures must be a better response. Claims are madein Japan that Kansei Engineering, developed there,provides the basis for such tools and methods. Thisreport describes a visit to leading practitionercompanies and university researchers in Japan, toexplore and report back on what is KanseiEngineering and could it be adapted to the benefitof UK companies. The members of the mission aresix managers with packaging innovation responsibilitiesfrom the fast moving consumer goods,pharmaceutical and retail sectors, and from PiraInternational, and two academics of the FaradayPackaging Partnership.4


THE VISITSThe views expressed in this report are developedfrom visits to the following companies and universities,recommended by local knowledge in Japan.Matsushita Electric Works Ltd. Leading maker ofbuilding products and lighting equipment, usingkansei to build human satisfaction more soundlyinto products than by intuition.Asahi Breweries Ltd. with an Institute of Lifestyleand Culture. Dramatic turnaround in 1987 onrelease of ‘Super Dry’ – attributed to breaking themould and marketing on taste.Shiseido Company Ltd. 4th ranked global cosmeticsmanufacturer, creative integration philosophyfor functional and aesthetic design to create true‘integrated human-science products’.Milbon Co. Ltd. Comprehensive manufacturer ofhair cosmetic products for hair salons, appliedKansei Engineering as a trial to a new productrange in 1999 and made a success in the market.Toppan Printing Co. Ltd. Printing, packaging &electronics company, net sales $10 10 year, providinguniversal and kansei design services and lifestyletrends analyses for its customers.Mazda Motor Corporation – achieving a coherentbrand image (brand DNA) through world-classintegration of engineering, ergonomic and kansei /aesthetic design.Seiko Epson Corporation. Global company withmature range of products; Design Centre moving tofocus on product differentiation by brand andcustomer likes and taste.The Universities. Hiroshima International – the‘father’ of Kansei Engineering’s current base;Tsukuba – centre of new-wave kansei; Shinshu –developing kansei tools in textiles arena.5


SOME EXTENDED DEFINITIONSWITH A COMMON THEMEMany design movements are addressing humanproductinterface issues. Some brief definitions anddescriptions set the scene for later detail.KANSEI ENGINEERINGKansei Engineering, developed in Japan from the1970s, is defined by its originator Nagamachi as atechnology for translating a consumer’s feelings andimage of a product into design elements. Kansei inthe Japanese language contrasts with Chisei. It isthe subjective feeling and aesthetic part of ourmind-set, as opposed to Chisei’s rational knowledgeset. Both together determine how we interact withthe world around us. Today, the original designfocus of Kansei Engineering is expanding, to whatmight better be described as kansei science –integrating with psychological and neurologicalresearches to increase understanding of our subjectiveand aesthetic reactions.UNIVERSAL DESIGN, INCLUSIVE DESIGN,DESIGN FOR ALLUniversal or inclusive design (sometimes calleddesign for all) has its roots in industrial design inthe USA in the late 1980s concerned to provide asatisfying life style for people of all ranges of abilities.It has a 7-point set of guidelines for achievingthat, including that products should be usable andappealing to all, not segregating or stigmatisingusers in any way, including provisions for privacy,security or safety. The industrial design communityhas developed contextual and immersive workingmethods to support universal design. Its originalfocus was rational usability but it can be thought ofas overlapping kansei aims through its inclusion ofappealing within its guidelines.AFFECTIVE HUMAN FACTORS DESIGN,AFFECTIVE DESIGN, AFFECTIVEENGINEERINGErgonomics has traditionally concerned itself withcause and effect relations between products andhuman performance (as measured by responses totasks or by physical pain). It is expanding its remitto include emotional relations with the phrase causeand affect, in contrast to effect. A new internationalconference series, Affective Human Factors Design,has been initiated, with the 2nd conference in 2001attracting ergonomist, psychologist, philosopher,information technologist and sociologist delegates –but few engineers. The term affective design is ashortening of this; and affective engineering maynot be so different from kansei engineering.HUMAN-CENTRED DESIGN‘Human-centred design processes for interactivesystems’ is the title of ISO 13407:1999. It supportsmanagers of hardware and software designprojects, and reflects realisation of the importanceof users in human-computer interface design. Itadvocates (see below) specifying the context of useof an identified need, translating that to requirements,producing and evaluating design solutionsand iterating until a satisfactory solution isattained. It offers a process but does not considerthe methods for use within it. Its context is stronglyusability ergonomics, but it could equally beapplied to affective issues. Engineers would recogniseISO 13407 as generic if its title were simply‘design processes’.A COMMON THEMEEngineers, industrial designers, ergonomists andinformation technologists accept that the producthumaninterface has both rational and subjectiveelements. Kansei Engineering, Universal Design,Affective Design, Human-Centred Design are thedifferent communities’ responses to this. Themission to Japan that is the subject of this reporthas found that practitioners there do not distinguishstrongly between the viewpoints. They drawon all as they see fit.Identifyneed for humancentreddesignUnderstand & specify the context of useEvaluate designs against requirementsSystemsatisfies specified user &organisationalrequirementsSpecify user & organisational requirementsProduce design solutionsafter ISO 134076


SCOPE OF THE MISSIONThe previous pages have been written in part withhindsight. Beforehand, the objectives of the missionapproved by the Department of Trade and Industry,with a list of questions supporting them, were asfollows. With hindsight, the questions are not allappropriate, but our overall purpose has beenachieved – as is set out in the remainder of thisreport.Objectives1. To learn and understand the current state ofthe art of affective design and its applicationwithin the Japanese industrial and academiccommunities.2. To explore the impact of this approach,commonly referred to in Japan as KanseiEngineering, across a diverse range of industriesand to assess its potential impact,particularly on the UK packaging andconsumer goods industry.3. To provide senior managers with first-handopportunities to meet experts within Japaneseindustry and assess the potential impact andbenefits to UK industry that affective designcould achieve.4. To disseminate this information throughoutUK industry, not only within the packagingand consumer products area but as widely aspossible to all sectors of relevant industries.List of Questions1. Historical development of subject area• What is Kansei Engineering• How do you view it in relation to the term‘affective design’• How did it develop – market demand orcuriosity led• What were the key contributions or milestonesin improved understanding• Where are the centres of excellence – academicor industrial• What are the advantages/disadvantagesrelative to traditional methods2. Current status• What is the prevailing Japanese view and howdoes this compare with your understanding ofthe global position• What specific technologies or processes are atthe heart of Kansei Engineering• Is it suited to some particular industries morethan others• Is it specifically unsuitable for some industrysectors3. Commercial impact• Where does it sit within business processengineering• How has it impacted on your business position• Have you been able to measure or quantify itseffect• How has it impacted on Japanese marketscompared with overseas markets• Is it suited to some particular markets orproduct areas more than others4. Implementation in business process• What is your Kansei Engineering processspecifically• Where does it sit in the overall product developmentprocess• How does it impact on people skills• Does it require a cultural change to designers• What is the impact on materials and manufacturability• Are there any links to environmental issues ordisposability5. Research topics• What are the topical current issues• What are the key research challenges• What are the leading journals/conferences6. Way forward• How do you predict the subject developing• Is anything hindering its development as anacademic engineering topic• Is anything hindering its uptake by companies7


KANSEI ENGINEERING IN JAPAN –FACTS FROM THE VISIT


HISTORICAL DEVELOPMENTNew wave Kansei scienceEngineering design process evolution: concurrentengineering, universal design, stage-gate processes, QFDfoundation decade, c. 1975 – 1985. KanseiEngineering’s roots may be traced to HiroshimaUniversity’s Faculty of Engineering. ProfessorNagamachi, with a psychology and medical schooleducation, was appointed to the EngineeringManagement group there in the early 1970s, with abrief to develop an emotional ergonomics forproduct design. He described it as emotionaltechnology. At first, he focussed on interior design,with studies of lighting and colour effects on roomatmosphere. By 1985 he was publishing jointly withMatsushita Electric Works in this area. 1986 sawthe emergence of the expert system HULIS (HumanLiving System) supporting that.growth decade, c. 1985 – 1995. The word kansei,different from emotional in the original Japanese,was first used in 1986 by K. Yamamoto of MazdaMotor Corporation. The term Kansei Engineeringwas soon adopted by Nagamachi. In the decade toc.1995 he created many statistical and knowledgeengineering systems, based on self-report, to elicitusers’ kansei and feature – affect product relationsand embed them in computer-based design supporttools. Applications spread to automotive (Mazda,Nissan), apparel (Wacoal, Goldwin), electronichome product (Sanyo, Sharp), office machine (Fuji,Canon), cosmetics (Shiseido) and other sectors. In1996, Nagamachi retired from HiroshimaUniversity to become President of Kure NationalInstitute of Technology. He is now Dean of theCollege of Human and Social Environment atHiroshima International University.new wave, c. 1995 – now. Nagamachi’s KanseiEngineering has continued its growth in design. Butthe last 10 years has seen new departures, led byothers, linking with robotic intelligence, psychologyand neural sciences. 1997 saw the start of a 5-yearMinistry of Education ‘special research project ofmodelling the evaluation structure of kansei’, led byProfessor Harada at Tsukuba University, which hasgenerated Western links e.g. with Carnegie Mellon,IIT, MIT MediaLab and Delft IDStudioLab. TheJapan Society of Kansei Engineers, formed in 1998,now has 40 group members and publishes an internationaljournal in English. Kansei in Japan hasbroadened to take on a mainstream sciences, artsand humanities transdisciplinary role.a brief speculation on the future. KanseiEngineering in Japan has developed in parallel andis now an integrated part of the new product developmentprocess, within for example what engineerswould recognise as stage-gate and Quality FunctionDeployment (QFD) activities. Its current status ofresponding to observed emotional responses mightbe classified as passive emotional design. It issometimes criticised outside Japan as lacking theimagination of the best industrial design. Some ofthe case studies next – with kansei and industrialdesigners working together – will show this criticismto be a misconception. And it is not too hardto imagine a future kansei science returning tosupport enhanced active emotional design.10


