Randomized Customization: A Driver for Enhanced Product Value

By Juan Armellini and Lionel Dean.

Published by The International Journal of Designed Objects

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Published Online: April 29, 2016 $US5.00

Product customisation has always been a common practice as a form of identification. The purpose of this paper is to discuss the approach taken on a research project that will then investigate the potential of increasing product value by offering consumers an opportunity to engage in the random customisation of their products. In this context, randomised customisation (an opportunity to individualise and produce a unique artefact) does not necessitate consumers to make decisions or inform this randomness, however the emotional attachment towards a product could still increase where there are participatory elements in the customisation toolkit and potentially increasing value or sales potential to the consumer. This is in-line with previous studies exploring more controllable customisation. It is anticipated that the approach adopted could help identify a level of consumer engagement with randomisation toolkits and relate directly to the level of emotional attachment engendered with the product. The paper proposes the plan of action which uses iterative action research, mixing qualitative and quantitative methods and describes a pilot run informed through face-to-face interviews and questionnaires during exercises with individualisation toolkits (exercises proposed compare experiences between “full-control,” co-design, individualization, and standard products), documenting volunteers’ reactions and comments. Initial results from the pilots suggests that consumers less familiar to art and design practices could welcome an opportunity to engage with an automated approach to randomised customisation, which in turn could deliver a degree of enhanced product value.

Keywords: Product Design, Designed Objects, Customization, Randomization

The International Journal of Designed Objects, Volume 10, Issue 2, June, 2016, pp.31-43. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published Online: April 29, 2016 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.072MB)).

Juan Armellini

PhD Candidate, School of Design, Faculty of Art, Design, and Humanities, De Montfort University, Leicester, UK

Dr. Lionel Dean

Lecturer, School of Design, Faculty of Art, Design, and Humanities, De Montfort University, Leicester, UK