Abstract

When customers decide which product to buy, the perceived risks associated with the purchase are typically part of consideration. The customer’s purchase decision is directly related to the perceived risk about finance, safety, reputation, or others. It is important to incorporate the customer’s perception of risks in user-centered product design. Existing research of risk perception in product development focuses on the warning label design to ensure that consumers are aware of product safety and potential hazards. There is limited work on how to design the product itself with the consideration of risk factors. In this research, the effects of risk perception from consumers on design are studied. The results show that the perceived product safety by customers can be independent from objective measurements of risks. The perceptions are influenced by individual experiences, information obtained from government regulations and standards, as well as personal characteristics. Design variables related to the levels of comfort, aesthetics, and performance for automobile could affect the customers’ perception about vehicle safety.

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