CURRENT STATUS – NAGAMACHI’S PROCESSES,COMPANY ADAPTATIONS & EXTENSIONSThis section is organised round information fromthe visit to Professor Nagamachi at HiroshimaInternational University, 555-36, Gakuen-dai,Kurose-cho, Kamo-gun, Hiroshima 724-0695 on6 December 2002. Additional general informationis added from the company visits. It prepares forthe more detailed company case studies describedlater. It reviews the kansei background to thetechniques observed across the seven companiesvisited. A number of the techniques employed arefamiliar to UK industry e.g. qualitative consumerresearch focus groups and semantic mapping.However we believe that Japanese companiesfollow through more rigorously examination oftheir consumer preference data, applying statisticaland scientific analytical ‘Kansei Engineering’ tools,to understand fully and act on end user requirements.During the visit, the team was impressed bythe wide range, number and connectivity of toolsthat were being used in the product design process.Professor Nagamachi developed a three-stageKansei Engineering process: the gathering ofcustomers’ kansei data about a product class;analysis of the data; and synthesis into design toolsand / or working methods. Each of these stages inturn has sub-elements and variants. Gatheringinvolves decisions on what data to collect as well ashow to collect them. Analysis includes analysis ofthe data’s internal organisation as well as of thedata’s relationship to the product design elementsthat prompt it. Synthesis is the most varied, withNagamachi claiming numerous separate implementations.Advancing technology, particularlycomputer and information technology, but alsophysiological measurement methods, continues todrive the evolution of kansei methods. Nagamachihimself favours the sensitivity of verbal self-reportdata gathering methods over psycho-physiologicalmethods but companies are starting to experimentwith the latter. The methods of self-reportthemselves are becoming more sophisticated on theback of computer science advances. Analysis spansfrom linear regression to neural network and fuzzylogic methods. Synthesis has advanced from 1980sexpert systems to web-based virtual reality systems.On top of all this, companies seamlessly combineKansei Engineering with other human-centredmovements, such as universal design, and withrelevant tools from other sources of design, such asQuality Function Deployment (QFD). It is themany strands of this story that are briefly reviewedhere.But, before describing the elements, the mainbenefit claimed for Kansei Engineering as a wholeshould be brought to the front. Nagamachidescribes Kansei Engineering as customer ratherthan company led. On several of our visits (e.g.Milbon, Shiseido, Matsushita) companies said thatKansei Engineering enabled them to include users’feelings in new products more certainly than diddesigners’ intuitions alone. Some Western observershave taken comments of this sort to be ‘antidesigner’.But the best practice that we saw drewusers and designers together in iterative improvement.Companies think that investing their owneffort early in product development to learn moreabout the human-factors that their products shouldsupport pays back by reducing market failure risk.If anything, Kansei Engineering in Japan is anti‘contracting out’ product development. Onecompany said that it sub-contracted to a designagency only if it was sure it already knew everythingabout its product.DATA GATHERING TECHNIQUES: SELF-REPORTThe oldest form of gathering data about feelings forproducts is to ask people to report their feelings inadjectival words. This requires some way of choosingthe words and then asking people to expresstheir feelings using those words. The developmentof self-report data gathering has followed a path ofgiving people more and more freedom of how torespond, from requesting responses to isolatedwords, through asking for completion of prescribedsentences, to recording people’s free speech about aproduct. It is the environment of self-report thatwill be most familiar to UK industry, with wide useof consumer focus groups (e.g. Asahi), usingfeedback from loyal customers / expert users of thebrand (e.g. dialogue with hair designers by Milbon)and companies having their own consumer evaluationroom and other test facilities (e.g. Seiko Epson,Mazda).11


ADJECTIVES AND SEMANTIC SCALES.Nagamachi describes the selection of kansei adjectivesas the starting point of Kansei Engineering.The initial search for the words should draw on allsources with any interest in the product – obviouslyconsumers and designers and the product or brandowners, but also words should be taken from lifestyleor other appropriate magazines, mail-ordercatalogues and from conversations with retail storepersonnel. A search typically throws up in excess of100 words. This is too many to cope with as far asasking people to assess product examples in termsof the words. There is a preliminary stage of reducingthe words to a more manageable number,maybe around 20, as outlined in the DATAANALYSIS section. But then a test group of peopleis asked to score a number of product examples interms of the selected words, using usually either a5-point or 7-point semantic scale. The scoresbecome the raw data for kansei analysis. To reduceambiguity in the meanings of words, antonyms arenot used to define the end points of scales. Forexample, scoring on a scale of hardness, endpoints‘hard’ and ‘soft’ are replaced by ‘hard’ and ‘nothard’.Nagamachi in his published academic papers hastypically described examples using group sizes from10 to 30 people, and product numbers from 30 to40 (car instrument panels, watches) to 80 (beer cangraphics, women’s suits) – and sometimes over 100(door handles). Almost all the companies that wevisited were using semantic scales (certainly Asahi,Toppan, Seiko Epson, Matsushita, Mazda) but ourimpression is that they used fewer words and manymore people. Companies generally would notdisclose their lists of words, saying these were theirintellectual property, closely supporting productdevelopment strategies. Figure 1 gives an academicexample of a kansei word collection (for wristwatches).The word loadings and watch scores areconsidered under DATA ANALYSIS.TEXT COMPLETION AND FREE-RANGESPEECH RECORDING. Mazda, Milbon andShiseido gave us examples of self-report methodsthat were more sophisticated than completingsemantic scale questionnaires. Data from textcompletion methods are being used to establishwhat is important to a customer and what aspectsof a product are perceived to deliver what affect;and also to clarify meanings of words (one of theshortcomings of self-report is word ambiguity). Forexample, Shiseido widely uses sentence completione.g. ‘In general, foundations are (comment) and myideal foundation is (comment), but this foundationis (comment)’, and more complex text completingmethods ‘because my foundation has (some characteristic)it has (some result) and gives me (somefeeling)’, as well as employing standard openquestions such as ‘what are safe cosmetics for you?’Milbon in particular makes a great effort to ensureActive, adult beautiful, boyish, bright, brilliant, casual, coarse, composure, cool, curvy, dark, elegant, feminine,firm, gaudy, hard, hefty, immature, individual, intellectual, lassie, lite, masculine, oppressive, plain, pretty,rectilinear, sexy, sharp, showy, simple, slim, smart, soft, sporty, tender, tough, un-cool, variance, warm, youthfulPrincipal Component Loadings of Kansei Words(Watch)PC Scores of WatchesPC3: ActivitysportysportyimmatureimmaturecasualcasualshowybrilliantelegantOppressivehardtoughadultintellectualcomposureplaindarkcomposurePC2: AppealingshowybrilliantelegantPC1: SoftsofttenderfeminineadultintellectualcomposureOppressivehardtoughsofttenderfeminineplaindarkcomposureFigure 1. Original kansei words for watches (above), their principal component loadings (left)and watch examples (right), after Nagamachi.12


it understands what its hair designers mean whenthey use everyday words such as ‘soft’ in a professionalapplication context. Free-flowing speechabout their products is recorded by both Shiseidoand Mazda as a means of determining what mostinterests customers in their products, what areimpressions of products, and to differentiatebetween groups of customers.DATA GATHERING TECHNIQUES: OTHERMETHODS AND SOURCESWe also found company examples of data gatheringother than by self-report, both by sub-consciousand physiological methods. Video-recording toobserve facial expressions and body language isused by Seiko Epson and Mazda. These companiesalso use eye-tracking cameras to record eyemovement and dwell time, to gauge which objectsand elements of objects are of most interest to users.Muscular loads measured by electromyography(EMG) and hand-grasping stresses by sensor-instrumentedgloves were described by Seiko Epson,Shiseido and Mazda, for evaluating ease of use ofproducts and evaluating touch and texturephenomena. This last group of methods is almosttraditional ergonomics except that links are beingsought between output signals and users’ subjectivefeelings of comfort. In keeping with this continuousspectrum from effective to affective ergonomics,various companies (e.g. Matsushita, Shiseido) areusing government databases for mean demographicand physiological information such as height, handsize, finger width, etc. to support their detailedkansei design choices.DATA ANALYSIS: WORDSKansei Engineering based on self-report needs toanalyse the meaning and use of words for severalreasons. In the context of semantic scale questionnaires,regression analysis of preliminary replies canlead to a systematic reduction of the number ofrequired words without loss of affective breadth.Answers to the questions can also give insight intothe important affective dimensions of the class ofproduct being investigated. This sort of basic studyprobably does not need to be repeated very oftenfor any one product type, and is carried out beforeconsidering what aspects of a product cause whataffect (see next section for this) – that second stagebeing repeated more frequently, to follow productstyle and fashion changes, for use in detail design.In the context of question completion and freespeechrecording, analysis can be aimed atextracting customer preferences and expectationsof a product, more at the market need identificationand concept design stage.REGRESSION-RELATED ANALYSIS. Nagamachidraws on earlier semantic differential linguisticresearch by Osgood (Osgood, C. E. et al.: TheMeasurement of Meaning, University of IllinoisPress 1957) to analyse the structure of the collectionof adjectives relating to a product class. Bymultiple regression, principal component, factor orcluster analysis, adjectives are grouped by similarityof correlations with particular product examples. Inprincipal component analysis for example themeanings / feelings expressed by each of the wordsare assumed to be approximated by linear combinationsof an underlying smaller (principal) set offeelings. The level of approximation reduces thelarger is the smaller set. Principal components aresought by minimising the residuals between thefeeling scores from the examples obtained directlyfrom the semantic differential questionnaire dataand the feeling scores reconstructed from the new(principal component) combinations of variables.Frequently, three (sometimes two, sometimes four)principal components satisfy meanings with sufficientaccuracy. For the watch example (Figure 1)Nagamachi found that three principal componentswere sufficient, representing, as interpreted by him,feelings of [firstly] softness (in a gender-relatedsense), [secondly] appeal and [thirdly] activity. Thefigure shows the distribution of original kanseiadjectives in the three-dimensional space. A wordreduction could be carried out by uniform sub-setselection.DATA MINING. The extraction of key words fromfree-ranging speech, to isolate a customer’s subjectivefeelings and expectations about a product classhas been greatly advanced by data miningtechniques developed to search for and extractinformation from massive amounts of wordage, forexample on the web. Shiseido and Mazda are usingsuch methods.DATA ANALYSIS: PRODUCT FEATURE –AFFECT RELATIONSHIPSOnce a principal component space, for example,has been established, particular examples ofproducts may be placed in the space according totheir approximated component scores. Figure 1 onwatches is completed by such an example. It begsthe question of what features of the product areresponsible for its affect. To answer that questionrequires some hypothesis to be tested. For beer can13


graphics design, for example, Nagamachi suggestedthat the background colour, the can illustration andlabel or printed panel shape are the main designelements. He carried out a linear multiple regressionanalysis which established that a bitter tasteexpectation is most strongly aroused in non-beerdrinking Japanese women students by can colour(black), followed by the type of illustration (aperson or an animal), with label shape having leastinfluence. But he comments that interpretation ofregression analyses becomes difficult when morethan three or four design variables are included at atime. For products with many features, a controlledvariation is required. Nagamachi has also experimentedwith non-linear analysis systems and otherways to represent results (neural networks, fuzzyset representations) in a search for robust analysismethods and concludes that in most cases, similarresults are obtained by linear and non-linearmethods.Whether the axes of a semantic space are determinedsystematically or by marketeers’,psychologists’ or industrial designers’ intuition(which is always a possibility), there is widecompany use of two and three dimensional semanticdifferential mapping to identify what examplesof products cause what customer affects. We wereshown taste maps at Asahi, and taste, fragrance andappearance maps at Toppan. Both these companiesuse mapping over time to keep track of consumerpreference trends. Companies are also developingtheir own software analysis tools for linkingcustomer’s desires to product properties (e.g. valuecreation assist system (VACAS) to grasp valuerecognition logic at Shiseido), for linking productfeatures and affects (e.g. Hit Hunter system atToppan) and how close a product approaches atarget benchmark (e.g. craftsmanship score atMazda): more of these later.KANSEI DESIGN SYSTEMSThe company-specific analysis softwares justmentioned are clearly being used to support productdevelopment decisions and guide detailed design. Inthis section three generic types of system introducedby Nagamachi, some of which we saw used byindustry, will be described. These are the CategoryClassification, Kansei Engineering and HybridKansei Engineering Systems. Computer technologyis providing new environments (e.g. virtual reality,web based) in which these systems can be implemented,leading to further variant processes.KANSEI CATEGORY CLASSIFICATIONSYSTEM. Nagamachi’s first system (Figure 2) startswith a marketing decision as to what need theproduct should fulfil. We saw examples of the useof this system at Mazda and at Milbon, where thezero level kansei could for example have been creatinga spirited car for young-at-heart people ortrendy hair conditioning for regular salon-goers.Figure 2. The cascading structure of the kansei category classification system.14


