Auditory and visual contributions to affective product quality

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A product has multiple sensory properties, each of which can be evaluated on its affective quality. In the current study, we investigated differences in the evaluation of the affective quality of auditory and visual product appearances and their potential contribution to the overall (auditory-visual) affective quality of domestic appliances. We used rating items based on theories of basic affect (pleasure, arousal and dominance). From the cognitive perspective, we further investigated whether memory performance (i.e., concretely recalling concepts pertaining to product use) also differed between individual unisensory product experiences (visual or auditory) and multisensory product experiences (auditory-visual). The results firstly indicate that users’ individual experiences of product appearances (auditory or visual) of daily domestic appliances evoke different affective and cognitive responses. Secondly, the results indicate that visual product appearance mainly influences how pleasing products are perceived while auditory product appearance mainly influences how powerful products are perceived. Thirdly, the results indicate that a product presented as a multisensory object (auditory-visual) can evoke as many memory associations as its auditory property alone. The implications for multisensory design are further discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)35-50
Number of pages16
JournalInternational Journal of Design
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • Affective Quality
  • Auditory-Visual Interactions
  • Multisensory
  • Product Experience
  • Sensory Property
  • Sound Design


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