Understanding the Brain

Sensory design

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Sensory design aims to establish an overall diagnosis of the sensory perceptions of a product, and define appropriate means to design or redesign it on that basis. It involves an observation of the diverse and varying situations in which a given product or object is used in order to measure the users' overall opinion of the product, its positive and negative aspects in terms of tactility, appearance, sound and so on.[1]

Sensory assessment aims to quantify and describe, in a systematic manner, all human perceptions when confronted with a product or an object using techniques initially developed for the food industry. Contrary to laboratory analysis, the perception of a product is carried out by a panel of trained testers comparing similar products.

The result allows researchers to establish a list of specifications and to set out a precise and quantified requirement. These are applied to materials and objects using various criteria:

In the transport sphere, these two branches of sensory analysis translate into sometimes minor enhancements to the design for a vehicle interior, information system, or station environment to smooth some of the rougher edges of the travel experience.[1]



  • Nick Kingsley. Railway Gazette International, Sensolab drives interior experimentation. 2007.
  • (Template:ISO 639 name fr) Louise Bonnamy, Jean-François Bassereau, Régine Charvet-Pello. Design sensoriel. Techniques de l'ingénieur, 2009
  • (Template:ISO 639 name fr) Jean-François Bassereau, Régine Charvet-Pello. Dictionnaire des mots du sensoriel. Paris, Tec & Doc - Editions Lavoisier, 2011, 544 p. ISBN 2-7430-1277-3

See also