HULIS (1986)Adjectivedata baseImagedata base"#"#GUI& 'System Controller& 'Working MemoryInference Engine& 'Knowledgebase$%Graphic Module& ' & 'Designdata baseColordata baseFAIMS (1987-88)Interior design systemFigure 3. Structure and example outputs of a kansei engineering system, courtesy of Nagamachi.Deconstruction of those concepts into a small set(three or four) of contributory feelings, furtherverbal decomposition more and more to refine theinterpretation of the concept, consideration ofwhich senses (sight, sound, feel, smell, taste) arerelevant to the words, which design elements areimportant for the feelings and senses and finallydetail element design, are the stages of the process.Kansei tools cascade through, blurring withergonomic tools as the physical level is reached.KANSEI ENGINEERING SYSTEM (KES). Thisrule-based expert system form of KanseiEngineering offers design proposals to a potentialuser in response to the user’s kansei responses toquestions. It has (Figure 3) image and adjectivedatabases that contain the sector specific designfeatures and kansei words used to establish featureaffectrelations in a prior kansei self-report datagathering and analysis activity. It has a knowledgebase that relates features to affects through the rulesestablished from the analysis and a graphics moduleable to represent chosen designs on a computerscreen. Responses to life style and feelings questionsare converted to a design proposal through an inferenceengine drawing on the knowledge base.Nagamachi has published applications in homeinterior and fashion design (HULIS and FAIMS,Figure 3). Companies are known to have developedtheir own rapid-response design proposal tools inthis mode (e.g. for other interior design circumstances).KanseiDesignElementHybridKESKanseiAssessmentDesigner’sSketchFigure 4. Structure and example from a hybrid kansei engineering system, courtesy of Nagamachi15


HYBRID KANSEI ENGINEERING SYSTEM. KEStranslates kansei words to design elements and issometimes called Forward Kansei. The same ruleand databases can support Backward Kansei. Thistakes a designer’s sketch and outputs its associatedkansei words. Both together are the Hybrid KanseiEngineering System. It is a designer’s tool. In thefirst step of use a designer enters kansei words andobtains a proposed design. In the second step, thedesigner takes cues from the first step to create newideas that can be sketched and tested for their affectin backward mode. Cycling can continue creativelyuntil a satisfactory solution is reached. In effect,designers interact with a historical user grouprather than with a current one. Nagamachi reportsthat a Nissan steering wheel (Figure 4) has beendesigned in this way. However software for interpretingdesigner sketches in terms of the existingdatabases can be complex and there do notcurrently appear to be many examples of thissystem in use.RELATED METHODOLOGIESSome of the companies that we visited wereexplicitly combining Kansei Engineering withUniversal Design and within a Quality FunctionDeployment (QFD) framework. The last two aresummarised here, to support later descriptions.UNIVERSAL DESIGN. Beyond the brief definitiongiven earlier in this report, staff from the Center forUniversal Design, at the University of NorthTable 1. Universal design’s seven principles, based on information in http://www.design.ncsu.eduKeyconceptEquitableuseFlexibility ofuseSimple andintuitive usePerceptibleinformationTolerance forerrorLow physicaleffortSize andspace forapproachand useConceptdefinitionThe design is useful andmarketable to people withdiverse abilities.The design accommodatesa wide range of individualpreferences and abilities.Use of the design is easyto understand, regardlessof the user’s experience,language skills or level ofconcentration.The design communicatesnecessary informationeffectively, regardless ofambient conditions or theuser’s sensory abilities.The design minimiseshazards and the adverseeffects of accidentalactions.The design can be usedefficiently / comfortablyand with least fatigue.Appropriate size andspace is provided regardlessof user’s size, postureor mobility.Guidelines forachievement (abridged)Provide the same or equivalent means of use for all users;avoid stigmatising users; provide privacy, security, safety,equally for all users; make design appealing to all users.Provide choice of methods of use; accommodate rightand left-handed access and use; facilitate user’s accuracyand precision; provide adaptability to the user’s pace.Eliminate unnecessary complexity; be consistent withuser’s expectations and intuition; accommodate a widerange of literacy and language skills; arrange informationconsistent with its importance; provide effective promptingand feedback during and after task completion.Use different modes (pictorial, verbal, tactile) for redundantpresentation of essential information; maximiselegibility of essential information; make it easy to giveinstructions; consider the needs of users with sensorylimitations.Arrange elements to minimise hazards, with most usedelements most accessible and hazardous ones eliminatedor shielded; provide warnings and fail safe procedures;discourage unconscious action in tasks needing vigilance.Allow user to maintain a neutral body position; usereasonable operating forces; minimise repetitive actionsand sustained physical effort.Provide clear line of sight to important elements andmake reach to all parts comfortable, for seated or standingusers; accommodate variations in hand grip size;provide adequate space for assistive devices.16


Carolina State University (where the UniversalDesign movement was founded by the late Dr.Ronald L. Mace) have given the following definition:Universal design is the design of products andenvironments to be usable by all people, to thegreatest possible extent, without the need foradaptation or specialised design. Principles forachieving this have been broken down into keyconcepts, concept definitions, and guidelines foraddressing the concepts. Table 1 summarises these.The original documentation emphasises that theprinciples concern only usability, with other aspectse.g. economic, engineering, culture and gender alsoneeding to be considered.QUALITY FUNCTION DEPLOYMENT. QFDoriginated in Japan, growing out of Deming’s workfrom the 1950s there on statistical quality control.It has spread around the world, in various forms. Itprovides a method of prioritising where designeffort should be deployed to add customer value orquality to a product (quality deployment); andwhere organisational effort should be deployed tosupport the processes that in turn ensure theproduct quality (quality function deployment). Itsprocedures may be illustrated in principle throughthe famous House of Quality visualisation. In thecase of quality deployment (Figure 5) a proposedsatisfaction of customer needs by selected technicaloptions is formalised in the relationship matrix.After combining with a ranking of the needs, atechnical response is the outcome. The technicalelements might interact: the elements of the roof ofthe house identify regions of interaction andprovide a framework for decision taking oncompromises in developing the design. A similarstructure can be created to plan the deployment ofprocesses.TechnicalinteractionsTechnical responseCustomer needsRelationshipMatrixPriority rankingTechnical optionsFigure 5.The QFD House of Quality representation.17


CASE STUDIESIn the following reports of our visits to companies,employee and sales figures are given as background.These refer to a company and its subsidiaries, andare taken from the Japan Company Handbook andCompany Annual Reports. Sales are quoted in £,converted from ¥ at £1 = ¥186)ASAHI BREWERIES LTD.(www.asahibeer.co.jp)23-1, Azumabashi 1-chome,Sumida-ku, Tokyo 130-8602.Visit date – 2 December 2002.Company ProfileOsaka Beer Brewing Company, forerunner of AsahiBreweries Ltd, was founded in 1889. AsahiBreweries Group was established in its currentcapacity in 1949 and now employs around 15,000people with net sales in 2001 c. £6,000m. Asahi’score business area is alcoholic beverages and softdrinks. Within its sector, ‘Asahi Super Dry’ beer isJapan’s no.1 brand. Asahi Breweries is rankednumber three in the world based on an annualoutput of 20.7 million barrels. Asahi also hassecondary business activities in food and foodsupplements (Asahi Food and Healthcare Co).Overseas operations include production and salesactivities in other parts of Asia. It also has productionsites in the USA and Europe. The group alsoowns a number of supporting businesses such aslogistics, can and bottle manufacture, informationsystems, distribution, raw materials and restaurants.A strong emphasis is placed on research anddevelopment. Asahi runs and supports a separate,large, research and development facility in Japan.The New Product DevelopmentEnvironment at AsahiA presentation was given to us by Asahi managementon the development and introduction of theAsahi ‘Super Dry’ product and brand. The brandhas enjoyed enormous commercial success and stillremains the market leader in Japan fifteen yearsafter its introduction, with a market share of 45%.Clear product development strategy and carefulunderstanding of customer feedback is fundamentalto its success. Over the years, Asahi’s growingexpertise in new product development has allowedthem substantially to reduce new product leadtimes and ensure ‘right first time’ development.In 1953, the three main breweries in Japan eachenjoyed about equal market share. From 1953 to1985 Asahi’s share declined to a low of 9.6%. Amanagement decision was taken to try to reversethe downward trend. This led to the introduction ofAsahi ‘Super Dry’. At that time, it was explained,the formulation of Japanese beer was based on twohypotheses. Firstly, that consumer preference wasconstant over time and therefore traditional recipeswere still appropriate. Secondly, that consumerscould not taste the difference between the productsof Asahi and its two main competitors, henceconsumer preference was purely based on the brandimage / graphic design. Asahi decided to challengethese hypotheses. Research into trends in foodoffered in school lunch boxes and restaurantssuggested that consumers were moving preferencefrom heavier towards lighter, less salty tasting,foods. Working with consumer groups (expertusers), Asahi also established that consumers wereable to tell the difference between beers in a blindtasting situation (a test using same Asahi brandedbottle, different content). Asahi argued that if itcould engineer a new product that fitted withconsumers’ changing preference, then it would gaina commercial benefit.Through market research (focus groups andconsumer preference questionnaire techniques),Asahi then analysed the characteristics of thevarious beers available on the market at the time. Itidentified a potential opportunity in the developmentof a ‘crisper’ tasting beer i.e. with a short, notlingering taste. This acknowledged the changingpreference of consumers away from more fullbodiedrecipes. A pilot recipe was developed andthe product was market tested in 1986. The resultsconfirmed that the development strategy was good,but that the product was not yet well enough identifiedwith ‘crisp’ taste. Asahi followed this up byfurther development of the product in the ‘crisp’direction. The final ‘Super Dry’ formulation waslaunched in 1987.18


