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Title: Impact of blackness preference and perception on product design
Author: Tao, Lan
Awarding Body: University of Leeds
Current Institution: University of Leeds
Date of Award: 2013
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This study investigates our perception of, and preference for, blackness and specifically explores the influence of different cultural backgrounds (notably nationality and gender). Despite black being an important colour it has been studied relatively little compared with, for example, whiteness. Two major questions were considered: whether observers prefer one black to another (blackness preference); and whether observers consider one black sample to be blacker than another (blackness perception). Psychophysical experiments were carried out using paired comparison and ranking methods for male and female observers from UK and China. Blackness perception was found to be invariant to the cultural background of the observer. Whereas the cultural effect was found for the blackness preference results. Male observers preferred darker blacks with a greenish-blue hue whereas female observers preferred lighter blacks with a reddish-blue hue. Differences between the nationality groups were a little less pronounced but Chinese observers (like females) preferred lighter reddish-blue blacks whereas UK observers (like males) preferred darker greenish-­blue blacks. These results are potentially very valuable to designers who may wish to select a black for a product that will be most preferred. This work suggests that different blacks may be optimal for products intended for a mainly male or female audience. However, to what extent can the results from a psychophysical study carried out using abstract coloured squares displayed on a computer be extended to the very practical problem of product design where context may be powerful? This is the third question that was addressed in this thesis. An iPhone product was simulated on-screen using 3-D software and where the colour was varied. Observers were again asked about their blackness preference and perception. The results from the simulation study were almost entirely consistent with those from the earlier work which suggests that the findings from this thesis might have wide applicability to design.
Supervisor: Westland, Stephen Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available