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2014/2015  KAN-CCMVV4018U  Neurodesign: The Brain Bases of Design, from Product Development to Communication

English Title
Neurodesign: The Brain Bases of Design, from Product Development to Communication

Course information

Language English
Course ECTS 7.5 ECTS
Type Elective
Level Full Degree Master
Duration One Quarter
Course period Autumn
Timetable Course schedule will be posted at calendar.cbs.dk
Max. participants 50
Study board
Study Board for MSc in Economics and Business Administration
Course coordinator
  • Dalia Bagdziunaite - Department of Marketing (Marketing)
  • Jesper Clement - Department of Marketing (Marketing)
  • Thomas Ramsøy - Department of Marketing (Marketing)
Main academic disciplines
  • Innovation and entrepreneurship
  • Communication
  • Marketing
Last updated on 11-04-2014
Learning objectives
At the end of the course the student should be able to:
  • Demonstrate a good understanding of the marketing and design related issues from the product design phase to the final communication efforts of packaging design, advertising and strategic retail atmospherics management.
  • Reflect upon the course literature in regards to the practical application of the theories and research methods to solve the marketing and design problems.
  • Understand the emotional and cognitive aspects of decision-making and apply this knowledge to develop more efficient and consumer oriented products, choose better communication solutions and be able to evaluate the effectiveness of the marketing and design strategies through the physiological and neuropsychological feedback received from the consumers.
  • Identify and articulate the design and marketing research objectives with reference to the pros and cons of the application of the neuroscientific tools to solve a variety of relevant business issues.
Course prerequisites
Students should have some background in one or more of the following areas: marketing, communication, advertising, consumer behaviour, marketing research, design research or product design and development.
Oral exam based on written product:
Exam ECTS 7,5
Examination form Oral exam based on written product

In order to participate in the oral exam, the written product must be handed in before the oral exam; by the set deadline. The grade is based on an overall assessment of the written product and the individual oral performance.
Individual or group exam Group exam, max. 3 students in the group
Size of written product Max. 15 pages
Assignment type Case based assignment
Written product to be submitted on specified date and time.
20 min. per student, including examiners' discussion of grade, and informing plus explaining the grade
Preparation time No preparation
Grading scale 7-step scale
Examiner(s) Internal examiner and second internal examiner
Exam period Autumn Term
Make-up exam/re-exam
Same examination form as the ordinary exam
Description of the exam procedure
The exam for this course is a combination of both the group project with an individual oral defence of 20 minutes for each student including discussion with the examiners. The project will be based on the practical case study related to the covered course material, which the students will have to solve in groups (max 3 students) and hand-in the project in a written report form of max.15 pages. A structure for the project discussion and detailed guidelines will be available at the start of the course. During the oral examination each student will have to introduce a different aspect of the case and discuss it in the interactive freestyle form of discussion with the examiners. The student will have to demonstrate both a great understanding of topics, theories and methods that have been dealt with during the course, and an ability to reflect upon this knowledge in the practical case analysis.
Course content and structure
Product, communication, retail space and interaction design play an important role in contemporary marketing and brand equity building activities asking for a special focus of marketing and design professionals. Most often for design purposes different sociological, anthropological and ethnographical methodologies are employed in order to understand the user and consumer interaction with the design objects, to define the most efficient elements of style, colour, shape, material, and to measure the concept and final product effectiveness. Furthermore during the initial phase of the design process, idea and concept development are usually based on the subjective artistic efforts of the creative designers, whereas functional issues of design are delegated to the technicalities highlighting engineering professionals.
This course will provide an introduction to the contemporary approaches of consumer neuroscience applied on design processes focusing on the neuropsychological and neurophysiological aspects drawing the attention towards human cognition, emotions and behaviour. Different theories and methodologies of design principles and design testing will be introduced. The neuroscientific approaches applied in product, packaging, product displays, graphics, in-store layout and retail atmospherics design can help to improve the product and idea design process highlighting the emotional compel to the brain and in this vain to achieve the desired brand purposes. The course literature will cover topics of attention, emotion, motivation, cognitive load, engagement, habit formation and loyalty, senses, consumer experience, and decision-making reflecting upon the following questions 1) how to optimize the design to attract more attention, 2) how to ensure the initial engagement with products,3) how to create a design that becomes a natural part of one's daily life, and that might increase loyalty, 4) how to use an optimal blend of senses to optimise the product experience and 5) what ultimately drives the consumer to have a good product experience. Furthermore neurophysiological and neuropsychological theories will be analysed in reflection to the different design cases. Unconscious priming as well as multisensory stimulation including visual, haptic, olfactory sense stimulation will be introduced and retail atmospherics and in-store consumer behaviour will be discussed. Furthermore, neuroscientific and behavioural reaction measurement tools such as eye-tracker, electroencephalography (EEG), fMRI, Galvanic Skin Response and other will be presented and explained in regards to the pros and cons of the application of these tools to solve design and marketing issues.
Teaching methods
The teaching will consist of lectures, interactive seminars, case analysis and group work. During lectures, students will be introduced to the theoretical framework merging three different approaches from Design, Marketing and Consumer Neuroscience. The theories will be applied in the real-life business cases; active discussions between students will be encouraged. One of the workshops will be based on introducing and allowing the students to try the neuromarketing tools themselves in the Sense-Lab at Center for Decision Neuroscience, Department of Marketing. Chapters and articles will be assigned for each topic and expected to be read beforehand in order to facilitate effective knowledge exchange.
Further Information
Changes in course schedule may occur
Thursday 08.00-11.30, week 36-42
Thursday 08.00-12.25, week 43
Expected literature
Full list of expected literature will be announced later.
Mandatory literature:
Neuromarketing for Dummies, 2013 by Stephen J. Genco, Andrew P. Pohlmann & Peter Steidl. Chapters will be assigned for the lectures.
Neurodesign compendium, selected articles that are topically organized. 
Supplementary literature:
Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products, 2013 by Nir Eyal & Ryan Hoover.
Emotional Design: Why We Love (or Hate) Everyday Things, 2007 by Don Norman.
Last updated on 11-04-2014