The launch was successful. It was backed bysubstantial advertising and a communication strategyto re-educate consumers on beer taste, gettingconsumers to identify with the new language of fullbodied vs. crisp. Blind consumer tasting events wereheld nation-wide to substantiate Asahi’s newproduct claims. By the early 1990’s ‘me-too’ activityby Asahi’s competitors started to erode Asahi’smarket share. Asahi recognised then the need todevelop other aspects of product appeal. It decidedto concentrate on product freshness taste. Workingon logistics, it managed to reduce the time fromproduction to delivery from between two to threeweeks down to five days. These logistics improvements(enabling a ‘fresh-taste’ beer to reach theconsumer) have ensured further competitive advantage,maintaining market share at around 45%.Asahi’s detailed and structured approach toproduct development is instrumental in its success.Annual customer surveys are carried out withsample sizes in region of twenty to thirty thousandpeople. The focus of these surveys is taste, coveringthe positioning of Asahi products, the adequacy ofthe concept, the product and recording any changesin taste preference. The survey results are used toconfirm the targets of Asahi’s new and existingproducts, checking their positioning againstchanges in consumer preference. Asahi’s customershave come to expect new tastes, and Asahi productdevelopment is now moving to expand the feelingsassociated with the product from simply taste to amore broadly defined ‘well-beingness’.Following consumer feedback, the product conceptis translated into a basic product recipe. Asahi’sproduct development experts use analyticaltechniques to translate marketing terms into technicalspecifications. A huge database of brewingcharacteristics, process controls and ingredientcharts (hops, yeast, malt) has been built up overtime. Work then begins on the manufacturingmethods and processing parameters. Through itsexperience and techniques in translating consumerproduct concepts into technical specifications Asahihas managed to reduce development times from sixmonths to one day in the selection of the basicrecipe. Further fine-tuning of the recipe and processtakes approximately two to three months. Selectingthe basic recipe is for Asahi a rationally understoodprocess. It is the finalising stage that resorts tofeelings and intuition, and how to integrate logicand intuition is an issue.Key Points from the Visit• Asahi recognised that they must lead themarket by migrating their product fromcompetition on packaging / graphic design(container wars) to competition on taste.Indeed this has led to a new concept of theAsahi Brand: Expecting New Things.• Asahi recognise that continuous improvementthrough deep understanding of taste andchanging trends of taste is key to their continuedsuccess. They are using the kanseisemantic differential tools to support theiractivities to this end.• Asahi anticipates continuing migration of theircustomers’ needs, beyond new tastes to newlifestyles enabled by taste. It has an Institute ofLifestyle and Culture, charged with researchingwhat is happiness. Kansei science has a rolehere.19


SHISEIDO COMPANY, LIMITED(www.shiseido.co.jp)Shiseido Research Centre2-2-1 Hayabuchi,Tsuzuki-ku, Yokohama-shi 224-8558.Visit date – 3 December 2002.Company and Research Centre ProfileShiseido’s company history originates with awestern-style drug store opened in Ginza (Tokyo) in1872, with advance into cosmetics in 1879. Thecurrent company was established in 1927 and isnow the largest cosmetics manufacturer in Japan,ranking 4 th in the world, with 98 subsidiary companiesworld-wide, manufacturing in 23 factoriesacross Asia, the Americas, Europe and Oceania,with 25,000 employees and net sales in 2001 of c.£3,200m. Shiseido’s core business for many yearshas been cosmetics and toiletries (skin whitening,protection against UV, hair growth and antiageing),with products from high-prestige to massmarket appeal, marketed from speciality stores tosupermarkets. Other businesses have grown fromthese: hair salons, health and beauty foods, overthe-counterpharmaceuticals and fine chemicals.Shiseido prides itself on the depth of its understandingof its products. It was its skin careresearch, for example, with Harvard MedicalSchool and Massachusetts General Hospital, undertakenat first to underpin its cosmetics business,that led it to pharmaceuticals growth. Our visit wasto Shiseido’s Shin Yokohama R&D Centre which iscurrently integrating its activities with Shiseido’sAmerican and European Centres, to strengthen itsglobal knowledge tempered by awareness ofnational traits, climate, customs and ethnicity. Itsunifying themes are ‘creative integration’ and‘solutions based on science’ but that science ispsychological as well as physical-chemicalbiological.The New Product DevelopmentEnvironment at ShiseidoPresentations were made to us on why Shiseidobelieves Kansei Engineering is important and whatare some of the tools it uses; and two case studieswere described. The problem with the traditionalproduct development cycle of discovering customerneeds from a questionnaire-based market survey,developing a product to meet the needs, andlaunching it, is that there is a significant risk thatthe product will not sell – and when that occurs, noone knows why, either. Using fixed survey questionnairesyields only part of the information neededfor a new product and has difficulty in exploringnew directions; something more qualitative isneeded. Satisfying the physical quality need of aproduct is no longer enough for success, and anyway,improvement in physical quality large enoughfor most people to notice the difference is difficultto achieve. Success now involves product impressiveness,and that is where kansei comes in, addingsensitivity, emotional and preference based designdimensions to a product. Shiseido describes impressiveness(customer quality or ‘I want to buy’) as theproduct of delivering need (physical quality) and‘wow and indeed’ (kansei quality).Shiseido has developed a range of methodologiesand tools to explore consumers’ kansei or subjectivefeelings about its products. One is called ValueCreation Assist System (VACAS, patent pending). Itaims to find what features of Shiseido’s products acustomer values most, by presenting open-endedquestions for completion. It then asks customers toassess the extent to which existing products satisfythose values. The customer value and productevaluation scores enable Shiseido to prioritiseoptions for new product development actions. Highvalue and evaluation scores indicate a productfeature that must be maintained through new activities.High value and low evaluation signals ‘mustimprove’ while low value, even with low evaluation,indicates ‘leave alone’. Shiseido also has asoftware-based text mining system that is calledDIONISOS (Document Investigation based onIntention Study Operations, also patent pending)for evaluating impressions of products. A furthersuite of tools (path influence calculation methodDEMATEL) helps to establish value recognitionlogic paths between subjective causes and affects byanalysis of sentences completed by customers. Anexample is ‘Because my hairspray [smells of roses],it has [a natural feel] and I [often use it]’ – wherethe bracketed part is the customers’ contribution.Shiseido use DEMATEL to navigate through newproduct development options less intuitively thanwithout its help. In a QFD context, VACAS andDIONISOS enable needs for new products to beranked while DEMATEL supports finding designsolutions.The case studies were the design of screw-caps forbottles and of foundation cases. It was explicitlysaid, in an ISO 13407 Human Centred Designcontext, that Kansei helped to establish thecustomers’ needs of the cap, while the designsolution was obtained by ergonomics. Kansei estab-20


lished that ‘ease of opening’ had effectiveness,efficiency, satisfaction and comfort dimensions. Thepresentation concentrated on researching what iscomfort, through experimentation on openingbottles, with the subject wearing pressure sensitivegloves. Comfort was particularly associated withpressure distributions over the hand, with someparts of the hand more important than others.Detail design then involved shaping the cap toensure the relevant parts of a hand worked in thebest way. This in turn required demographic data tobe obtained on the population’s range of hand sizes.The detail of study was well beyond the commonlevel of what torque is required to open a cap. Italso illustrates the convergence of Kansei andUniversal Design that we also observed in othercompanies. The foundation case study, in its firstpart, was closer to a traditional cluster analysis,with users being asked to rank fifteen differentsamples against a range of key words that wereassociated with attractiveness. But its outcomeswere clarified by VACAS. In a question session,Shiseido staff said they used Kansei only when theywere uncertain of how to develop, that a typicalKansei survey took about one month, and thatwork was only contracted out to design agencieswhen a brief could be totally specified.Key Points from the Visit• In Shiseido’s market, products need to wow,indeed, as well as work, with wow, indeed,being strong but difficult to quantify.• Shiseido use Kansei Engineering methods totake the intuition out of ‘wow and indeed’.• Shiseido, with working phrases such as‘creative integration’ and ‘solutions based onscience’ believes strongly in in-depth understandingof its products for the creation of newbusinesses.TOPPAN PRINTING CO., LTD.(www.toppan.co.jp)1, Kanda, Izumi-cho,Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 101-0024.Visit date – 3 December 2002.Company ProfileToppan Printing started business in 1908 and hasgrown to be one of the leaders in the Japaneseprinting and packaging industry. Toppan employsnearly 32,000 people with net sales in 2001 of c.£6,970m. It operates from Japan, China, Taiwan,Singapore, Australia, USA and the UK. Its productsinclude the manufacture and printing of packaging,manufacture of bank, pre-paid and credit cards,manufacture of packaging specialist films for avariety of applications and business forms,manufacture of photo masks for semiconductors,manufacture and sales of books, magazines andcommercial printing. Toppan also manufacturesinspection equipment for electronic precisioncomponents and sells electronic precision components.It also manufactures colour filters andinterior décor and industrial materials and printselectronic circuit boards. Toppan is a keen environmentalistand has introduced environmentalTable 2. Toppan’s checklist of packaging product assessment points and criteria.Consumercontact pointsAt purchaseDuring useWhen storingGeneralinformationissuesAt disposalOther generalPRODUCT ASSESSMENT CRITERIA1) understandability, 2) ease of identifying the content, 3) portability.4) openability 5) contents’ pourability / removability, 6) ease of use, 7) child safety.8) storage ease, 9) re-sealability.10) font and font size, 11) information placement e.g. expiry date, storage method,12) easy to understand indicators / pictograms, 13) helpful informatione.g. nutritional, calories, etc.14) ease of sorting / disassembly, 15) recyclability, 16) crushability.17) accident prevention measures.21


accountancy in 1998. This tool assists in decisionmakingconcepts and projects. Toppan uses itsdevelopment skills, which draw on advancedtechnologies, planning and marketing capabilities,to provide high value products and services that areinfused with a customer led philosophy. It recognisesthe need for a good focus on productdevelopment and has embraced Kansei Engineeringin order better to understand and facilitatecustomer requirements.The New Product DevelopmentEnvironment at ToppanPresentations were made to us relating to thepackaging of food and drink and other fast movingconsumer goods. Competition in Japan in this areais not on cost (which must be acceptable) but onbrand differentiation by quality of packaging.Many consumer products in grocery stores in Japanhave a very short life; it is usual that only 5-7% lastmore than one year. Many products will beremoved from the shelves after two weeks if thesales have been poor. Most of the grocery outlets inJapan are small convenience stores such as Seven -Eleven, Sunkus and Lawsons and several others,most of which are franchised American companies.Supermarkets have almost no own brand labels inJapan, leaving them with little or no power over theproduct manufacturers. It is against this marketthat Toppan has used Kansei to enhance its packagingproducts such as stand up pouches, pouringdevices, speciality films, microwavable and retortpackaging, closures, plastic barrier bottles, ‘cartocans’,metallized films and labels.Toppan combines the usability principles ofUniversal Design (see earlier) with kansei methodsto explore subjective issues of a changing market,for example consumers’ feelings about colours.Toppan applies Universal Design to packaging fromthree perspectives: physical (openability, portability,complexity of use, product access, storability, possibilityof injury, disposability), sensorial (sight,touch, smell, taste, hearing) and psychological(understandability, comfortability, and takingaccount of users’ poor memory, reduced alertness,change of mentality or personality, and degree ofexposure to information). Design assessments aremade at every scene that interfaces the consumerwith the product (Table 2), using a structuredquestionnaire diagnostic sheet developed to aproduct benchmarking system.Toppan promotes research into ageing, for exampleinto colour perception and changes in colourdiscrimination (Figure 6) that can inform choice ofcolour contrasts in packaging design. It has alsoresearched the influences of font size and linespacing on readability, concluding that bolder fontsare better than pale and size 8 is the smallest thatshould be used for easy readability. Further, foreasy-to-read documents, the blank space betweenlines should be half font height.Toppan’s kansei studies are aimed at creatingpackage images that reinforce the product contentsimage (e.g. taste) mathematically rather thanintuitively. Toppan maintains an in-house producttrends data base (updated at 6-monthly intervals)against which it can assess its client customers’needs and respond to requests for business. Itregards the breadth and depth of its packagecreation support for customers as a core capabilityand believes it gives a market edge over others thatcontract out more of their activities.Toppan’s in-house database is created from classicalkansei multiple regression, principal component,word and product association tests based on selfreportquestionnaires. Kansei words are establishedthat relate (for example) to a product’s taste image,Figure 6. Human eye changes with age and associated differences in colour perception, courtesy of Toppan.22


