Media Design Method: Combining Media Studies with Design Science to Make New Media

To design a medium means to investigate what happens when a new technology is intentionally introduced into an already existing communicative practice.

The research team must be able to respond systematically to on-going, many-faceted, and quite unpredictable practices of media use. The scope is such that development and testing will take several years by teams of 3-4 researchers, plus students. This article belongs to the genre of methodology articles. There are few common references regarding methods, and difficult to compare the designs in a methodical way. I will recommend a comprehensive way of doing things. In this article I stake out a public purpose that should be vital to specifically academic medium design, and present a way for it to be both normative and scientific at the same time.

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Impacts of Geometrical Manufacturing Quality on the Visual Product Experience

Attaining small unit-to-unit variation can be associated with increased costs or dramatic product changes. This paper aims to support the trade-offs required when assessing the importance of having an ideal manufacturing quality in relation to other values embedded in a specific industrial design concept and in relation to increased product cost.

Geometrical variation, stemming from the manufacturing process, can distort the intended appearance of a product. When adapting a proposed design to manufacture, decisions need to be made on what geometrical deviations can be accepted on a final product. However, little research has been conducted to understand their actual impacts on the product experience. A study is presented, where we investigate differences between consumer assessments of photographs of products with a prominent geometrical deviation and equivalent products with good geometrical quality. The results show that for products perceived as having high industrial design emphasis, poor manufacturing quality can influence a number of quality-related assessments. However, product aesthetics was not influenced by geometrical deviations, indicating that product aesthetics is primarily judged based on what is interpreted as the intended design. The interpretation of producer intent is demonstrated as a key factor determining consequences of geometrical deviations. Further, it is suggested that the visual experiences of products with poor geometrical quality can be negatively affected without full consumer awareness.

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