This study proposes a novel quality function deployment (QFD) design methodology based on customers’ emotions conveyed by facial expressions. The current advances in pattern recognition related to face recognition techniques have fostered the cross-fertilization and pollination between this context and other fields, such as product design and human-computer interaction. In particular, the current technologies for monitoring human emotions have supported the birth of advanced emotional design techniques, whose main focus is to convey users’ emotional feedback into the design of novel products. As quality functional deployment aims at transforming the voice of customers into engineering features of a product, it appears to be an appropriate and promising nest in which to embed users’ emotional feedback with new emotional design methodologies, such as facial expression recognition. This way, the present methodology consists in interviewing the user and acquiring his/her face with a depth camera (allowing three-dimensional (3D) data), clustering the face information into different emotions with a support vector machine classificator, and assigning customers’ needs weights relying on the detected facial expressions. The proposed method has been applied to a case study in the context of agriculture and validated by a consortium. The approach appears sound and capable of collecting the unconscious feedback of the interviewee.
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