Identification of Design Elements in Vehicle Interiors for creating an Appearance associated with Sustainability

Open Access
Conference Proceedings
Authors: Julia GritzbachFranziska KernPhilipp PomierskyWolfram RemlingerThomas Maier

Abstract: Sustainability as a current trend in many industries is not only about developing products with a lower environmental impact, but also about communicating these efforts to customers. The vehicle interior is a key opportunity to communicate sustainability, as this is where the user interacts and experiences the vehicle during the use phase. Therefore, it is necessary to know which design elements create a user experience associated with sustainability. The purpose of this study is to identify design elements in vehicle interiors linked to sustainability.SIGNIFICANCEThe need to be aware of our environment and the responsible use of resources is an important topic now and in the future. Published in The Global Risks Report 2022, 84 % of more than 800 respondents in the Global Risks Perception Survey were either concerned or worried about the outlook for the world. This shows the interest of people to see changes in the world and in products. Product design can visualize those changes. As a result, the customer perception of sustainability is essential to communicate a future sustainable mobility through vehicle interiors.METHODSA literature review and an online survey are the used methods in this study. The literature review leads to a collection of design elements that might be perceived as sustainable. This collection includes product designs in general and especially concepts of interior design in architecture. From these results, the design elements for vehicle interiors to be tested were derived. According to Seeger (2005), the technical product design can be subdivided into four subgestalts. The subgestalts are layout, shape, color/surface and graphics. The chosen design elements are relatable to these subgestalts.The online survey has three main parts: demographic data, individual attitudes towards sustainability and a pairwise comparison of different vehicle interior design elements. The questions of the second part are based on the General Ecological Behavior Scale GEB-50 (Kaiser 2020) to determine individual environmental attitudes. Furthermore, items from the General Belief in a Just World Scale GBJW (Dealbert 2002) add the opportunity to measure the willingness to engage in prosocial actions, because the social dimension of sustainability is included in the tested design elements.With pictures of vehicle interiors a pairwise comparison shows, which design elements are associated with sustainability. Every picture shown in the third part of the questionnaire only includes a manipulation of one of the subgestalts.RESULTSThe analysis of the collected data shows which variations in design elements in the subgestalts layout, shape, color/surface and graphics are associated with sustainability in the vehicle interior. It also shows how the perception of design elements correlates with various demographic characteristics and individual attitudes toward sustainability. The results obtained can be used for the user-centered development of vehicle interiors to create a user experience associated with sustainability. A following study can develop a guideline for sustainable vehicle interior design based on the generated results. To evaluate other design variations more surveys are conceivable with a similar structured questionnaire only changing the pictures in the third part.

Keywords: Sustainability, User Experience, Vehicle Interiors, Biophilic Design, Online, Survey

DOI: 10.54941/ahfe1002976

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