Gauging the importance of aesthetics in product design

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$P.Muff$
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Gauging the importance of aesthetics in product design

Postby $P.Muff$ » 04 Oct 2018, 12:54

I was just wondering how likely you are to purchase a product at a higher cost that is not necessarily better in terms of functionality, but is aesthetically more pleasing to you?

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Re: Gauging the importance of aesthetics in product design

Postby Dor-Relip Hotels and Bathings » 04 Oct 2018, 13:24

The best-selling olive oil in the UK is so because of label design
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Re: Gauging the importance of aesthetics in product design

Postby Samoan » 04 Oct 2018, 13:36

$P.Muff$ wrote:I was just wondering how likely you are to purchase a product at a higher cost that is not necessarily better in terms of functionality, but is aesthetically more pleasing to you?

It depends on the product/item, for example -

A new table lamp shade (or an entire new table lamp) that is in plain sight, view and daily use, Yes, I would go higher.

Olive oil, No, as I keep it in the cupboard not on the worktop and once it's eaten it's eaten.

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Re: Gauging the importance of aesthetics in product design

Postby Dor-Relip Hotels and Bathings » 04 Oct 2018, 13:48

Yes but the design is a big influence when you're shopping. People are more likely to buy the better-looking thing
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Re: Gauging the importance of aesthetics in product design

Postby $P.Muff$ » 04 Oct 2018, 13:52

Labels don't influence me when purchasing olive oil, but I won't buy any brand that is bottled in plastic.

As for furniture, I used to collect antiques, before I realized I could make money off of them. But when I first started collecting, aesthetics where the main driving force behind my obsession. After several years, I had some beautiful items, but most where impractical in terms of everyday use - 'decorative', is the term.

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Re: Gauging the importance of aesthetics in product design

Postby Snarfyguy » 04 Oct 2018, 13:56

I would say the name/design is almost more important the product itself.

Back when I used to do my own laundry, I'd always buy this detergent called Trend. It didn't work very well, but I loved it because it was called TREND! I used to smoke Vantage cigarettes - I really liked the package design.

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Re: Gauging the importance of aesthetics in product design

Postby Dor-Relip Hotels and Bathings » 04 Oct 2018, 13:58

Snarfyguy wrote:I would say the name/design is almost more important the product itself.

Back when I used to do my own laundry, I'd always buy this detergent called Trend. It didn't work very well, but I loved it because it was called TREND! I used to smoke Vantage cigarettes - I really liked the package design.

Image


That's a very similar design to the old Czech cigarettes SPARTA, which I smoked in the 90s
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Re: Gauging the importance of aesthetics in product design

Postby Dor-Relip Hotels and Bathings » 04 Oct 2018, 13:59

$P.Muff$ wrote:Labels don't influence me when purchasing olive oil


so how do you make a choice? open 'em all up and smell 'em? read reviews?

COME ON
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Re: Gauging the importance of aesthetics in product design

Postby Samoan » 04 Oct 2018, 14:02

TootyFrooty wrote:Yes but the design is a big influence when you're shopping. People are more likely to buy the better-looking thing

Perhaps but I'm increasingly becoming a tight wad (or "parsimonious" as The Great Helmsman is so fond of describing himself as at every opportunity. Sorry, I digress.)

My current olive oil was not bought and was a present from my sister brought back from Spain.

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Re: Gauging the importance of aesthetics in product design

Postby harvey k-tel » 04 Oct 2018, 14:09

$P.Muff$ wrote:I was just wondering how likely you are to purchase a product at a higher cost that is not necessarily better in terms of functionality, but is aesthetically more pleasing to you?


I'm fortunate in that I think lower cost products usually have nicer aesthetics.
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Re: Gauging the importance of aesthetics in product design

Postby $P.Muff$ » 04 Oct 2018, 14:21

TootyFrooty wrote:
$P.Muff$ wrote:Labels don't influence me when purchasing olive oil


so how do you make a choice? open 'em all up and smell 'em? read reviews?

COME ON


I mean I only buy olive oil bottled in glass.

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Re: Gauging the importance of aesthetics in product design

Postby The Modernist » 04 Oct 2018, 14:34

Not so important with things like food, although I'm sure I'm sometimes swayed by a label that suggests a certain homemade, artisan quality. With everything else, yeah it's very important. But as someone who also sells 20th century decorative objects, I have a particular eye for Art Deco and Modernist design.

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Re: Gauging the importance of aesthetics in product design

Postby The Modernist » 04 Oct 2018, 14:41

TootyFrooty wrote:
$P.Muff$ wrote:Labels don't influence me when purchasing olive oil


so how do you make a choice? open 'em all up and smell 'em? read reviews?

