Consumer co-design of apparel for mass customization
Recent research suggests that consumers want individual needs met and that companies can work towards customizing products while still mass producing them. Co-design, a consumer-producer collaborative design endeavor, is one way to accomplish both. The purpose of this research was to explore consumers' participation in and reaction to a CAD-supported scenario of co-design for mass customization. Aided by a design manager, 34 female college students co-designed a three-piece career outfit by choosing from a style bank of garment components. Subjects were comfortable with the process; most found it easy and were satisfied with the output. Ease of designing and satisfaction with images were positively correlated. Application of clothing involvement and innovativeness measures suggested possible characteristics of subjects who were more or less comfortable with co-design and those who found it easier to make decisions. Results suggested the feasibility of co-design from the consumer's perspective and the need for further research.