Effect of Visual Quality and Animation of Concept Representations on Users’ Responses to Early Design Concepts: A Study on the Adaptive Patient Room Concept
Derya Ozcelik Buskermolen, Jacques Terken, Berry Eggen, Evert van Loenen


New technologies enable designers to create advanced visual representations of concepts (e.g., animations, renderings) early in the design process. However, it is not clear whether and how the properties of such concept representations affect the users’ understanding of the concept and the nature of the feedback they provide. To explore this we conducted an experiment with forty-eight participants. We manipulated the medium (a series of stills vs. an animation) and visual quality (sketchy vs. refined) of visual concept representations presenting a concept for an adaptive patient room and investigated the nature of the feedback provided. The medium and visual quality had no effect on the concept comprehension, judgements on hedonic quality and appeal, and transportation to the narrative world. Visual quality had an effect on representation realism. Participants who were shown visually refined representations were more convinced that the concept would behave the same in real life as it was shown in the representation. Medium had no effect on the quality of the feedback elicited from users; visual quality did. Participants who saw sketchy representations provided more elaborate feedback and suggestions and grounded their feedback on past experiences. Based on these results, designers can be recommended to utilize sketchy representations if they want to elicit feedback grounded on past experiences. If the aim is to elicit definite judgements, visually refined representations can be more helpful.

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