Users' perceptions of new forms of products depend on various product qualities. As technology becomes increasingly mobile, carrying technology products on body is becoming more commonplace. As a result, these types of products hold different meanings and intentions for users than off-body products, which may lead to new interpretations. This paper investigates the relationship between the visual qualities of on-body interactive products and users' perceptions of those products. A brief literature review explores how technological developments have led to new modes of transporting products. This paper also examines the relative importance of changes in perceived qualities, technology acceptance and response to product appearance. Through user interviews, the authors explored the perceived qualities of conceptual designs for wearable phones, the meanings attached to these qualities and their relative importance. They present the results and follow with a discussion of the dimensions of product qualities and related characteristics that emerged.
Practitioner summary: This study, investigating the perceived qualities of on-body interactive products and applying the repertory grid technique, determines what will lead users to avoid or approach these new technologies. It also presents a preliminary framework to help designers understand the perceived qualities of these products.