Figure 7. Relational analysis between main colours of packaging and taste and package image, courtesy of Toppanits packaging image and desire to return for more.Beverage products were used as an example toshow the positions of existing products by theirtaste image in a three-dimensional principal componentspace with axes of sweetness, smoothness andfragrance. The ‘return for more’ responses and theirchange with time are used to establish consumertrends. Packaging images were placed in a twodimensionalspace, also to prompt the direction ofdesign change in line with taste trends. One elementof design that can be extracted and compared withtaste is colour (Figure 7): from the study, pinks,magenta and reds are perceived to be sweet whilstblue, green and yellow are perceived to be notsweet.Toppan’s industrial designers use Toppan’sUniversal Design and kansei information in developingtheir responses to customer requests. Toppanintends to extend the use of its knowledge base to aconsultancy for its clients and customers. Toppancalls its kansei product development system HitHunter Ajisuke and a business model patent ispending.Key Points from the Visit• Toppan holds that, in Japan, packaging costmust be acceptable but competition is onquality.• Toppan employ kansei techniques to establishconsumer trends and to establish the designfeatures that create coherent product andpackaging feelings. They combine these withUniversal Design rules to ensure usability.• Toppan believes in in-house, in-depth, designcapability. Too much out-sourcing is regardedas a weakness with a threat of allowingcompetitors to gain market share. Toppan’simage is leadership in information synthesis.SEIKO EPSON CORPORATION(www.epson.co.jp)Design Centre Tokyo Office – Shinjuku NS Bldg.2-4-1, Shinjuku.Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo 163-0811.Visit date – 4 December 2002.Company and Design Centre ProfileSeiko Epson traces its foundation back to 1942,with the Epson brand established in 1975. It is nowa global corporation, with 116 group companiesworld-wide (41 in Japan, 75 outside), employingc. 77,000 people and with net sales in 2001 of c.£6,850m. Its business activities fall into three areas:colour imaging and information equipment, forexample, colour printers / projectors for office,home and professional use; energy and resourcesaving electronic devices, for example semiconductors,quartz devices for mobile phones; andmicromechatronics and watch manufacturing, theoriginal foundation of the company’s business.Seiko Epson employs in total 77 people in its corpo-23


ate design activities, grouped into product design,interface design, graphic design, human-life design,contents design and design planning, and on 6 sites– mainly 4 in Japan with 2 satellite sites overseas(Europe, USA). Our visit was to the office in centralTokyo which works on new product design i.e. theappearance and method of use of new models ofcolour copiers, printers and scanners.The New Product DevelopmentEnvironment at Seiko EpsonSeiko Epson states that it has four main elements inits design vision: philosophy – taking the lead insatisfaction; concept – understanding the humanangle with nature; expression – simple, balancedwith impact; and value – increasing actual valueand value of the appeal. Within these elements,Seiko Epson’s goal is to realise easy to use, customerpleasing designs from the human and user’sviewpoint. To achieve this, it is investing in researchas well as evaluation functions in design development.In 2001 research was focussed onunderstanding customer’s overt and latent demandsand several methodologies have been established.Seiko Epson is also researching product styling,making comparisons with competitor products.Other activities include packaging surveys on theuse of packaging for printers, scanners and consumables,and general studies and research into modernlifestyle trends.For product concept assessment, the Tokyo office iswell equipped with its own consumer evaluationroom, which can be used for focus group studies.Consumer evaluation is used at many points in theproduct development cycle, for example, developingthe graphic-user interface, evaluation of humanbehaviour and user sequence, and testing pilotsoftware. Focus group interviews are used as well asone-way mirrors to observe the feedback fromactual users.Seiko Epson has used QFD (Quality FunctionDeployment) techniques for a long time in itsbusiness and market development strategies. It aimsto build in quality into its design specifications anddevelop new products with features that relatedirectly to user needs, identified from consumerfeedback / market research. The goal of developingthe perfect machine-user interface has led SeikoEpson in recent years to integrate KanseiEngineering techniques into QFD. Concentratingon the usability of the machine, it is researching anddeveloping user interfaces based on potentialrequirements that have been identified from users’expressed emotions. This work is based on thehypothesis that the best user interface will be theone that causes the user the least ‘discomfort’ fromboth a physical and psychological perspective.Comfortable behaviour is both stable and reproducible.Seiko Epson has enjoyed a successful collaborationwith Shinshu University in the development and useof kansei techniques for office equipment design.This has allowed relationships to be identified anddifferences to be evaluated between new andexperienced users. Two examples were given,opening of an office printer cover and use of an eyetracking camera.The opening of an office printer cover. By measuringthe kinetic element, load and dynamic force onopening the printer it was possible to defineoptimum ‘openability’ in terms of the parameters ofload, distance and time. This gives an accurate,physical, technical specification to follow. By alsoevaluating sensitivity or user ‘feeling’ on openingthe cover, Seiko Epson has been able to develop aFigure 8. Eye tracking at Seiko Epson and Shinshu University.24


total operability specification. Measurement of theEMG signal from arm muscles was used in testingfive different types of printer cover. Users were alsoasked to score their preference on a scale of one tofive. When the variation in EMG signal was at itslowest, the cover opening motion was defined asthe most ‘comfortable’. This combined with a highuser score gives a cover specification and openingmotion that is believed to have the highest reproducibilitywith both new and experienced users.Use of eye tracking camera. Shinshu University hasperformed various studies on behalf of SeikoEpson using an eye tracking camera to pinpoint thearea of concentration on a design. Two measuringmethods are used, one with the chin fixed, theother with the camera attached to a hat with freehead movement. For example in a study involvingseventeen people of different ages and sexes, thecamera was used to establish the look of an officeprinter. Measurement of the eye target area andtime of concentration was compared to answersgiven on a user questionnaire. This helps tovalidate whether users look at particular designfeatures and the way they look at the overall design(Figure 8). This feedback can be built into theoverall design process to confirm that users dolook at what designers want them to. The cameracan also be used during machine operation todeduce the cause of problems, for example withmachine software. From the combination ofeyeline data and input feedback from the machine,the researcher can identify quickly weak spots inthe software operation.Seiko Epson staff commented on the additional costof using kansei techniques in product design. Theyestimate that 50-70% more man-hours are takenwhen using for example eye camera techniques,compared to a more conventional design approach(e.g. self-report questioning). This cost has to beweighed up against the additional data thesetechniques provide which is very useful in specifyingthe technical and emotional aspects of theequipment that Seiko Epson design. They also saidthey had been using kansei techniques for two yearsonly. In their view kansei methodologies are stillunder development but will be used more in thefuture.Key Points from the Visit• For mature products, Seiko Epson sees increasingintegration of human life aspects as theway to add value.• Seiko Epson has extended the meaning ofusability to include subjective psychologicalaspects and integrates Kansei Engineering intoa QFD framework.• Seiko Epson is moving beyond self-report topsycho-physiological kansei testing.MATSUSHITA ELECTRIC WORKS, LTD.(www.mew.co.jp)1048, KadomaOsaka 571-8686.Visit date – 5 December 2002.Company ProfileMatsushita Electric Works, Ltd (MEW) and itssister company Matsushita Electric Industrial Co.Ltd. trace their origin back to 1918. Public incorporationwas in 1935. Today MEW is a leadingmaker of home building products (e.g. lighting,information equipment and wiring, home appliances,building products, electronic and plasticmaterials, automation controls, some 200,000products in all). It has just over 46,000 employees,with net sales in 2001 of c. £6,450m. Its Japan,China and other Asian markets account for 89% ofsales income and the majority of its manufacturingbase but MEW is pursuing globalisation withexpansion in North America and Europe. It isstrongly seeking new business by responding tosocial trends such as the IT revolution, globalenvironmental concerns, and Japan’s dualchallenges of a low birth rate and ageing population,under the integrating slogan “Smart Solutionsby NAIS (National Amenity Intelligent System)”.The New Product DevelopmentEnvironment at MEWMEW was one of the first companies in Japan towork with Professor Nagamachi. Ergonomic andkansei activities are now strongly embedded in thedesign process, with universal design and humanlife style considerations as well. The three key areasof awareness of eco-, human- and scene-consciousnesshave led MEW to identify five satisfactionelements – safety and security, happy lifestyles,good health, environmental awareness andefficiency – that should underpin its product ranges.Kansei Engineering is being used to translate thesefeelings to physical features of specific products andproduct ranges. General comments were made to us25


