Empirical identification of perceptual criteria for customer-centred design. Focus on the sound of tapping on the dashboard when exploring a car
This work results from a demand made by a car manufacturer (Renault) relating to a phenomenon whose impact on customer perception is only suspected: the sound of the dashboard when tapped in a showroom. To identify which perceptual criteria are really relevant for customer-centred design, an empirical observation of customers exploring vehicles was set-up. The operations performed, the perceptions verbalised and the different elements of the vehicle targeted were analysed from a qualitative and a quantitative point of view. In this paper, the data were firstly examined to obtain an appreciation of customers’ global behaviour. The study was to focus on the dashboard, to observe if the act of tapping occurs in a real context and to identify the possible influence of the resulting sound on perception. Empirical observation results in databases about activity and perception of potential customers exploring a car. These ones can be used by Renault to identify pertinent perceptual criteria to include in a customer-centred design process. The focus on the dashboard more specifically demonstrated the benefit car manufacturers can obtain by working on the sound of tapping.