Universal product family design for human variability and aesthetics
The present research is motivated by the need to create specific methods for universal product family design based on human variability. Product family design is a way to achieve cost-effective mass customization by allowing highly differentiated products to be developed from a common platform while targeting products to distinct market segments. In this paper, we extend concepts from mass customization and product family design to provide a basis of universal design methods in product design. The objective of this research is to propose a method for identifying a platform for the families of universal products in economical feasible design concepts and integrating human variability into the design process to improve usability and performance as well as aesthetics. We generate platform design strategies for a universal product family based on performance utilities to reflect human variability and aesthetics. A coalitional game is applied to model a strategic design decision-making problem and evaluate the marginal profit contribution of each strategy for determining a platform design strategy in the families of universal products. To demonstrate implementation of the proposed method, we use a case study involving a family of consumer products.