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**and Kansei Engineering Experiments
**

Stefano Barone*, Alberto Lombardo*, Pietro Tarantino**

* University of Palermo

Department of Technology, Production and Managerial Engineering

Viale delle Scienze - 90128 Palermo (Italy)

stbarone@dtpm.unipa.it, lombardo@dtpm.unipa.it

** University of Naples "Federico II"

Department of Aeronautical Engineering

P.le V. Tecchio 80 - 80125 Napoli (Italy)

pietro.tarantino@unina.it

ABSTRACT

Customer need for emotional satisfaction is increasingly considered by product/service

designers. While several existing methods support the translation of customer requirements

into technical specifications, researchers are now working to develop methods aimed at

integrating affective aspects into product design. Kansei Engineering is a design philosophy

that considers customer perceptions and emotions through a multi-disciplinary approach.

Conjoint Analysis is a statistical tool that can be used for implementing a Kansei Engineering

study.

This article presents a new methodology for conducting a Kansei Engineering study in very

early development phases. This methodology uses two new procedures. The first one is aimed

at calculating attribute importance weights by using respondent choice time in controlled

interviews. The second procedure consists in the introduction of such weights in an ordinal

logistic regression model. By using the proposed methodology it is possible to better identify

the product/service attributes able to induce specific emotions and feelings in the customer.

An application of the method to the design of mobile phones is presented.

Keywords: Kansei Engineering, Conjoint Analysis, Attribute Rating, Ordinal

Logistic Regression, Importance Weights.

1 INTRODUCTION

In very competitive markets, identification of quality attributes of products and services

(hereinafter we’ll use the term ‘product’ for indicating either a physical good or a service) is

today a leading issue for successful organizations. In fact, once these quality attributes are

determined, it is possible to change the product development strategy earlier than competitors

and, therefore to favourably influence customer preferences and, consequently, their choices.

2

Several methodologies are aimed at translating customer needs and expectations in actual

product characteristics. Conjoint Analysis (CA) is among the earliest that try to integrate

psychology and statistics to give objective answers to such needs.

Today, customers are ever more demanding, expecting pleasure and fulfilment of their

emotions and psychological needs. This forces designers to put strong emphasis on capturing

and integrating these aspects into their product development strategy. This is the basis of

Kansei Engineering (KE), a new multidisciplinary approach developed in Japan over the past

few years. In such context, traditional CA can be integrated with KE to translate emotional

customers needs into actual product characteristics.

This work attempts to give a contribution to CA and KE literature, proposing a new

methodology useful in very early product development phases. This methodology can be

schematised as in Figure 1.

CA/KE

experiments

Noise

factors

Control

factors

output

CA/KE

experiments

Noise

factors

Control

factors

output

Factor

importance

weights

(a) (b)

Figure 1. Scheme of a standard CA/KE procedure (a) and the new proposed methodology (b).

In every experimental situation noise factors affect the output. Sometimes the effect of this

noise is so large that model fitting and estimation are weak. This is the case of most CA/KE

experiments where noise factors arise from several sources (Figure 1.a). In order to reduce

this effect and to improve the analysis, importance weights are applied to control factors.

Such importance weights are calculated for each experimental unit. In a CA/KE survey the

units are the respondents and the control factors are the product attributes. The procedure is

aimed at estimating how much such attributes are important for each respondent.

The new procedure for estimating attribute importance weights uses respondent choice time in

controlled interviews. The obtained weights are then used as correction coefficients in the

regression model. The interpretation of the so adjusted model allows experimenters to analyse

output data and, whereas they are less affected by noise factors, to get a more proper model

and more useful conclusions.

The article is composed of six sections. In Section 2 a brief introduction of CA and KE will

be given. The presence and the nature of noise factors in CA and KE experiments will be

discussed. In Section 3 the new procedure for estimating the attribute importance weights is

presented. The introduction of these weights in the ordinal logistic regression constitutes the

bulk of the work, as discussed in Section 4. A case study is presented in Section 5. In Section

6 conclusions and reflections for further work are made.

3

Table 1. An example of Conjoint Analysis design.