Figure 9. Kansei-designed stairs and handrails, courtesy of MEW.about the benefits of Kansei. 1) Before, theydesigned with experience and intuition – now theylook for more understanding. 2) If they hadn’t usedKansei, it would be the designers’, not the users’,feelings in the product. 3) Before their use ofKansei, they designed products one by one andthought about co-ordination later. It was not effective.Kansei understanding enabled them to migratefrom designing individual products to developingtotal integration among many products (particularlysignificant in environmental – home –surroundings). 4) Kansei has given their productsan image distinctive to them, an image that is notjust a copy of competitors’ products.Presentations were made on a number of case studydesigns: handrails (Figure 9), door handles, exteriorwalls, wall patterns, lighting levels. In all cases,users’ likes were found to be made up of a combinationof physiological components (addressed byergonomic / universal design methods) and life style/ subjective psychological components (addressedby kansei methods). MEW’s main kansei evaluationtool is self-report, with the use of 5-point scalesemantic differential methods applied to productspecific emotional words (these words beingMEW’s IPR, giving them their brand image).Principal component analysis leads to wordloadings and product scores in the principalcomponent space. Products are decomposed intotheir components, for example handrails into mainbody, end fixings, fasteners, and these in turnexploded to variants, e.g. main body diameter,finish, colour, on which kansei evaluations areperformed. These are both appearance and useevaluations. Interestingly enough, the diameters ofhandrail that would be chosen on ergonomic andkansei grounds differ slightly. Relief (safety andreassurance) and beauty kansei measures are differentfrom physiological, grip, assessments ofperformance. The comment was made that therestill remains a difficulty of methodology in translatingkansei data into design elements, and of how tocompromise between ergonomic-optimal andkansei-optimal solutions. But kansei can be creativewhen performed on a company’s own prototypedesigns.MEW has also used Nagamachi’s KanseiEngineering System (KES) with virtual realitytechnology (VT) for kitchen design. Firstly, acustomer inputs family data, height and kansei tothe system. The KES component then displays theproposed kitchen prototype on screen. The VTprovides a walkthrough of the virtual space,allowing taps to be touched and cupboards opened.The agreed design can then be transferred forproduction to the CIM (computer integratedmanufacturing) factory.Key Points from the Visit• MEW is a company pioneer of KanseiEngineering. It is certain of its benefits butbelieves that improvements of methodologiesare still needed.• MEW uses Kansei Engineering to gain a betterunderstanding of the subjective needs of the26


users of its products, to underpin a coherentdevelopment of new products with a distinctiveMEW brand, upgrading their image to oneof ‘total integration’.• MEW integrates its Kansei Engineering withUniversal Design.MILBON CO., LTD. (www.milbon.co.jp)2-3-35, Zengenji-cho,Miyakojima-ku, Osaka 534-0015.Visit date – 5 December 2002.Company ProfileMilbon is a comprehensive manufacturer andsupplier of hair-care products for hair salons,including permanent wave products, hair colouring,shampoos and rinse. It was founded in 1960and operates mainly in the Japanese market, whereit has a 15% share of its market. Its approximately300 employees were responsible for net sales in2001 of c. £68m. It is noted for sales people educationand training (Field-man system) and regardsexpert interaction with its customers – the hairdesigners – as key to its continuing success andgrowth. This leads it naturally into exploring newtechniques and collaborations with academicresearchers. Milbon applied Kansei Engineeringmethods (Kansei Category Classification System) todeveloping a new product range, in order to learnabout Kansei Engineering, under the guidance ofProfessor Nagamachi. The resulting brand andproducts (Figure 10) are Milbon’s leading growthbrand increasing in value over the 3-year periodfrom launch to 2002.The New Product DevelopmentEnvironment at MilbonMilbon’s direct customers are the salons and theirprofessional hair designers. This had led Milbon,before its Kansei experiment, to a ‘joint project’approach to its new product design, involving closecontact between its expert staff in the field and thedesigners, in a product development process thatMilbon calls TAC (Target Authority Customer).Target is the hair designer for and by whom the newproduct is to be created. Authority is the keybenefits to be addressed by the product – asexpressed by the professional hair designerconsulted. Customer represents the hair designeragain, giving feedback on preferences. TAC had ledto a successful range of products, but Milbonwanted to understand more certainly how toidentify and locate the knowledge it needed tocreate further new, exciting, products. It alsowanted to know better how to communicate andshare the knowledge needed among the members ofits development team. And finally it wanted toknow how better to combine knowledge fromdifferent sources to create the insights needed todevelop the new products. This is the backgroundto Milbon’s Kansei pilot study.Within the Kansei Category Classification System(Figure 2) Milbon’s concept or zero level kansei wasexpanded into four first level kansei words, three ofwhich related to the nature of the hair treatment.Figure 10. Milbon’s kansei-engineered shampoo and TF (tender feel) hair treatment, courtesy of Milbon.27


The fourth word was ‘agreement’ and specificallyrequired the packaging to reinforce the treatment’simage. It took two further levels of kansei decompositionto clarify the word meanings sufficientlyfor translation then to be made into the physicaldomain, of formulation of the product and formand other attributes of the packaging. Milboncommented that the approach was easy to use,based on their TAC experience.Key Points from the Visit• Milbon is very happy with the results of theKansei approach, using the Kansei CategoryClassification System.• Deesse’s, with its main product parameters andpackaging shape, colour, and brand name too,created by Kansei, has become Milbon’s topbrand.• The Deesse’s literature for Milbon’s professionalcustomers highlights the KanseiEngineering approach adopted by Milbon,adapting the Kansei sheets that were usedduring the development process.MAZDA MOTOR CORPORATION(www.mazda.com)3-1, Shinchi, Fucho-cho,Aki-gun, Hiroshima 730-8670.Visit date – 6 December 2002.Company ProfileMazda Motor Corporation was established in 1920in Hiroshima. It has a reputation of qualityproducts for a mid range market of vehicles. Withalmost 37,000 consolidated employees in all, andmanufacturing in 2 plants in Japan and a further 15in other countries around the world, and exportingto over 150 countries, net sales for 2001 were c.£11,000m. Having been a profitable company formany years, in 2000 Mazda and its consolidatedsubsidiaries made a net loss of c. £800m. This ledto an increase of a long-standing collaboration withFord – the appointment of a President from Ford,with 1/3rd of shares owned by Ford. 2001 saw aconsolidation in manufacturing systems andpersonnel, which brought forth a new “MillenniumPlan” and a return to profitability. The first part ofthe Millennium Plan, “Execute, Deliver and Grow”was drawn up for the years March 2002 to March2003 and has been seen as successful, with plans tocontinue the growth momentum into the future.Mazda positions its brand world-wide with apersonality of stylish, insightful and spirited,reinforced with product attributes of distinctivedesign, exceptional functionality and responsivehandling and performance. Mazda Brand DNA issummed up in the new brand message Zoom-Zoom(love of motion experienced as a child) and allcorporate activity is united behind this.The New Product DevelopmentEnvironment at MazdaFord considers Mazda a centre of excellence fordesign, style and build quality. Mazda has a‘Craftsmanship Development Group’ that isresponsible for ensuring that brand quality isembedded in new vehicles. A craftsmanship ratingsystem has been developed with which both newdesigns and competitors’ products can be benchmarkedagainst quality goals. It explodes elementsof a vehicle into some 1,500 items in a structured,cascading, way and uses 7-point self-reportquestionnaires to determine user responses to them.top ceiling otherpillarinstumentsteering paneldoor trimseatother centreglove box panellouvermeter upperaudioothertouch designfeelcolorappearanceInterior Instrument Panel Instrument Panel UpperFigure 11. Clarification of priorities in interior quality feel, from a presentation by Mazda28


Over time, the scope of questioning has expandedfrom built-in quality (finish and fit, appearance andperformance), to ergonomic beauty (usability) andnow includes subjective feelings or kansei beauty.A presentation was given of procedures to prioritisethe importance of different design elements as far asfirst impressions subjective feelings quality wasconcerned, and of determining which senses wereimportant to which elements, and why. Discussionpanels and text mining are the methods used, withpanellists made up of men and women, fromMazda’s different market regions (e.g. Japan,Europe, USA). Different priorities from differentmarkets can lead to different design actions. Itseemed to us that the framework of this activitywas QFD. Figure 11 gives example data in pie chartform from an interior quality study in Japan.Among instrument panel, seat, steering, etc., theinstrument panel was ranked of highest priority.Within the panel, the upper part was most important– and at this level, among appearance, colour,touch feel, etc., appearance followed by design,followed by touch feel was the rank order.The prioritised elements (or the tree of suchelements) become the target for Kansei CategoryClassification System translations from brand wordconcepts to physical implementations. Furtherpresentations were made selecting examples oftranslation of words like firm feeling, clean andsimple to feelings experienced through drivers’hands and feet. These include not only touch (ortactile) feel as just identified as of some importancefor the instrument panel, but impressions offirmness and smoothness from turning a controlswitch, operating a gear or a seat adjustment lever,opening a door, or – by foot – operating clutch orbrake pedals. Mazda has carried out detailedresearches into what force (or torque) – displacementrelations on turning switches or openingdoors, etc. give rise to what impressions of firmnessand smoothness, and which of these reinforce theirBrand DNA. They have further decomposed tactilefeel into surface touch (stroking) feel, functional(grasping) feel and ergonomic shape (draping) feeland identified what surface materials propertiessuch as friction, compliance, thermal and hygroscopicproperties influence those feelings. TheyFigure 12. EMG tests on the influence of pedal step-over height on comfort, courtesy of Mazda.29


have kansei evidence that harmonisation of feelingsacross different elements of activity itself gives extrasatisfaction.In a further presentation on translation of theBrand DNA into a car operation vision, Mazdaidentified speed, fun, harmony and comfort asrelevant kansei words. Mazda designs the humanmachineinterface to reinforce these attributes, in aprocess that it calls Impedance Matching. Thisinvolves Mazda in psycho-physiological testing, forexample electromyogram (EMG) studies of muscleusage and pressure glove and mat studies for assessingcomfort of different hand controls or seatdesigns. Figure 12 gives an example of comfortstudies in which muscular EMG signal is measuredfor different pedal step-over heights. There is achange point step-over height above which EMGincreases rapidly. Selection of a good step-overheight is based on this.Key Points from the Visit• Mazda has shifted its basis of competition intothe subjective, kansei, arena.• Mazda has a well-developed methodology forthis, blending QFD with Kansei Engineeringtools.• Mazda is a Ford centre-of-excellence in thisarea.SHINSHU UNIVERSITY(www.shinshu-u.ac.jp)Faculty of Textile Science & Technology,3-15-1, Tokida,Ueda, Nagano 386-8567.Visit date – 4 December 2002.ProfileThis last case study reports the visit to ShinshuUniversity’s Department of Kansei Engineering(headed by Professors Morikawa and Shimizu)within the Faculty of Textile Science andTechnology. Shinshu University was foundedalmost 100 years ago, in a silk industry region. It isnow funded as a Centre of Excellence for textiles,although silk is an interest of the past. It regardsresearch into the subjective kansei measures oftextiles’ affects as an important element of both itsand its industry collaborators’ new directions andcompetitive advantage. This visit is placed in theindustry case study part of this report because ofthe strong textile product focus, compared to thebroader interests of the Hiroshima Internationaland Tsukuba University visits. Clothing has aunique place among products as cloaking bothother people’s and our own bodies. Thus basickansei researches at Shinshu relate to visual perceptionand tactile feelings, with brain wave and otherpsycho-physiological studies as well. These arerelated back to fibre materials science and engineeringat the micro level and on to tailoring forexample at the macro level.Research activities from the visitWe were able to connect a number of the researcheswith company activities that we had seen elsewhere,and further found a range of basic studies fromclassical self-report pioneered by Nagamachi to thenext-wave psycho-physiological.One presentation described a self-report investigationinto the subjective assessment of woven textilefabrics used to cover car seats. Feelings about afabric, from sitting on it made up as seat, werebeing related back to the fabric’s measured physicalproperties. Principal component analysis clusteredverbal response words such as high-class, soft andvoluminous in a ‘comfortable’ zone of a principalcomponent space, while words such as smooth,hard and sporty clustered in another region. Theplacement of the fabrics (such as jersey, tricot, plainand moquette) in the principal component space,depending on their factor scores, enabled whichfabrics gave rise to which feelings to be clarified. Inturn, compression modulus, friction along andacross the warp direction, thickness and thermalproperties were being measured, to understand thephysical source of the subjective feelings. A parallelstudy on feelings about a fabric, from handling aswatch of cloth, gave very similar results to thesitting study. This suggests that it may not be necessaryto go to the expense of making up fabric intoa seat cover in order to evaluate its suitability forsupporting a particular feelings outcome. As a pointof detail, a word like ‘high class’ was found to havea weaker correlation to materials’ features than‘warm’ and needed around 20 to 30 subjects forsignificant information to emerge.Methods of studying people’s feelings subconsciouslywere also described, such as eye trackingand facial electromyogram studies (which facialmuscles respond to what emotional feelings?) andwere being applied in a product developmentcontext. As an example of eye tracking, equipment30


