Dimensions of Product Complexity from Designers’ Perspectives

DS 122: Proceedings of the Design Society: 24th International Conference on Engineering Design (ICED23)

Year: 2023
Editor: Kevin Otto, Boris Eisenbart, Claudia Eckert, Benoit Eynard, Dieter Krause, Josef Oehmen, Nad
Author: Holliman, Alexander 'Freddie'
Series: ICED
Institution: University of Strathclyde
Section: Design Methods
Page(s): 1495-1504
DOI number: https://doi.org/10.1017/pds.2023.150


The perceived complexity of a product (product complexity) is doubtless an influential phenomenon in a design project. Insight into this factor and how it can be measured, is key to understanding its influence, supporting project planning and resource demand estimation. Opinions on product complexity vary greatly, with many definitions, scales and techniques to measure product complexity available; many of which draw their conclusions from engineering design research. Yet the field of product (or industrial) design companies, whose designers work across a vast range of product types, from domestic to industrial remains under researched. These designers have a tacit understanding of many influences over their projects, of which product complexity is one.

This paper presents an analysis of the dimensions (or measures) of product complexity found in literature and compares its findings to the measures defined by practicing product designers. This paper will demonstrate the process used to identify these dimensions and the scales developed to assess product complexity in a practical way and will make conclusions on the perspectives held on product complexity by product designers.

Keywords: New product development, Complexity, Industrial design, Product Complexity

Please sign in to your account

This site uses cookies and other tracking technologies to assist with navigation and your ability to provide feedback, analyse your use of our products and services, assist with our promotional and marketing efforts, and provide content from third parties. Privacy Policy.