Attributes Customer satisfaction

Product profiles A B C Very Low Low Medium High Very High

1 - - -

2 + - -

3 - + -

4 + + -

5 - - +

6 + - +

7 - + +

8 + + +

2 CONJOINT ANALYSIS IN KANSEI ENGINEERING

In early stages of product development, an important issue is to identify the configuration of

product attributes that possibly best appeals customers. Therefore, designers need to

experiment several product profiles (combinations of product attribute levels) having major

impact on customer feelings and preferences. CA is a methodology developed in the 70’s to

this purpose [1]. Different approaches to CA have been developed over the years, so that, it is

now a family of techniques [2] [3] [4] [5].

Whatever technique the experimenter choose to conduct a CA, he/she has to decide how

many attributes shall compose product profiles. Since the need to consider as many attributes

as possible, without increasing respondent fatigue, economic designs are often used [6].

Once an experimental design is arranged, product profiles are presented to respondents for

their evaluation. An example is given in Table 1. The collected data are then analysed to

estimate respondent preferences.

Generally, a decompositive approach of the overall customer satisfaction is adopted by

estimating the so called part-worths, i.e. the effects associated with each attribute.

Therefore, through a statistical analysis of respondent data, it is possible to estimate the

preferences about product attributes and to identify the optimal product profile. Today, CA is

widely recognized as an important tool for modelling customer preferences.

2.1 CA/KE Experiments

Products affective and emotional properties (“kansei” in Japanese) have recently emerged as

important drivers for a successful marketing. In addition to classical methods for

understanding and integrating customer needs in product development, such as CA, Quality

Function Deployment [7] and Kano Model [8], new methodologies have been developed and

integrated into product design processes in order to measure the affective impact on

customers. These methodologies are part of the so called Emotional Design. Among these

methodologies, KE is finding a considerable interest of the academic as well as the industrial

research. It is used for analysing unexpressed and unconscious needs of customers and

translating them into emotion-related product specifications [9] [10].

In CA/KE experiments the respondent is asked to indicate his/her judgement of a product

profile in terms of kansei words instead of customer overall satisfaction.

4

Particular attention must be reserved to the way the selected product profiles are presented to

the respondent. Three possible strategies are:

S

1

: The experimenter builds physical prototypes, allowing respondents to interact with them.

S

2

: The experimenter builds virtual prototypes (digital mock-up), allowing respondents to

interact with them in a virtual environment.

S

3

: The experimenter uses products from those already existing in the market.

Building physical prototypes requires much time and resources. Hence, it is not suitable

especially in early phases of product development. Conversely, virtual prototypes are able to

simulate geometric characteristics and physical behaviours of the product saving time and

resources and obtaining other advantages, as for example early ergonomic evaluations [11].

Sometimes experimenters have not enough resources to build a prototype either physical or

virtual. Therefore, in this case real products, representative of the selected profiles, can be

chosen from the market and presented to respondents for their evaluation. Even if this

solution is the most economic and the easiest to realize, it introduces noise factors which can

heavily bias the analysis of results.

Generally speaking, noise factors affecting respondent evaluation can belong to two

categories.

The first category is composed by non-experimented product attributes influencing

respondent evaluation. We can call them “endogenous noise factors”.

The second category is composed by factors producing the so-called “halo effects” [12] [13],

biasing the customer perception of product attributes. The halo effect can be further

distinguished in “true halo” effect and “illusory halo” effect. True halo effect is a distortion of

respondent evaluation due to his/her incapacity to decompose a whole product into

components to be rated. Illusory halo effect is a distortion of respondent evaluation due to the

presence of context factors (e.g. the preference for a brand), which can uncontrollably affect

his/her judgement.

Endogenous noise and halo effect factors generate what we call “global noise”. A new

procedure has been conceived in order to reduce the effect of such global noise. It will be the

subject of Sections 3 and 4.

3 ESTIMATION OF ATTRIBUTE WEIGHTS IN CONTROLLED INTERVIEWS

A product attribute is considered important if a change in the customer perception of that

attribute determines a change in his/her attitude towards the product [14]. Different methods

for measuring the relative importance of product attributes have been developed. Such

methods can make use of direct questioning or indirect questioning [15]. In direct questioning

the respondent is asked to directly rate the product attributes. In indirect questioning a

respondent is not directly asked which product attribute is important. Among these

approaches, a multitude of methods have been proposed, see for example [16] [17] [18]. A

new procedure for estimating attribute rating is here proposed. It uses the choice time during

the ranking process of attributes.

