Companies send out many types of information to customers through media forms such as flyers, catalogues, websites, etc. However, these forms of media can only successfully communicate information when customers choose to read them. Therefore, it is important to design a document according to customer tastes and preferences in order to increase the possibility of the document actually being read.
In order to identify what kinds of images and design elements in media are preferred by customers, Fuji Xerox is conducting research on the concept of "Taste Models" and a taste and image evaluation method called Media Image GAP Finding.
Media Image GAP Finding is a tool used to visualize the gap between the impression a design created by the sender of information (e.g., a company) conveys and the tastes and preferences of the recipient of that information (the customer), in order to determine design elements such as color palettes that are consistent with customer tastes and preferences.
This concept of designing documents according to customer tastes and preferences is based on the Taste Models, 40 different categories used to classify the diverse tastes and preferences of people.
(Fig. 1 shows the Taste Models mapped onto an image scale.Note1)
To use Taste Models to clarify what a customer prefers, a survey is first conducted that includes words expressing different tastes, as well as visuals (colors and objects). This survey clarifies which Taste Model the customer's tastes and preferences are closest to. Once the customer's Taste Model is determined, the design elements that express the customer's tastes and preferences can be identified. For example, the design elements for the "Natural" model (Fig. 1) are shown in Fig. 2.
Materials that have already been created, such as flyers, can also be analyzed with Taste Models. First, a flyer is read in bitmap format and its color distribution analyzed using the hue and tone analysis method (Fig. 3). Then, the flyer's center of gravity coordinates are calculated by mapping its color distribution onto an image scale (Fig. 4), while adjusting the center of gravity based on the type of color distribution (for example, whether the colors used are all similar colors, or a combination of different hues such as red and blue). Lastly, descriptive words that correspond to the center of gravity coordinates are identified to determine the impression that customers will intuitively receive when they look at the flyer, and which taste model the flyer most likely belongs to (Fig. 5).
By conducting surveys, the image preferred by target customers can be determined (or estimated), and by using Taste Models, the impressions conveyed by the media created for those target customers can be analyzed. By mapping the results onto a single image scale and determining whether the impressions conveyed by the created media are consistent with what customers prefer, content can be created to match customers' tastes and preferences.