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Lee, M., Nishida, K., & Narita, Y. Experimental Verification for Subjective Sense of Object Weight.

Researchers stated that products perceived weight is greatly influenced by individual subjectivity. The same design might be feeling lighter or heavier by a personal impression. Study focused on the relationship between the perceived weight and actual weight. They verified the difference between the subjective and physical senses of weight. Researchers aimed to find the error range and to reveal the characteristics of the subjective sense of weight.

They performed two experiments. First they used models with differing weights but the same size to find subjective sense of weigh due to the difference of weigh. Then they used models with differing sizes but the same weight to find the subjective sense of weigh by size.

They identified that in average the subjective weight was judged 24% heavier than the actual weight on below 600 g models. When the actual weights were equal but the sizes were different, the bigger objects were considered lighter in their subjective weights.

In mini-symposium on Usability and Kansei Engineering Miyong Lee presented the results from the same study that was described in the article. She mentioned that users for example want smartphones that looks light but are not too light when they are holding smartphone in their hands. She said that when designing a product it is important to realize that it has always its own subjective weight.

It was interesting to read about subjective and actual weigh and I realized how indeed the more important weigh is the subjective. Of course the user decides if the weigh is good for him or not so the actual weigh is not so important if the users finds the product heavier or lighter.

– Olli T.

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