The procedure is firstly described in its simplest form. Let’s imagine a respondent who is

asked to rank two attributes. We are interested to know the relative respondent “weight of

5

importance” of the two attributes. We assume that the relationship between the two relative

weights is a function of the respondent choice time, i.e. the time he/she takes to select the first

preferred attribute:

1

2

( )

w

f t

w

= (1)

where:

1

w is the relative weight of the first selected product attribute;

2

w is the relative weight of the second product attribute;

( ) f t is a generic function of the choice time t .

Furthermore, we assume that:

1

2

1 2

0 1

0 1

1

w

w

w w

≤ ≤

≤ ≤

+ =

(2)

The Preference Uncertainty theory [19] states that the more uncertain one is about the overall

value of an alternative, the slower is in assigning a value to the alternative. By extending this

concept to the case where respondents have to rank different product attributes, we assume

that:

• If the choice time tends to infinite, the respondent is absolutely undecided about the

order of importance between the product attributes. Therefore, these two product

attributes are theoretically considered equal and they have the same relative weight of

importance (

1 2

0, 5 w w = = ). In formulas:

1

2

lim 1

t

w

w

→∞

= (3)

• If the choice time tends to zero, the respondent considers the first selected attribute

absolutely more important than the second. The relative weight of importance of the

first selected attribute assumes its maximum value (

1

1 w = ), while the second attribute

has a weight equal to zero (

2

0 w = ). In formulas:

1

0

2

lim

t

w

w

→

= ∞ (4)

The function that better represents the previous conditions is:

1

2

1

1

w

w t

= + (5)

6

The relation (5) is not dimensionally homogeneous. To solve this problem we make this

reasoning. It is reasonable to consider that different respondents may have different times of

reaction to the same stimulus and therefore, different choice times. However, assuming that a

homogeneous sample is selected and experimental conditions are equal for each respondent,

we can define a reference time

*

t as the time a respondent takes to choose between two

product attributes of which the first selected is twice more important then the second one.

This time

*

t depends from the sample chosen for investigation, but in general is very low.

Introducing this reference time

*

t in (5) we obtain the dimensionless equation:

*

1

2

1

w t

w t

= + (6)

Once the choice time

c

t is measured from the respondent,

1

w and

2

w are determined by

resolving the system in two equations:

1

2

1 2

*

1

1

c

w t

w t

w w

¦

= +

¦

´

¦

+ =

¹

(7)

subject to (2). Then, the weights of importance are:

1

2

*

*

*

2

2

c

c

c

c

t t

w

t t

t

w

t t

+

=

+

=

+

(8)

Generally, the choice time coherently increases with the number of product attributes initially

presented to respondent. Therefore, the formulated model is valid for a limited number of

attributes. By extending the (7) to a generic number n of attributes, the weights

i

w

( 1, 2,..., ) i n = are calculated by resolving the system of 1 n + equations:

1

*

( )

1

1

1

i

c

i

i

i

n

i

w t

w t

w

+

=

¦

= +

¦

¦

´

¦

=

¦

¹

∑

(9)

4 WEIGHTED ORDINAL LOGISTIC REGRESSION

In order to filter the effect of the noise factors affecting the results of CA/KE experiments

made accordingly to the strategy S

3

, a procedure is here proposed. The procedure is firstly

explained in the case of a simple linear regression model. Subsequently, the procedure is

extended to the Ordinal Logistic Regression, which is the most suitable for analysing the

results of CA/KE experiments.

7

4.1 Weighted linear regression

Let’s suppose that the response Y , given by n of respondents to stimuli characterized by a

single predictor x , can be modelled by a simple linear regression:

i i i

Y x α β ε = + + (10)

where 1, 2,..., i n = and the usual assumptions on the error term are made.

For simplicity let’s suppose that 3 n = . The regression parameters ˆ α and

ˆ

β are estimated by

the ordinary least squares method:

ˆ

ˆ y x α β = − (11)

3

1

3

2

1

( )

ˆ

( )

i i

i

i

i

y x x

x x

β

=

=

−

=

−

∑

∑

(12)

where

3

1

1

3

i

i

x x

=

=

∑

and

3

1

1

3

i

i

y y

=

=

∑

.

