The Influence of Product Exposure on Trendiness and Aesthetic Appraisal
Janneke Blijlevens, Ruth Mugge, Pinpin Ye, Jan P. L. Schoormans


Designers use product attributes (e.g., trendiness) to design aesthetically appealing products. The relationships of physical properties (e.g., shape) of product designs with product attributes and aesthetic appraisal are often considered to be generalizable over product categories and markets. However, in line with an interactionist view, we show that the product’s physical properties in combination with a person’s previous exposure to products influence perception and aesthetic appraisal of product designs. Previous exposure to products provides a prototype to which to compare newly encountered product designs. We show that deviating the physical properties from the combination of physical properties that the prototype is made up of makes a product design look more trendy, and therefore, more aesthetically appealing. Because product categories have different prototypes, the physical properties that make a product design look trendy and aesthetically appealing are product-category dependent (Study 1). Moreover, people in a local market perceive product designs from a global brand as more trendy and more aesthetically appealing than people in a global market, because these product designs deviate more from their prototype (Study 2). Hence, in order to create a product design that is trendy and aesthetically pleasurable, designers should take into account product designs that people are exposed to in their daily life.

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