COME ON


Whatever's been reduced usually for me. If you see a half price deal you buy it. I don't have loyalty to any particular brand.

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Re: Gauging the importance of aesthetics in product design

Postby GoogaMooga » 04 Oct 2018, 15:08

Coca-Cola - same logo for over 120 years, became the world's best-selling drink and most recognized product. I'm a Pepsi man myself (Cult at a stretch), but I've got to hand it to Coca-Cola. Consistency is key...
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Re: Gauging the importance of aesthetics in product design

Postby $P.Muff$ » 04 Oct 2018, 15:24

GoogaMooga wrote:I've got to hand it to Coca-Cola. Consistency is key...


Except for this blunder, of course:


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Re: Gauging the importance of aesthetics in product design

Postby sloopjohnc » 04 Oct 2018, 16:51

Depends on the product.

I've been involved in product design and packaging for nearly 25 years, mostly packaging. Since retail packaging isn't as big now, you also have to design for people receiving online.

I'll give you a good example though. A company I worked for developed a gel ink pen they wanted to introduce to the office market. It had been very successful in other areas.

Doing market research, we discovered that business people and professionals wanted a pen that was a little heavier in their hand and not as light as the prototype. It sounds counter intuitive at first glance to have something heavier you have to use all the time, but weight conveys importance and authority, and it was a different market than the art/hobby market the pen resided in. It was retractable too, a must for the business market.

We also had to adjust the design of the pen for the professional market, yet wanted to keep the slightly irreverent branding we'd built. We made the casing colors of the pen a little sharper than other professional pens, so the colors "popped" a bit more.

Then we had to name it. The original brand name was Gelly Roll (it was a gel pen) and that worked well with teen girls and women, but wouldn't work for business pens. At the same time, we wanted to work in "gel" as part of the name, since that was the kind of ink that was used.

I actually named the pen that was used: Gelato. I thought that name might give it some elegance and extended the smooth ink flow that gel ink gives and we'd used in the original product.

I helped design the blistercard and retail display package, but in hindsight it was dumb. They used ice cream, and not gelato, in the packaging. And I think that proved to be a flaw.

I see the company took it off the market after a few years.

I bet it had mainly to do with production costs vs. other business pens and they couldn't make the margins.

This was a commodity product that was trying to be marketed as not a commodity. Probably didn't work for that reason too.

The interesting thing about packaging is you have to design from the inside out, for both shipping and aesthetics for expensive products, you have to reaffirm the rationalization behind buying the product so it has to look good when someone opens the box. If you have directions, those have to do the same thing - be clear, understandable so there's no buyer's remorse.
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Re: Gauging the importance of aesthetics in product design

Postby Minnie Mincepie » 04 Oct 2018, 16:59

sloopjohnc wrote:
Then we had to name it. The original brand name was Gelly Roll (it was a gel pen) and that worked well with teen girls and women, but wouldn't work for business pens..


What about women who work in business? Did they get a heavy gel pen?
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Re: Gauging the importance of aesthetics in product design

Postby sloopjohnc » 04 Oct 2018, 17:01

Also, when I was designing products, I had a planogram, or pegboard, set up just outside my office in the warehouse. I also had some retail shelves built if it was a bigger product. When I was designing the retail packaging, I would buy competitors products that I knew it would compete against to see how it stood up against them on the shelf.

Products I've designed have been in Target, Walmart and other specialty type of retailers like Cabela's. Retail "turn" is important and your products will get kicked to the curb damn quick if they don't generate consistent sales or the retailer isn't committed to the product.

Another example is I worked for a company that made car monitors you'd stick into the OBDII port of a car - it would track a bunch of stuff your car does through the computer. When I joined the company, I went to an auto store to see where the retail placement was. The dummies who negotiated the sale had the display near the counter. it was a $29.95 retail product. No one buys that at the counter. They buy gum, beef jerky and key rings.

I knew they were fucked.
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Re: Gauging the importance of aesthetics in product design

Postby $P.Muff$ » 04 Oct 2018, 18:12

I bought a headlamp on sale near the counter at Auto Zone over the summer. I think's it's 1000 lumens. Kinda heavy (4 AA batteries in back) and uncomfortable though.

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Re: Gauging the importance of aesthetics in product design

Postby Toby » 04 Oct 2018, 18:17

If the item concerned is going to have a visible impact on the decoration of my home, then yes, aesthetic quality is important.

Perishable goods are completely different. Who cares what it is packaged/ bottled in ? I'm not buying it for that purpose, unless I'm going to decorate our house with olive oil bottles.