The Visual Categorization of Production Automotive Seats on Descriptors of Comfort

Tugra Erol, Cyriel Diels, James Shippen, Dale Richards

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BACKGROUND: The role of appearance of automotive seats on perceived comfort and comfort expectancy has been acknowledged in previous research but it has not been investigated in depth. OBJECTIVE: To identify the effects of the appearance of production automotive seats, based on the hypothesis that visual design differentiations are affective in creating comfort expectations. The significance of the descriptors Sporty, Luxurious and Comfortable and the associated visual design attributes was of interest. METHOD: Images from 38 automotive production seats were used in an image-based card sorting app (qCard) with a total of 24 participants. Participants were asked to categorize the different seat designs varying from 1: least, to 9: most for all three descriptors.The resulting data was analyzed using hierarchical clustering analysis. RESULTS: The results indicated that the perceived Sporty, Luxurious and Comfortable were descriptor items that significantly differentiated seats with certain design attributes. It was found that for the Sporty perception the integrated headrest design and angular shapes were key. On the other hand, the Comfort perception was characterised by seating with a separate headrest and rounded seat back/cushion shapes. CONCLUSIONS: For seat design processes, the method enables a practical way to identify elements conveying Sporty, Comfortable and Luxurious perception.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)S69-S85
Number of pages17
JournalWork: A Journal of Prevention, Assessment and Rehabilitation
Issue numbers1
Publication statusPublished - 8 Jan 2021

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  • Automotive
  • attribute mapping
  • comfort experience
  • seat
  • visual impression

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rehabilitation
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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