Design factors and functionality matching in sustainability products: A study of eco-showerheads

Kemi Adeyeye, Kaiming She, Abderrahmane Baïri

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The Demystifying the Shower Experience research project is a comprehensive multi-stage study aimed at understanding the multi-dimensional aspects of the shower, including; showering products, habits, behaviour and perceptions. The objective was to determine: if a functionality mismatch occurs between the design and desired functionality of the product, and what specific factors contribute to this mismatch. To achieve the aim, simple heuristic trials packaged as a 12 showerheads in 12 weeks Challenge were conducted involving 12 participants - 6 male and 6 female. It was found that showerhead design factors such as colour, shape and size are inconclusive in determining the water efficient use, and perception of a positive shower experience. However, factors such as the number of function inform user choice and preference of which showerhead to choose and use. Further, sprout type and mode of operation both influence user perception of the performance factors such as feel, pleasantness, enjoyability, time taken and effectiveness of clean. And these factors in turn significantly affect the user perception of what constitutes a ‘good' shower experience. It was also found that a functionality mismatch does occur in sustainability products if performance, and not design factors, fail to meet with user expectations. This work is novel because few, if any, studies of this nature have specifically been undertaken outside of the laboratory environment, and significant because the findings highlight the importance and influence of the physical design and performance-informing features on the user perception of the product itself. And for showerheads, this affects the satisfaction with the resulting showering experience and, therefore the propensity to use less water in the shower for an effective clean.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4214-4229
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Cleaner Production
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 27 Nov 2016


  • Product design
  • Product performance
  • Product preferences
  • Sustainability
  • User study
  • Water efficiency


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