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Effect of smartphone aesthetic design on users' emotional reaction: An empirical study

Parul Nanda (Research in Motion, Mississauga, Canada)
Jeff Bos (Research in Motion, Waterloo, Canada)
Kem‐Laurin Kramer (Research in Motion, Waterloo, Canada)
Catharine Hay (Research in Motion, Waterloo, Canada)
Jennifer Ignacz (Research in Motion, Waterloo, Canada)

The TQM Journal

ISSN: 1754-2731

Article publication date: 13 June 2008




This paper discusses the impact of aesthetic design of smartphones on users' emotional reactions and preferences towards the product. To this end, the paper presents a study that explores emotional reaction of males to varying aesthetic design of the BlackBerry and empirically evaluates their preferences for the BlackBerry in different colours and overlay patterns. The paper then presents the statistical results of the study in an innovative graphical representation.


A quantitative and qualitative research design was used, including three types of data‐collection instruments (direct observations, rating scales, and interviews) to investigate if males have a stronger positive emotional reaction for visually treated BlackBerry Pearl devices over the original treatment (piano black) of the BlackBerry Pearl. A one‐way analysis of variance (ANOVA) was carried out with an independent within subjects variable “Pattern” with ten different levels (i.e. ten different visual treatments).


The study indicates that varying the aesthetic design of the BlackBerry Pearl has an impact on emotional reaction of males. However, it was found that males in this population sample prefer the original, piano black treatment of the BlackBerry Pearl over the visually treated versions of the smartphone. Participants reported significantly higher scores for the original treatment of the smartphone, piano black (mean=5.5) than for other visual treatments such as skittles (mean=2.8).


The paper gives an insight the mobile phone industry and the effect that phones have had on people, who see them as a fashion accessory, as well as a communicating tool.



Nanda, P., Bos, J., Kramer, K., Hay, C. and Ignacz, J. (2008), "Effect of smartphone aesthetic design on users' emotional reaction: An empirical study", The TQM Journal, Vol. 20 No. 4, pp. 348-355.



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Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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