Kansei Engineering intends to translate people feelings and emotions into product parameters via empirical and analytical methods. The method was invented in the 70’s by professor Nagamachi, who recognized that companies often wanted to quantify their customer’s impressions on their products. Kansei Engineering can “measure” these feelings and correlates them with given product properties. This information will result in a product designed to elicit the intended feelings.
“Kansei” means affection, or “sensuality” in the sense of…senses. It is also referred to as “Sensorial Engineering”, “Emotional Usability” or “Affective Engineering”. It captures feelings and translates them into a design solution.
When faced with a product or an object, a sensory input is firstly presented to the consumer. The first impression this input elicits on the consumer is the “kansei”, which reflects itself on feelings, affections and emotions. Shortly after, this “kansei” is processed and translated into “chisei”, that is, cognition. This step allows the consumer to apply logic, recognize and understand the input.
What’s interesting is that against all logic, sometimes consumers decide solely based on kansei, ie, their first impression and emotion.
This method presents people with a stimuli, and asks for an immediate response, both kansei as chisei – not necessarily alike.
A proposed model I found on project Kansei.eu is states that firstly a manufacturer must provide the researcher with a well defined domain. This domain will be composed of “Semantic Domain”, that defines the target group, which words should one be looking for (eg. cool, elegant, nice). The component of the main domain is “Space of Application”, where the manufacturer identifies important properties for the user.
A synthesis of both components would be validated, and a mathematical model would be built, resulting in indications for product design (Category Identification; Regression Analysis /Quantification Theory Type I; Rough Sets Theory; Genetic Algorithm; Fuzzy Sets Theory).
Kansei data collection and analysis is often complex and connected with statistical analysis. Depending on which synthesis method is used, different computer software is used. Kansei Engineering Software (KESo) uses QT1 for linear analysis. The concept of Kansei Engineering Software (KESo) Linköping University in Sweden (www.kanseiengineering.net). The software generates online questionnaires for collection of Kansei raw-data
Another Software package (Kn6) was devleoped at the Politechnical University of Valencia in Spain. Both software packages improve the collection and evalutation of Kansei data.