With a view to innovation, LAFUMA MOBILIER embarked on a sensory adventure, accompanied by the FCBA Technological Institute, with the aim of obtaining different feedback on its products.

To do this, the Institute’s consultants based themselves on Alexandre de Rouvray’s thesis[1] which collects the sensory characteristics of a product deemed important for the consumer and the reasons that motivate these choices.

In general, a sensory study facilitates the integration of consumer perception into a specification and allows the development of more relevant and innovative projects and product proposals for the target audience.

Financed by the CODIFAB, the study conducted by FCBA was organised in several phases. First of all, the presentation of the methodology, followed by the choice of the “product space”, i.e. the products to be tested, as well as the preparation of the logistics of the experimentation, the carrying out of the tests and finally, the analysis of the results.

The experiment took place in three non-consecutive stages. Each user had a pre-established schedule that was different from the other users, in order to optimise the test time.  The experimental pathway included three modes of presentation for all users: black and white product photos, product sheets and a space with the actual products. For each module, the user was invited to propose thematic families (e.g. comfort, material, etc.), to organise the products according to these and then to rank the furniture in order of preference.

A rigorous process that allowed us to obtain interesting information from users. A study open to new perspectives and rich in the amount of data collected, which suggests the importance of considering the time to analyse the information collected, as part of a development project.

This collaboration gave our product development team the opportunity to discover a new method to better understand consumer logic and the possibility to use it in future projects.

[1] De Rouvray Alexandre, Integration of emotional and sensory preferences in the design of furniture products: proposal of an affective engineering method, ENSAM doctoral thesis, 22 December 2006

Consumer Analysis and Product Development Officer