Verbal communication of semantic content in products

Torben Anker Lenau, Per Boelskifte

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingArticle in proceedingsResearchpeer-review


    The purpose of the present research work is to explore how precise verbal communication can capture the semantic content of physical products. The paper presents an overview of the background and work done so far. Furthermore are ideas for future work discussed. The background includes the increasing need to communicate soft qualities in all stages of complex product design processes: From retrieving initial information, developing design briefs and specifications to negotiations, tests and trade-offs during the iterative design process and - at the end - a final evaluation. If all participants have a good mutual understanding of these qualities and a vocabulary to match, it is more likely that the resulting products will reflect the intentions and requirements better. Research carried out so far includes 3 investigations with a combination of questionnaires and an experiment where product search was carried out based on verbal communication alone. Preliminary results indicate that there exists a mutual understanding of many of the terms describing the qualities and properties and that good verbal communication of sensory and perceived product qualities are possible. However a number of the selected terms seem to have several interpretations causing ambiguous information. The work also suggests that more emphasis is needed in design education on training precise verbal communication concerning semantic contents in products.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationNordes Conference "In The Making"
    EditorsThomas Binder m.fl.
    Number of pages300
    Publication date2005
    Publication statusPublished - 2005
    EventNordes - København
    Duration: 1 Jan 2005 → …


    Period01/01/2005 → …


    • Communication
    • Semantics
    • Design


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