Research Papers

Customer-Driven Optimal Design for Convergence Products

[+] Author and Article Information
Z. Wang

Graduate Research Assistant Department of Mechanical Engineering,  A. J. Clark School of Engineering, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742

P. K. Kannan

Ralph J. Tyser Professor Department of Marketing,  R. H. Smith School of Business, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742

S. Azarm1

Department of Mechanical Engineering,  A. J. Clark School of Engineering, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742azarm@umd.edu

Functionality here is defined as the capacity of a product to fulfill a useful function and satisfy a customer need, e.g., a useful function that an iPad can fulfill is reading a book or magazine. Functionality can also refer to a “feature” of a product, e.g., iPad has an “e-book reading” feature.


Corresponding author.

J. Mech. Des 133(10), 101010 (Oct 25, 2011) (13 pages) doi:10.1115/1.4004977 History: Received February 05, 2011; Revised August 02, 2011; Accepted August 22, 2011; Published October 25, 2011; Online October 25, 2011

Convergence products are multifunctional designs which are changing the way consumers use existing functionalities. Manufacturers’ ventures in developing convergence products abound in the marketplace. Smartphones, tablet computers, and internet TV are just a few examples. The complexity of designing a convergence product can differ significantly from that of single function products which most research in “design for market systems” aims at. In this paper, a new customer-driven approach for designing convergence products is proposed to address the following issues: (i) a design representation scheme that considers information from design solutions used in existing products. The representation facilitates the coupling of and combining multiple functionalities; (ii) a hierarchical Bayes model that evaluates consumers’ heterogeneous choices while revealing how usage of multiple functionalities impacts consumers’ preferences; and (iii) design metrics which help to evaluate profitability of design alternatives and account for future market penetration given evolving consumer preferences. An example problem for designing a tablet computer is used to demonstrate the proposed approach. The data for the example are collected by conducting a choice-based conjoint survey which yielded 92 responses. The proposed approach is demonstrated with three scenarios differentiated by the consideration of consumer heterogeneity and future market penetration, while comparing how the resulting optimal design solutions for the convergence product differ.

Copyright © 2011 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
Topics: Design
Your Session has timed out. Please sign back in to continue.



Grahic Jump Location
Figure 1

Opportunity gaps for convergence products

Grahic Jump Location
Figure 2

Problem definition

Grahic Jump Location
Figure 3

Design decision framework

Grahic Jump Location
Figure 4

Modular hierarchy framework

Grahic Jump Location
Figure 5

Functional enabling matrix

Grahic Jump Location
Figure 6

Comparison of optimal designs




Some tools below are only available to our subscribers or users with an online account.

Related Content

Customize your page view by dragging and repositioning the boxes below.

Related Journal Articles
Related eBook Content
Topic Collections

Sorry! You do not have access to this content. For assistance or to subscribe, please contact us:

  • TELEPHONE: 1-800-843-2763 (Toll-free in the USA)
  • EMAIL: asmedigitalcollection@asme.org
Sign In