A qualitative picture of the linear regression is shown in Figure 2, where residuals from the

regression line are evidenced.

x

y

ˆ

ˆ y x α β = +

1

x

2

x

3

x

2

y

3

y

1

y

2

r

3

r

1

r

Figure 2. Qualitative picture of a regression line.

Let’s now suppose, that multiplicative coefficients, one for each respondent, are introduced in

the model:

' '

i i i i

Y x α β γ ε = + + (13)

If the coefficients are all equal, i.e.

1 2 3

γ γ γ γ = = = , then the estimates for

'

α and

'

β are:

' '

ˆ

ˆ y x α β = − (14)

8

3

' 1

3

2

1

( )

1

ˆ ˆ

( )

i i

i

i

i

y x x

x x

β β

γ

γ

=

=

−

= =

−

∑

∑

(15)

By posing:

1

i

i

w

γ = (16)

with

i

w the weight of importance, we obtain:

'

ˆ ˆ

w β β = (17)

Graphically, this situation is represented as a horizontal shift of the predictor points, while the

coefficient of determination

2

R and the significance of parameters remain unvaried (Figure

3).

y = 0,75x + 2,90

R

2

= 0,89

y = 0,23x + 2,90

R

2

= 0,89

0,00

1,00

2,00

3,00

4,00

5,00

6,00

0,00 2,00 4,00 6,00 8,00 10,00 12,00

x

y

1

2

3

0.3

0.3

0.3

w

w

w

=

=

=

Figure 3. Effect of introduction of equal respondent weights in linear regression model.

In reality, it is very rare the case where respondents express the same attribute weight. In

general the situation is:

1 2 3

w w w ≠ ≠ . In this situation the relation (17) is no more linear.

Parameters significance can change and model fitting can improve (Figure 4), up to a case

limit in which the model fitting is perfect (Figure 5), or can worsen (Figure 6).

9

y = 0,75x + 2,90

R

2

= 0,89

y = 0,58x + 1,64

R

2

= 0,96

0,00

1,00

2,00

3,00

4,00

5,00

6,00

0,00 1,00 2,00 3,00 4,00 5,00 6,00 7,00

x

y

1

2

3

0.3

0.4

0.5

w

w

w

=

=

=

Figure 4. An example of model fitting improvement due to the introduction of attribute weights in the

model.

y = 0,75x + 2,90

R

2

= 0,89

y = 1,00x + 0,01

R

2

= 1,00

0,00

1,00

2,00

3,00

4,00

5,00

6,00

0,00 1,00 2,00 3,00 4,00 5,00 6,00

x

y

1

2

3

0.286

0.425

0.6

w

w

w

=

=

=

Figure 5. A limit case of perfect model fitting due to the introduction of attribute weights in the model

10

y = 0,75x + 2,90

R

2

= 0,89

y = 0,18x + 3,31

R

2

= 0,72

0,00

1,00

2,00

3,00

4,00

5,00

6,00

0,00 2,00 4,00 6,00 8,00 10,00 12,00

x

y

1

2

3

0.35

0.4

0.3

w

w

w

=

=

=

Figure 6. An example of model fitting worsening due to the introduction of attribute weights in the model

4.2 Weighted Ordinal Logistic Regression model

When response data are collected by Likert scales, the ordinal logistic regression is a suitable

method to estimate the relationship between the response and the predictor variables (i.e.

product attributes). Logistic regression belongs to the class of general linear models with

logistic function as link function [22]. It is mainly used because of its simple interpretation of

involved parameters [20] [21].

Let’s suppose that the response variable can take only two values, 1 Y = (success) and

0 Y = and that there is only one predictor variable x . The logistic regression model can be

equivalently expressed by one of the following relations:

0 1

0 1

Pr( 1 ) ( )

1

x

x

e

Y x x

e

β β

β β

π

+

+

= = =

+

(18)

0 1

( )

1 ( )

x

x

e

x

β β

π

π

+

=

−

(19)

0 1

( )

log

1 ( )

x

x

x

π

β β

π

(

= +

(

−

¸ ¸

(20)

The three relations above are graphically presented in .Figure 7.

