Effects of Appearance on the Perceived Comfort of Automotive Seats

Open Access
Conference Proceedings
Authors: Tuğra ErolCyriel DielsJames ShippenDale RichardsChris Johnson

Abstract: Automotive seat comfort is becoming one of the major aspects in distinguishing companies from their competitors. We here explored the role of the visual appearance of automotive seats in the perception of initial seat comfort. Unlike discomfort, the concept of comfort is regarded a highly subjective and multi-faceted phenomenon. This paper addressed the possibility of improving the perception of comfort through the mere manipulation of the visual appearance in otherwise identical automotive seats. In addition, the study explored gender differences in sensitivity to the effects of visual appearance and perceived comfort. The results showed that the visual appearance of physically identical seats had a large and statistically significant effect on perceived comfort. Furthermore, the effect of visual appearance on perceived comfort was found to be considerably larger for female participants. The results are discussed in the context of potential underlying mechanisms relating visual appearance to aesthetics, positive affect, perceived ergonomic quality, and product personality. Suggestions for future studies are provided with regards to visual design parameters and their effect on the perception of automotive seat comfort.

Keywords: car seats, comfort, perception, visual appearance, seat design

DOI: 10.54941/ahfe1001226

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