Managing aesthetics as open innovation practice : The case study of color and design choice for designed technical product

University essay from Avdelningen för Industriell utveckling, IT och Samhällsbyggnad

Abstract: The purpose of this study is to explore and elaborate how firms are managing aesthetic with color and design choice as open innovation practice and explore its applicability in various sectors.  Two research questions are addressed: How is aesthetics with color and design choices managed by firms using open innovation practices? Can aesthetics with color and design choices be managed as open innovation practices for all kinds of technical designed products?   The study is based on a case study combined with survey method which constitutes a combination of quantitative and qualitative research for conducting productive research. In order to analyze and explain the case study as open innovation practice for designed technical products, the 4P model of innovation, open innovation model, product design process, digital prototyping and virtual customer environment are used. The survey was used for analyzing the question on generalization for all other designed technical products.   The study shows that some mobile firms are using “theme creator”, software for themes that is used for inside aesthetics of designed technical products with customer collaboration and participation. Sony Ericsson is one firm that is establishing activities for outlook aesthetics and inside aesthetics with color and design choice for its designed technical product (mobile). These activities are interpreted as open innovation practices conducted in virtual customer environment by Sony Ericsson. The survey result shows the customer’s willingness for participation and customer’s demand for the change in color and design of designed technical products by their own choice. When combining the case study and survey results it is concluded that color and design choice is required to improve aesthetics for designed technical products.

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