Design For Value and Connect With Customers


With the increasing importance of the product experience as a competitive differentiation, designers need to think about making value connections with their customers. Designing for value requires discipline. Using successful measures of value opportunity will help designers get there.

Originally introduced in 2001 by Craig M. Vogel, Jonathan Cagan, and recently cited in the International Encyclopedia of Ergonomics and Human Factors, Value Opportunities provide the best opportunity to connect with customers in a deeper more meaningful way.

When designing a product experience, consider the following Value Opportunities as a means of measurement to determine if your product experience is hitting the mark.

Use the following value opportunities to identify and maximize value in the product experience and increase equity in the brand.


  • Sense of adventure – promotes excitement and exploration
  • Feel of Independence – provides sense of freedom from constraints
  • Sense of security – provides a feeling of safety and security
  • Sensuality – provides luxurious experience
  • Confidence – supports self assurance and promotes motivation to use the product
  • Power – promotes authority and control


  • Comfort – should not create physical or mental stress during use
  • Safety – must be safe to use – prevent harm
  • Ease of use – must be easy to use – physical and cognitive (logically organized, features easy to identify, and easy to manipulate)


  • Visual – design form (shape, color, texture) must relate to context and the target market.
  • Auditory – must emit appropriate sounds and eliminate undesired sounds.
  • Tactile – physical interaction must enhance product experience.
  • Olfactory – must provide appropriate odors and eliminate undesirable ones.
  • Gustatory – must have optimum flavor or no flavor at all.


  • Point in time – features and aesthetics must clearly express a point in time.
  • Sense of place – design must promote easily identifiable context of use.
  • Personality – must fit well among competition (fit in genre) yet express uniqueness. Must be easily recognizable among own product family.


  • Social – must affect lifestyle of target group, improve existing social setting or create new one.
  • Environmental – must minimize negative effects on environment.
  • Technology
  • Reliable – must work consistently with a high level of performance over time.
  • Enabling – must meet customer expectations in performance.


  • Craftsmanship – fit and finish must meet performance expectations.
  • Durability – craftsmanship must hold up over the expected life of the product.