Improving product based on affordance with fuzzy theory for product development strategy

Huei Hua Hsiao, Shih-Wen Hsiao, Shen Min Liang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


This paper presents a design strategy which combines both conceptual and mental design information to quantitative degrees of affordance using a fuzzy scale that provides user-to-designer information. The traditional communication channel has been hidden. In the past, design concepts were not a result of direct communication between designers and users. This study found that, based on users’ mental models, users can reflectively modify product characteristics to improve the convenience of usage. These insights offer a hidden communication channel for designers and are defined as generalised affordance within the context of this research. This study proposed a novel method to semi-quantify affordance using a fuzzy linguistic modelling technique to establish a fuzzy scale table that quantifies degrees of affordance. An affordance fuzzy matrix (AFM) was created to assess the effects of affordance of each task necessary to utilise each product component. The overall results of the AFM indicate the generalised affordance of a particular product. Hidden messages are the characteristic of a product improved by the user itself because of his habit, which incurs additional product features, symbols and words, and will help product designers for further design strategy and improvements. In this study, generalised affordance is applied to an electric oven as an example.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5522-5533
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Journal of Production Research
Issue number18
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Sep 16

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Strategy and Management
  • Management Science and Operations Research
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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