The influence of a modular design and facilitating cues on consumers’ likeliness to repair electronic products

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Modularity represents a promising design strategy for product lifetime extension. Yet, the fact that products are physically designed to be repaired via such a modular design, does not mean consumers will act accordingly. Past research demonstrated promising results with current modular smartphone users. However, these users may not necessarily reflect the average consumer because modular products are not (yet) the norm. Two experiments were set up to test the effect of modularity on consumers’ likeliness to repair and to investigate which specific design cues can encourage consumers to execute DIY (‘do-it-yourself’) repair. The first study shows that a modular design increased the general likeliness to repair and decreased the task difficulty compared to a conventional design. Interestingly, the likeliness to use professional repair increased for modular smartphones, while the likeliness to DIY repair remained low. For DIY repair, consumers thus may need more support. The second study shows that facilitating design cues on the inside of a modular smartphone increased consumers' likeliness to consider DIY repair. Our results are relevant for practitioners aiming to increase electronic product DIY repair.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 5th PLATE Conference
Subtitle of host publicationProduct Lifetimes And The Environment
EditorsKirsi Niinimäki, Kirsti Cura
Place of PublicationAalto, Finland
PublisherAalto University
Number of pages7
ISBN (Electronic)978-952-64-1367-9
Publication statusPublished - 2023
EventPLATE 2023: 5th PLATE Conference - Espoo, Finland
Duration: 31 May 20232 Jun 2023

Publication series

NameAalto University publication series ART + DESIGN + ARCHITECTURE, 3/2023
ISSN (Electronic)1799-4861


ConferencePLATE 2023


  • Product Lifetime Extension
  • Repair
  • Modularity
  • Design Cues
  • Sustainable Consumer Behavior


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