Figure 13. Which balls feel heavier [all balls have the same weight]?was demonstrated for recording which part of animage attracted the centre of the eye’s attention (forexample of a range of trouser shapes, Figure 8, withhead-set left and recording equipment right). Aparallel study was developing a criterion of visibilityevaluation by which subjective visual sensationswere being correlated with objective visibilitylevels, based on luminance contrasts within anobject field. As well as applications to textile visualtexture, studies were extending to safety enhancementof road layouts and markings.The complexity of sensory interactions was beingstudied. Feelings about tightening a belt round aperson’s waist were being solicited verbally, bothwith the person’s eyes shut but with a light on andwith eyes open but in the dark, and with the belteither covered up or visible, at the same time asmeasuring brain α-wave (electroencephalogram)changes with tightening and un-tightening the belt.And how does sight, sound and feel interact injudging the weight of a hand-sized ball (Figure 13)?In the same Department materials science studiesare concerned for example with the development ofnew thin film and fibre materials based onpoly(vinyl alcohol)/NaCl/H 2 O gel systems.Mechanical testing methods continue to be developedfor yarns and made-up fabrics. And thistraditional materials and engineering activity isbeing combined with the subjective kansei evaluationsto propose, for example, new shirting andsuiting cloths. One new shirt material, a mixture ofkenaf (Hibiscus cannabinus L), cotton andpolyester was said to be a commercial success forthe University.Key Points from the Visit• Shinshu University’s Faculty of Textile Scienceand Technology demonstrates the integrationof kansei studies with traditional materials andengineering skills.• Industrial collaborations and commercialexploitations are growing from the kanseistudies.• Shinshu’s researches demonstrate clearly thathuman assessment of a product’s physicalattributes (e.g. weight, warmth, feel) iscoloured by subjective assumptions.31


FUTURE DIRECTIONSThis section of the report is based on informationfrom a seminar organised by Professor Harada atTsukuba University, 1-1-1 Ten-no-dai, Tsukubashi,Ibaraki 305-8574, on 2 December 2002.Professor Harada is a member of the University’sGraduate School of Comprehensive HumanSciences and its Research Institute of Art andDesign. The Graduate School is responsible forPhD programmes across education, psychology,disability and human-care sciences, kansei andcognitive brain sciences, sports medicine, a rangeof applied medical sciences, as well as art anddesign, while the Institute’s main fields arePhilosophy of Art, Fine Art, Constructive Art, andDesign. Currently 13 students are admittedannually to the doctoral programme in kansei andcognitive science and 7 to art and design.Professor Harada was Director of the JapaneseMinistry of Education’s Kansei Special ResearchProject, that ran from 1997 to 2002. This projecthad three main strands all related to kansei issuesin an Information Society Technology context: 1)measurement and understanding of users’ appreciationresponses, a large part of which wasresponses to aesthetic objects viewed remotely bya user-controlled robot; 2) the development ofmulti-media data bases, network programmingand user interfaces to support item 1; and 3) thedevelopment of tele-control robots initially also tosupport item 1. Future research is planned on‘kansei and inspiration’. One goal of the researchis to build an appreciation attitude model, withinterdisciplinary collaboration between art,psychology, cognitive and neuro science, informationengineering and robotics, to provide aframework for evaluation of art and design work.This goal is not yet achieved.A key difference between activities at Tsukuba andthose which we saw elsewhere was that the researchwas driven by a prime interest in the people ratherthan the products, in the human-product relationship.Professor Harada reported a KanseiEngineering statistical analysis on how differentgroups of (Japanese) researchers understood themeaning of kansei itself. Information scientistsemphasised subjective reactions to stimuli from theexternal world. Designers thought of it as theembodiment of intuition based on experience.Researchers in linguistics thought of it as an interactionbetween intuition and intellectual activity.Arts researchers felt it was a capability reactingintuitively to features and evaluating them. He alsoshowed results of personality tests (MaudsleyPersonality Inventory plots on neuroticism-stabilityand extraversion-introversion axes) that showedNaturalSciencesArt & CulturalSciences("NaturalSciencesKnowledgeKanseiArt & CulturalSciencesHumanSciencesIntegration of Natural and Cultural Sciences for a new Human Science,from a presentation by Professor Harada32


differences between the different groups ofresearchers. This thrust to place kansei within aframework including personality is clearly a steptowards a more fundamental understanding, incontrast with current engineering applicationswhere a user group may be ‘males between 18 and25 years old’.A common theme of the presentations made to uswas ‘new research methods’. Professor Harada(with his co-workers) has concentrated his kanseiresearches on people’s reactions to art. A mainexperiment has been monitoring appreciation ofpictures and sculptures in art galleries. To overcomeinterference of gallery surroundings on reactions,and also to overcome difficulties of monitoringreactions within galleries, he has designed an ‘artappreciation robot’. The movement of this rovingvehicle within a gallery, including panning, tiltingand zooming of a camera on-board the robot, iscontrolled remotely by a user asked to follow his orher interests in what to direct the robot to look at.The robot’s camera image is viewed on a screen bythe user. The user’s decisions on where to move therobot, eye tracking on what is viewed on the screen,accompanying brain wave signals, are all recordedwith the purpose of elucidating how the user’sappreciation is achieved. In other experiments,subjects were asked to recall, by drawing or makingmodels, their perception of objects viewed either as2D images, as 3D objects, or viewed as 3D objectsand also handled. Recall was related to personality.In contrast to activities elsewhere, the clear input ofpsychologists / behavioural scientists into theplanning of experiments was evident. Interpretationat a neuro-science level seemed still to be for thefuture. But the understanding that had been gainedwas being used to programme robots with ‘artificialbehaviour’.In summary, we saw at Tsukuba the start of anapproach to developing an understanding ofemotional and subjective feelings from a psychologicaland neuro-sciences viewpoint, with a goal oftranslating that understanding into an informationsociety application context. At some stage in thefuture, such work will undoubtedly become applicablemore generally to emotionally enhancedproduct and packaging design.33


KANSEI ENGINEERING IN JAPAN -ANALYSIS & OPPORTUNITIES FOR THE UK


SOME ANSWERS TO OUR QUESTIONS• DEVELOPMENT. Kansei Engineering inJapan owes its origin to an academic decisionof the Engineering Faculty of HiroshimaUniversity, in the early 1970s, to conductresearch into emotional technology within itsEngineering Management Group. From thestart it has been design focussed, in collaborationwith companies, aiming to find ways totranslate customers’ emotional feeling requirementsinto a product’s (or packaging’s)assembly of features. From early application inbuilding product and clothing fashion industries,it has spread across at least automotive,electronic home and office products, cosmetics,food and drink and packaging industrysectors. There is now a Japan Society of KanseiEngineers. It has forty member groups andpublishes an English language journal KanseiEngineering International.• CURRENT STATUS. Companies use Kansei tominimise intuition in design decisions. Themain established tool of Kansei Engineering isthe analysis of users’ self-report reactions toproduct or prototype variations, althoughthere is a growing use of subconscious psychophysiologicaltesting. Self-report analysis canrange from qualitative consumer researchfocus groups and semantic mapping activitiesat a level familiar to UK industry (e.g. Asahi),through much more detailed statistical andtrend analyses (e.g. Toppan), to a level ofdetailed product decomposition and analysisunseen in the UK (e.g. Mazda). A specificimplementation protocol known as KanseiCategory Classification has proved itself to beextremely effective (observed by us at Milbonand Mazda). Other more niche tools areknown as Kansei Engineering System andHybrid Kansei Engineering System.• IMPACT. In a product evolutionary journey,from creating interest and excitement firstly bya high degree of functionality, then by excellentusability and finally by strong cognitive andemotional appeal, the companies that wevisited are using Kansei Engineering towardsgaining commercial impact at that final level.Generally functionality and acceptable cost arenow taken as basic ‘must have’ attributes.Usability is a differentiator of satisfaction.Delight is the emerging frontier. Asahi’s brandconcept of ‘Expecting New Things’, Shiseido’s‘Customer Quality = Physical Quality timesKansei Quality’, Toppan’s image of ‘Leadershipin Information Synthesis’, Seiko Epson’sintegration of human life aspects into theirproducts, MEW’s ‘Total Integration’ brandimage and Mazda’a ‘Zoom Zoom’ are all intheir different ways expressions of thismovement. All the companies think that Kanseiwill become more important in the future.• IMPLEMENTATION. We saw that KanseiEngineering could fit well into a Total QualityManagement Quality Function Deploymentapproach to decision taking and planning.There is a general Japanese company culture,technology led, of deep understanding oftheir products, of all stakeholders workingtogether, leading to a confidence in successfulinnovation.• IMMEDIATE RESEARCH ISSUES. Somecompanies expressed the view that, even at theself-report level of investigating feature-affectrelationships, there is a need for more robustmethodology. This is clearly a topic for furtherstudy. A short-term research by case studyquestion for the UK is the extent to which thetools that have been established in Japan areeffective in the UK, both inherently and withina Western business culture, and whether theycan regularly lead to market successes at anacceptable cost, in the manner that Milbonfound.• LONGER-TERM RESEARCH. A goal is theintegration of engineering led, design focussed,kansei or affective design studies with a newwave of psychology / neuro-sciences / artisticresearch more deeply seeking an understandingof the human-product interface. Such newstudies are established in Japan (as elsewhere),linked to information society technologyrather than to more traditional product andpackaging applications. How to harness newunderstanding generally to create new, satisfying,products and packaging is the question.36