The relation (18) express the predicted probability of success, the relation (19) the odds of the

success and the relation (20) the logit of success.

11

0 0.1 0.2 0.3 0.4 0.5 0.6 0.7 0.8 0.9 1

0

0.1

0.2

0.3

0.4

0.5

0.6

0.7

0.8

0.9

1

x

P

r

o

b

a

b

ili t

y

o

f

s

u

c

c

e

s

s

(a) (b) (c)

Figure 7. Logistic Regression: (a) probability of success; (b) odds of success; (c) logit of success.

In case where the response variable is the respondents preference for product profiles, the

rating scale is ordinal, e.g. it goes from 1 to 5, with 5 being most satisfied. Logistic regression

has to be modified to calculate cumulative logits. They are based on cumulative probabilities

of the response category variable. In such case, the three most commonly used logistic models

are the adjacent-category model, the continuation-ratio model and the proportional odds

model [22]. For the scope of this work it is sufficient to present the baseline logit model in

which the category Y k = , for 1, 2,...., k K = is compared to the reference category 0 Y = :

0

0

( )

log

( )

k

k k

x

x

x

π

β β

π

(

= +

(

¸ ¸

(21)

The introduction of weights in the ordinal logistic model with a single predictor, resulted in

the introduction of these weights in the 2 n× X matrix containing the data for each

respondent:

1

1

2

2

1

1

1

n

n

x

w

x

w X

x

w

(

(

(

(

(

=

(

(

(

(

(

¸ ¸

(22)

By extending the relation (22) to the case with J predictors, the modified X matrix

becomes:

12

1 11

11 1

2 21

21 2

1

1

1

1

1

J

J

J

J

n nJ

n nJ

x x

w w

x x

w w X

x x

w w

(

(

(

(

(

=

(

(

(

(

(

¸ ¸

(23)

where

ik

w represents the weight of importance of respondent i ( 1, 2,..., ) i n = for attribute j

( 1, 2,..., ) j J =

A comparison with the linear regression case is possible. In both cases the introduction of

weights in the model corresponds to horizontal shifts of predictor variable values. In both

cases, the regression coefficients give the direction and the size of the effect of predictor

variable on the response variable. What differs is the interpretation of parameters in the two

regression models. In simple linear regression, the parameter β expresses how much the

response variable is expected to increase ( 0 β > ) or decrease ( 0 β < ) when the predictor

variable increases of one unit. In logistic regression the logit coefficient has a similar

meaning. It express how much the logarithm of the odds of success in response variable is

incremented when the predictor variable is incremented of one unit.

The procedure of Section 3 enable us to calculate the individual weights. Their introduction in

the CA/KE survey analysis, through the Ordinal Logistic Regression, allows us to reduce the

effect of the global noise factors. In fact, this is a way to enforce the interpretation of a

“signal” in an output in which it is mixed with a random noise. More details about theoretical

aspects on this topic are in preparation.

5 A CASE STUDY

In this work, the KE approach is applied to the design of a mobile phone. The massive

diffusion of this product allows designers to have a great deal of people opinions. In addition,

designers need to be careful to the customer tendencies and their feeling about the product.

In this study undergraduate student preferences were investigated. By looking at different

sources, 202 potential kansei words were initially identified. This set was too large to handle,

so it was reduced by using Affinity Diagram and Factor Analysis. The four chosen kansei

words have been: Appealing, Handling comfort, Stylish, Durable. By a similar procedure, 119

product properties initially found were reduced by Pareto diagram, leading to the six product

attributes listed in Table 2. For each attribute, two levels have been chosen.

13

Table 2. Description of the chosen product attributes and relative levels.

Levels

Attribute Description

0 1

A Integrated antenna No Yes

B Dimensions Small Very Small

C Internal memory Small Big

D USB port No Yes

E Music support No Yes

F VGA camera No Yes

Table 3. The experimental design and mobile phone models selected for the evaluation.

