Determining the similarity of products using pairwise comparisons and eye tracking

Duncan Boa, Charles Ranscombe, Ben Hicks

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference Contribution (Conference Proceeding)

4 Citations (Scopus)
66 Downloads (Pure)


Styling is an important aspect of the design process in which the overall appearance of a product is developed and the visual appeal is achieved. However, styling decisions are often subjective and can be difficult to satisfy the needs for all stakeholders. In this paper an exploratory study is discussed that aims to address the subjectivity of styling rationale by quantifying aspects of product appearance through the use of eye tracking. Two research questions are addressed that relate closely to typical styling issues; how are products compared when determining similarity? And, what patterns of feature engagement exist in pairwise comparisons? Preliminary findings show a weak effect between feature engagement and the similarity ratings of product pairs. Recommendations are made in the paper on the practical implementation of eye-tracking to support styling decisions as well as experimental refinements to elucidate behavioural patterns during pairwise comparisons.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationDS 80-5 Proceedings of the 20th International Conference on Engineering Design (ICED 15) Vol 5
Subtitle of host publicationDesign Methods and Tools - Part 1, Milan, Italy, 27-30.07.15
EditorsChristian Weber, Stephan Husung, Gaetano Cascini, Marco Cantamessa, Dorian Marjanovic, Frederico Rotini
PublisherThe Design Society
Number of pages10
ISBN (Print)978-1-904670-68-1
Publication statusPublished - 30 Jul 2015
Event20th International Conference on Engineering Design, ICED 2015 - Milan, Italy
Duration: 27 Jul 201530 Jul 2015

Publication series

ISSN (Print)2220-4334


Conference20th International Conference on Engineering Design, ICED 2015


  • Engineering
  • Design
  • Eye tracking
  • Product similarity
  • pairwise comparisons
  • Branding
  • Styling


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