Customer satisfaction is critical to product success. Yet evaluation methods that directly consider the customer’s wants and that are applicable at various stages of the design process are few. This paper proposes three metrics that provide the designer with a means to evaluate designs based on customer attributes: Pleasure, Protection, and Inverse Cost (Icost). These metrics are general enough to be used in conceptual design but broad enough to evaluate finished products. In addition to describing the metrics in detail, this work describes how they are used to provide a selection technique for choosing generic forms to fulfill functions at the conceptual stage of mechanical design. At this stage, there are often many alternatives to select from based on a large number of attributes. This technique uses the new metrics in combination with an adaptation of the utility theory to provide a means for the designer to organize the information and choose between alternatives while maintaining a customer viewpoint.

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