Exploring undefined emotional quality to define the design goals by Kyeong Ah

Kyeong Ah Jeong published an article entitled as, “Exploring Users’ Desired Emotion in Product Light Focusing on the Refrigerator[제품 조명에 기대하는 소구 감성 탐색: 냉장고 사례를 중심으로]” in the Korean Journal of Society for Emotion and Sensibility[감성과학]. The study investigated the type of desired emotion on refrigerator lighting by applying mixed method and thereby suggesting four emotion categories: “abstract quality,” “light property,” “space perception,” and “visual comfort.”


Despite the substantial changes made in the product design field to adopt light as an essential design element, there has been little effort to define how customers respond emotionally to the light design of products. Therefore, it is necessary to analyze the emotional effect of light as a new design element. However, previous research focuses solely on deriving optimal lighting conditions to achieve particular emotional effects. Therefore, this paper investigates the customers’ desired emotional effects of product’s light design. We studied refrigerators that utilize light as the main design element of the product. We applied mixed methods by combining close-ended questions and open-ended question to efficiently derive the desired emotion. Participants were asked to choose the most favorable refrigerator image in each of the twelve image groups and indicate why they choose that image with the short-answer survey form. Approximately one thousand terms were collected, and those terms were classified into 29 groups using thesaurus relationships. The term groups were again classified into the four big emotion categories and labelled as “abstract quality,” “light property,” “space perception,” and “visual comfort.” Also, a model of the relationship between desired light style and light properties was proposed, since we observed the light properties related to three other categories. This study used mixed methods to identify the emotional value of a new design element. We suggest that the emotional categories derived and the proposed relationship model could be used to evaluate the product’s light design.

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