Product attributes Product attributes

A B C D E F

Concept

A B C D E F

Concept

1 0 1 0 0 1

1 0 0 0 1 0

0 1 0 0 0 1

1 1 1 1 0 0

1 1 0 1 1 1

0 0 0 1 0 0

0 0 1 1 1 1

0 1 1 0 1 0

The full factorial design would consist of 2

6

= 64 product profiles, which is an unaffordable

number for a conjoint experiment. In order to reduce this number, a fractional factorial design

(6 3)

2

III

−

has been selected consisting in 8 profiles. Such choice is allowed in case of absence or

negligibility of interactions of any order. The characteristics of the chosen attributes and the

explorative nature of this case study allow this choice.

By adopting the strategy S

3

(Section 2.1), eight products already existing in the market have

been chosen according to the experimental design. The experimental design and the selected

mobile phone models are shown in Table 3.

5.1 Data collection

A sample of 40 university students was contacted for the survey. Each respondent was

involved in a 2-phase interview. The first phase was aimed at assessing the individual

importance weights of the selected product attributes (Table 2). According to the method

presented in Section 3, each respondent was invited to fill in an electronic form (Appendix 1)

in which he/she stated the order of preference of the six attributes. Once a respondent had

14

selected an attribute, a computer programme calculated the time taken for the selection.

Accordingly, the individual list of preferences with the relative choice times was so obtained.

The choice times were used to determine the relative weights of importance, as described in

Section 3.

The weights obtained from the survey are graphically presented in Figure 8.

0,000

0,050

0,100

0,150

0,200

0,250

0,300

0,350

0,400

0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 40

Respondent

W

e

i

g

h

t

Integrated antenna

Dimensions

Memory

Music Support

USB port

VGA camera

Figure 8. Attribute weights obtained from the survey.

In the second phase of the interview, the pictures of the eight concepts were shown to the

respondent (Appendix 2). The interviewer spent some time to explain how to fulfil the

questionnaire, and the meaning of each kansei word. The respondents were asked to give their

impression of each mobile phone concept by using a five-point Likert scale.

5.2 The relation Model

In order to quantify the relationships between respondent kansei and the selected product

attributes, the collected data have been analysed by the Ordinal Logistic Regression.

A model was estimated for each kansei word by the software MINITAB.

The method of analysis was applied twice. The first time, the weights of importance were not

taken into consideration. The second time, the weights were introduced. In Figure 9 and

Figure 10 an example of software output, for the response variable “Appealing”, is presented

for both cases.

Firstly, we can assess whether the observed data are consistent with the model to fit. Output in

Figure 9 and Figure 10 report Pearson chi-square and Deviance chi-square statistics. The

distribution of these statistics – under the null-hypothesis that the fitted model is adequate – is

a

2

χ -distribution with n − (k + 1) degrees of freedom, with n number of observations and k

number of predictors. Details of these tests are available in [22]-[24].

15

Figure 9. Ordinal Logistic Regression for the kansei word “Appealing” (without weights)

Figure 10. Ordinal Logistic Regression for the kansei word “Appealing” (with weights).

16

It is important to underline that these are badness-of-fit tests, i.e. the failure to reject the null

hypothesis supports the adequacy of the regression logistic model. The significance values are

reported in the columns labelled by P.

For the model without weights (Figure 9) we can see that both P-values (0.080, 0.034) are

low, giving some concerns about model fitting. Nevertheless, we now comment the logistic

regression output of Figure 9.

In order to assess the overall significance of regression, the test statistic based on the

likelihood ratio test is:

( ) ( )

2 ln ln 2 ln ln

null k null perfect k perfect

G Deviance Deviance L L L L = − = − − − − (24)

where the likelihood under a perfect fitted models is 1. Under the hypothesis that all logistic

regression coefficients are equal to zero, the G statistic is distributed as a

2

χ with k degrees

of freedom. In the model the P-value of the G-test is less than the chosen significance level

0.05, so we can conclude that at least one predictor is related to response variable Appealing.

Other elements of the output are reported in the ‘Lgistic Regression Table’: regression

coefficients and their standard deviation, P-value of the Wald test for the predictor

significance, odds ratios and relative confidence intervals (logistic regression coefficients and

odds ratios

ˆ

i

ϑ are in relation

ˆ

ˆ i

i

e

β

ϑ = ).

Under the null hypothesis 0

i

β = , the statistic

( )

ˆ

Z

ˆ

i

i

SE

β

β

= (25)

follows a standard Normal distribution.

