Özkal Hüseyin ÖZSOY, Çiğdem YILMAZ ÖZSOY


Analytical Hierarchy Process(AHP) is a well proven evaluation-decision making tool which has been used extensively in almost every field of research that involves decision making. This study investigates AHP's applicability to industrial design at the conceptual design phase. The industrial design process is made up of several important phases, one of which is the conceptual design. This is the step in which several concept ideas for a certain product are created as alternatives among which the most suitable one is selected for further development. It is very important to perform this selection correctly as it has a direct effect on the success of the later design phases, final design and eventually the marketed product. A wrong selection may create design issues, causing redesign work, remanufacture or even recalling of the final product back from market, meaning a total failure. Evaluation and selection of the available conceptual designs are usually done without strictly defined selection criteria and in a subjective environment which is open to negative interference from the outside. There are also several inside factors like decision maker's prejudices and biases that might effect the selection negatively. For the design concept to be determined in the best possible way, a tool which is immune to all kinds of external and internal influences is necessary. This tool should be methodic, easy to use and as suitable as possible for use in a computer environment. A short scan among tools of this nature shows that AHP is one of them that can fulfill the needs of the industrial design process. In this article, the history of AHP is introduced briefly first, then the inner workings of it is explained in detail and an application is presented to demonstrate its use at the conceptual design phase of a sample product design process.

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