The Value of Transparency for Designing Product Innovations

Peiyao Cheng, Ruth Mugge

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceedings/Edited volumeConference contributionScientificpeer-review


Transparency is frequently used in product innovations for its special visual impacts and unique characteristic of providing more information. Providing effective information is crucial for consumers’ adoptions of product innovations. Yet, how the information provided through transparency influences consumer response has not been investigated so far. This study aims to fill in this gap by investigating the application of transparency in product innovations from designers’ and consumers’ perspectives. Through in-depth interviews with experienced designers (N=6), five design intentions of using transparency in product innovations are identified: influence look and feel, communicate information regarding product operations, demonstrate technology, show working process, and influence consumer experience. To validate these findings and explore consumer response, in-depth consumer interviews were conducted (N=13). Results revealed that these design intentions are fulfilled.
Moreover, consumers mentioned more specific experience triggered by transparency: a sense of achievement, engagement, control, relief and discomfort.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of DRS 2016
Subtitle of host publicationDesign + Research + Society Future, Future-Focused Thinking
EditorsPeter Lloyd, Erik Bohemia
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherThe Design Research Society
Number of pages16
Publication statusPublished - 2016
EventDRS 2016: Design + Research + Society, Future-Focused Thinking, The 50th Anniversary DRS Conference - Brighton, United Kingdom
Duration: 27 Jun 201630 Jun 2016

Publication series

NameDRS International Conference Series
PublisherThe Design Society
ISSN (Electronic)2398-3132


ConferenceDRS 2016
CountryUnited Kingdom
Internet address


  • consumer response
  • design intentions
  • product innovations
  • transparency


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