Confidence interval around the odds ratio

( ) ( )

{ }

2 1

1

ˆ ˆ ˆ ˆ

exp exp

i i i i

z SE z SE

α α

β β ϑ β β

−

( (

− ≤ ≤ −

¸ ¸ ¸ ¸

(26)

is another way to assess the significance of predictors. If this interval contains 1, the

corresponding predictor is not significant.

Ignoring the concerns about model fitting, we can say that the product attributes having an

impact over the kansei word “Appealing” are: A = integrated antenna, B = dimensions and F

= VGA camera. For all of them the p-value is 0.000 and the confidence interval does not

contain the value of 1. The logit coefficients show that the attribute B = dimensions has an

impact on the dependent variable which is double than the other two.

By introducing the weights obtained by the procedure proposed in Section 3, the results of the

analysis change. They are presented in Figure 10. By looking at the Pearson's and Deviance

test significance values, we could remove our concerns about model fitting.

However, these statistics are based on the differences between observed and fitted data, where

fitted data depend on the estimated probability of each covariate pattern [22]. When data are

17

sparse, i.e. the number of covariate pattern is large, the p-values from the

2

χ distributions are

no longer accurate.

To overcome the problem related to data sparsity, a possible solution consists in grouping

data. The used coding merges data according to the Table 4 below:

Table 4. Importance weights grouping.

0.000→0.045 0

0.046→0.091 1

0.092→0.183 2

0.184→0.229 3

0.230→0.321 4

0.322→0.367 5

By means of this grouping, the goodness-of-fit test becomes more reliable. The output of the

ordinal logistic regression is presented in Figure 11.

Figure 11. Ordinal Logistic Regression output for the kansei word “Appealing” (with grouped weights)

In comparison with the output in Figure 9, the product attribute D (USB port) has now an

influence on the kansei word “Appealing”. In fact its p-value is less than 0.05 and the

confidence interval does not include 1.

18

Table 5. Relationships between product attributes and kansei words.

Model Fitting

Integrated

Antenna

Dimensions

Internal

memory

USB port

Music

Support

VGA

Camera

OLR without weights

Appealing No ** *** ***

Handling

comfort

Yes ** * *

Stylish Yes ** ** ** *

Durable No * ** * *

OLR with weights

Appealing Yes * *** * **

Handling

comfort

Yes * * *

Stylish Yes * * * *

Durable Yes *

* Weak relation

** Moderately strong relation

*** Strong relation

In conclusion, introducing the individual weights in the logistic model clarifies the

interpretation of model parameters, and consequently it can help designers to choose the right

product development strategy.

A qualitative synthesis of the analysis and a comparison of results with and without

introduction of weights are presented in Table 5.

The situation illustrated above is just an example. In fact the introduction of weights could

even lead to a worse fitting and interpretation of the model. Therefore, it is important that the

analyst always compares the results of the new proposed procedure with the results of the

standard procedure before drawing final conclusions.

6 CONCLUSIONS

The need to fully understand and interpret the wishes of customers has led researchers to

develop several methodologies aimed at bringing the “voice of customer” into the

development process. In this context Conjoint Analysis (CA) and Kansei Engineering (KE)

are methods by means of which it is possible to incorporate customer emotions and

perceptions into the product development process.

In this work three innovations for carrying out CA/KE experiments are proposed.

1. Determination of attribute rating on the basis of choice time. It allows a quick and

economic way to asses the respondent preferences for product attributes. Moreover, it

is a very efficient and objective method for obtaining preference measurements based

on metric scales. A further work is ongoing to discuss the theoretical framework of

these aspects.

2. Introduction of weights to regressor levels for each statistical unit, in order to improve

model fitting and interpretation. Further work is ongoing to show the theoretical bases.

In the context of this article, this procedure allows us to incorporate customer

19

individual preferences in the CA/KE model, depurating it from the action of global

noise factors.