INDUSTRY PERSPECTIVES FROM THE MISSIONThe following points of view are those of individualmembers of the mission. They do not necessarilyrepresent those of the companies for whom theywork.A FOOD INDUSTRY PACKAGING ANDRETAILING VIEWThe burning question is can Kansei work in thefood industry? The answer is not certain, but itmust be worthwhile to find out. Traditionally theindustry has relied on the products sellingthemselves, whether that is through the freshness ofunpacked fruit or the high quality photography onthe front of a ready meal pack. Little thought hasgone into the emotional impact the design has onthe potential consumer – normally saying “roastduck with an orange and brandy sauce” has beenenough to get the emotional juices flowing andachieve a sale. Further, the plethora of legal text (inmany languages), cooking instructions and nutritionalvalues (also in many languages) has meantthe space for extra “emotionally inspired” text hasbeen very limited.That was then and this is now. The global marketplaceis a very crowded street indeed. There aremany players: the big brands, niche products, ownlabel products and brands, organic products, not tomention the back to basics approach of farmers’markets. The need to stand out and make animmediate impact to an increasingly discerning andsceptical consumer must now be greater than ever.Imagine, if you could emotionally “get under theskin” of the consumer, persuade them to buy yourproduct and before they know it your pack is intheir basket and on the way to the checkout. Wouldthat be a powerful tool? The answer to that must beyes.colour, logo shape or pack shape could have a fargreater influence than current designs? By Kanseiprinciples, the brand insights, product concepts ormarketing plan for a range of products could beapplied to the individual parts of the brief andindividual parts of the design. The result could besomething that more attracts the consumeremotionally to pick up the pack. If this could thenbe reinforced through some other pack designaspect (texture, sound, etc?) a winner might well bethen created.Of course the garden is not full of roses and there isconsiderable risk in adopting Kansei. Thistechnique has not really been tried outside Japanand we all know there are considerable differencesbetween the Japanese culture and that of Europeansor Americans. Even the Europeans who havestudied with Professor Nagamachi realise this andfeel the techniques will need adapting to theEuropean palate. In addition, the study of Kansei isin its infancy in this country with, for example, thelaboratory in Leeds only being opened this month(February) and a considerable amount of work isneeded to research this further.Finally, we all saw in Japan that Kansei worked bestin engineering industries (motor manufacturing inparticular) where large projects and long developmentprogrammes are accepted and encouraged.This approach gives Kansei the time to look intothe detail of each process and understand the largenumber of consumer responses generated. The foodindustry has neither of these approaches and aconsiderable step change will be needed to take inKansei with open arms and make it work. So, canKansei work in the food industry? The answer isprobably, but there is a need to start now and becommitted to its principles to find out.That is where Kansei might come in. Work on theway that individual aspects of packaging designinfluence purchase decisions and back up the eatingexperience that the product and marketing havedeveloped has never really been carried out in theUK / European food industry. Most food designwork looks at the holistic approach of the totaldesign. It is not known what are the contributionsof the individual parts. Maybe a subtle change of37


A PHARMACEUTICAL INDUSTRY VIEWWhere is the industry in the journey from satisfyingcustomers by function, usability and affect? Froman ethical pharmaceutical point of view, the answerto this question would be that function must besatisfied to a high level, optimising packagingusability is a current topic and whether or whenaffective or kansei design will become relevant forprescription medicines is a matter for speculation.Over the counter (OTC) medicines are a differentissue. For these the design process is more advancedin the journey. Changes in the packaging of OTCmedicines are clearly influenced to a greater extentby consumer trends in food, personal care, etc.Affective design is going to be relevant in this areamuch sooner, as a differentiator between the hugeranges of conventional and alternative treatments.What could affective design achieve for pharmaceuticals?With fewer truly unique chemical entities todiscover, many companies are marketing treatmentsfrom the same chemical product family and competitionis becoming fiercer. Affective packaging mayhelp create advantage, especially if it offers somegreater assurance that the patient will complete thecourse as prescribed, or if it aids the delivery of theproduct. Patient and customer needs are becomingof increasing importance. Within ethical medicinespatients are expected increasingly to influence thedoctor to prescribe the drugs they prefer or perceiveto be more effective. Then affective design couldcreate opportunities if directed to appealing tosenses of vision, hearing, smell, taste, touch, skinand ‘inner sensation’ or ‘gut feel’, or to enhancingfeelings of well being, satisfaction or quality of life.In support of its therapeutic benefits, the productmight win higher regard, if the packaging ‘image’were well thought out, the graphic design matchingexactly the psychological perception of the productattributes. The relationship between mind and skincould be further exploited, given the belief thatwell- being of the skin is linked to the health of thenervous and immune system. A greater number ofpharmaceutical products could be imagined deliveredthrough the skin, the products and theirpackaging, thus being perceived as closer to thepatients’ ‘kansei’. In all these ways, there could bepharmaceutical opportunities for affective or kanseidesign.What can be learned from Japan? It is clear thatthere the Kansei approach is highly analytical andrigorous. This would fit well in the pharmaceuticalindustry with its heavy emphasis on science and indepthresearch. However, considering the hugedatabases of kansei words and information thathave been developed for consumer products inJapan, it would take a reasonable length of time todevelop this base line of knowledge. On the otherhand, the rigorous basis of Kansei ensured, to ahigher degree, right first time development. This isdirectly relevant to pharmaceutical products wheresuccess is very dependent on reception at launch. Offurther interest is the combination of ergonomicand Kansei approaches, particularly relating toUniversal Design with its emphasis on use byanyone in any environment, simply and intuitively,with tolerance to mistakes during use, resulting infewer accidents or injuries. These principles reflectsome of the aims of pharmaceutical product andpackaging design, especially given the currentageing population and the need for senior-friendlydesigns. Tools such as the Package UD DiagnosticSystem (Toppan) could be directly applicable totracking trends and development of new pharmaceuticaland OTC packaging. Use by anyone,however, conflicts with the requirements to makesome medicine packaging child resistant.A number of ergonomic and kansei evaluationtechniques that were demonstrated to us during thevisit could be applied to pharmaceuticals. Forexample, the measurement of muscular load toevaluate the ease of opening of packaging could beused to a greater extent than now and perhaps inthe future the capturing of brain waves or eyemovements to evaluate packaging or productdelivery could be considered. Shiseido’s andMatsushita’s examples showed the combination ofergonomics with the ‘feel’ or kansei perception ofthe product to be very powerful.A HOME AND PERSONAL CAREPRODUCTS VIEWBrands are made in the mind, products are made inthe factory, design connects the two. Well-designedbranded products that meet the functional andemotional needs of the consumer will be successfulproducts contributing to the growth of the business.As brands become global it is important that thedeep-seated unarticulated needs of the customer arediscovered and translated from ill-structured38


comments into a language that the innovation teamcan use to build a vision of a winning product andthen act on to create and deliver it.Kansei Engineering has the potential to do this. It isa systematic approach to collecting, collating,mining and understanding customer and user informationso that it can be understood and acted uponin a structured way. It is said that around 85% ofnew products in our supermarkets are ultimatelyunsuccessful. Could the reason be that we do not asNew Product Developers really understand theneeds of our customers? Kansei Engineeringaddresses the need to understand the customer andso even a small change in the success rate of newproducts could make the investment in Kanseiworthwhile – understanding it and translating itinto a viable methodology within the organisation’sculture could reap handsome rewards.A CONSULTANT’S VIEWKansei Engineering is particularly interesting as amechanism that could consistently achieve highquality packaging design that delights the customer.There are many aspects of packaging design thatmust be considered by the designer, includingtechnical, practical and commercial aspects ofprotection, containment, compatibility, performance,production efficiency, cost, distribution, cube,storage, etc. Further considerations such as sustainabilityand environment have a growing influencein addition to the key aspects for consumer packagingof customer needs, visual impact, shelf presence,originality, etc. All these and many more alreadyplay an important part during the design processand various tools and techniques are employed toachieve the final design and ensure the designparameters are all met. However, the structuralaesthetics of the design are still largely subjectiveand down to the creativity and skill of the designerto get into the mind of the customer and deliver astunning pack design.Kansei Engineering can be seen as a way to quantifyand qualify this process, helping and directing adesigner to the perfect solution that will delight thecustomer. It also enables the designer to support,otherwise subjective evaluations of designs to theclient, to aid the selection process. Whilst for manyclients, the cost of employing kansei techniquesmay be too prohibitive at present, there are manybig brands and challenging markets where thisprocess could dramatically increase the products’ /packs’ chance of success. Particularly in the case ofthe larger brands, it could provide a significantlyincreased level of security that a particular changeis right for their customer / market. Where Kanseitechniques have been employed thoroughly toproduct development, the benefits and results areobvious and clearly attributable. However, most ofthe use so far has been directed at products and notpackaging. There is a clear need to assess itsbenefits of risk reduction in new packaging releasesagainst its overhead of extra activity. For the future,it will be particularly interesting to see whether thenew direct measurements of subjects’ emotionalresponses, in contrast to the self-report methods,will improve the balance of reward to cost in theUK market.39


APPENDIX – THE MISSION MEMBERS(AND AUTHORS OF THIS REPORT)Tom Childs is Professor of ManufacturingEngineering, School of Mechanical Engineering,University of Leeds and leading AffectiveEngineering research for the Faraday PackagingPartnership. He has an international researchreputation, with strong links with Japaneseresearchers that have supported the development ofthis mission.Alan de Pennington OBE is Professor of ComputerAided Engineering, School of MechanicalEngineering and Director, Keyworth Institute,University of Leeds, responsible for research andteaching in design and specialist research interestsin CADCAM Data Exchange; Modelling in theDesign Process; Product Data Engineering; BusinessProcess Engineering; and Enterprise Integration.Jim Rait is Manager, Design Technology andStrategy within Unilever’s Home and Personal CarePort Sunlight Packaging Design Technology Centre,responsible for discovering, demonstrating anddeploying world-class design technologies andimproved design processes that enable globallydispersed teams to work together to deliver boldinnovative products to Unilever’s customers.Terry Robins is Packaging Innovations Manager,Sainsbury’s Supermarkets Ltd., responsible foroverall technical and legal issues with packagingbut with a focus on new development throughoutthe entire company. In recent years this hasincluded guiding introduction of a new code ofpractice on hygiene and technical issues for thepackaging industry that has since become aEuropean Standard.Karen Jones is Packaging Projects Manager in thePackaging Development Group at AstraZeneca’sMacclesfield site, responsible for projects relatingto packaging and labelling, on both a local andinternational scale, including co-ordination ofpackaging related activities on site for new productlaunches and the continuous improvement ofbusiness processes in the printing and labellingarea.Chris Workman is Packaging Technology Manager– Product Bank at Boots plc, responsible for assessingand facilitating development of new andemerging technologies that could enhance thepackaging of Boots Product Portfolio in Europe andAsia, with a brief spanning beauty, personal careand healthcare product ranges.Sean Warren is Packaging Technology ResearchManager, Masterfoods, a division of Mars UK Ltd.,responsible for fundamental and applied packagingresearch into new machines, materials andmethods, and creation and co-ordination ofEuropean PhD research programmes in packaging.He is also responsible for development of virtualpackaging and innovation process managementsystems.James Colwill is Head of Packaging Developmentat Pira International, with over fifteen years experienceas a packaging consultant. For the past fiveyears he has specialised in packaging innovationand design, undertaking numerous projects forleading household and brand names.40


Further copies of this Report and informationon the Faraday Packaging Partnership areavailable from:Faraday Packaging Partnership3 Cavendish RoadUniversity of LeedsLeeds LS2 9JTTel: 00 44 (0)113 343 4954Fax: 00 44 (0)113 343 4058Email: info@faradaypackaging.comWebsite: http://www.faradaypackaging.comPrice £25Produced by Media Services at the University of Leeds

More magazines by this user
Similar magazines