Understanding how consumers perceive products based on their appearance is of great importance to designers. In this article, we explore the level of novelty of a product appearance as a general design guideline to evoke positive associations about the product's performance quality. Novelty implies the deviation in a product appearance from the current design state. Based on the literature, we theorise that consumers associate products with a novel appearance with technological advancement and thus with a greater performance quality. Data from two studies in which participants were asked to evaluate washing machines and single-lens reflex cameras support our expectations that the level of novelty of a product appearance positively affects the perceived performance quality of the product.
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