3. Integration of the previous procedures for a weighted ordinal logistic regression.

Through the presented case study we show how the introduction of customer

individual weights in ordinal logistic regression model can help the experimenter to

identify the right relationships between product design solutions and customer

feelings/impressions, and therefore, to obtain substantial competitive advantages.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

This work was financially supported by the Italian Ministry of University funded project

PRIN 2005 “Progettazione statistica dell’innovazione continua di prodotto”, and by the EU

FP6 funded project ENGAGE. The authors who mutually acknowledge an equal contribution,

wish to thank the University of Linkoping, Division of Quality Technology and Management

where part of this work was developed.

REFERENCES

[1] Green, P.E. and Rao, V.R. (1971) Conjoint Measurement for Quantifying

Judgmental Data. Journal of Marketing Research, 8, 355-63

[2] Cattin, P. and Wittink, D.R. (1982) Commercial Use of Conjoint Analysis: A

Survey. Journal of Marketing, 46(Summer), 44-53.

[3] Green, P.E. and Srinivasan, V. (1978) Conjoint Analysis in Consumer Research:

Issues and Outlook. Journal of Consumer Research 5(2), 103-123.

[4] Green, P.E. and Srinivasan, V. (1990) Conjoint Analysis in Marketing: New

Developments with Implications for Research and Practice. Journal of Marketing

(October), 3-19.

[5] Green, P.E et al.(1991) Adaptive Conjoint Analysis: Some Caveats and Suggestions.

Journal of Marketing Research, 28, 215-222.

[6] Bergman, B. et al. (1999) Conjoint Analysis: a useful tool in the design process.

Total Quality Management, 10 (3), 327-343.

[7] Cohen, L. (1995) Quality Function Deployment- How to Make QFD Work for You.

Addison-Wesley Publishing Company

[8] Center for Quality Management (2003) Kano’s Methods for Understanding

Customer-defined Quality. The Center for Quality Management Journal, 2(4), 3-36

[9] Nagamachi, M. (1995a) Kansei Engineering: A new ergonomic consumer-oriented

technology for product development. International Journal of Industrial

Ergonomics,15, 3-11.

[10] Schütte, S. and Eklund, J.( 2005) “Design of rocker switches for work-vehicles- an

application of Kansei Engineering”. Applied Ergonomics 36: 557-567.

[11] Barone, S. and Lanzotti, A. (2002) Quality Engineering approach to improve

comfort of a new vehicle in virtual environment. Proceedings of the American

Statistical Association.

20

[12] Lance, C.E. and Woehr, D.J. (1986) Statistical Control of Halo: Clarification From

two Cognitive Models of the Performance Appraisal Process. Journal of Applied

Psychology 71(4), 679-685.

[13] Murphy, K.R. et al. (1993) Nature and Consequence of Halo Error: A Critical

Analysis. Journal of Applied Psychology ,78(2), 218-225.

[14] Jaccard, J. et al. (1986) Assessing Attribute Importance: A Comparison of Six

Methods. Journal of Consumer Research, 12 (March), 463-68.

[15] Alpert, M. I. (1971) Identification of Determinant Attributes: A comparison of

Methods. Journal of Marketing Research, 8 (May), 184-91.

[16] Heeler, R. M. et al. (1979) Attribute Importance: Contrasting Measurements.

Journal of Marketing Research, 16 (February), 60-3.

[17] Kohli, R. (1988) Assessing Attribute significance in Conjoint Analysis:

Nonparametric Test and Empirical Validation. Journal of Marketing Research, 15

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[18] Barone, S. and Lombardo, A. (2004) Service Quality Design Through a Smart Use

of Conjoint Analysis. The Asian Journal on Quality, 5(1), 34-42.

[19] Fischer, G. W. et al. (2000) Attribute Conflict and Preference Uncertainty: Effects

on Judgment Time and Error. Management Science, 46(1), 88-103.

[20] Agresti, A. (2002) Categorical Data Analysis. John Wiley & Sons. New York, 2

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Customer Satisfaction Data. Quality and Reliability Engineering International. In

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for Behavioural Sciences. Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. 2

nd

Edition.

21

APPENDIX 1

Electronic Form used for attribute weight estimation

Respondent n°1 weights

Dimensions

VGA camera

Internal memory

USB port

Music support

Integrated antenna

22

APPENDIX 2

An example of the second phase of interview

How do you consider the mobile phone above according to the following kansei words?

Kansei word

Very

Low

Low Medium High Very

High

Appealing

Handling comfort

Stylish

Durable

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