The IKEA effect was identified and named by Michael I. Norton of Harvard Business School, Daniel Mochon of Yale, and Dan Ariely of Duke, who published the results of three studies in 2011. In these studies researchers found that consumers valued their own work product far above what would be considered reasonable or rational.
As Kitchen Designers this effect is troubling for a number of reasons. IKEA cabinetry is poorly constructed and not a particularly good value, yet due to this documented effect home owners rate IKEA cabinetry above all other brands in nearly every Consumer Reports and JD power ranking. Even more concerning to kitchen designers, IKEA and others now supply complimentary and extremely rudimentary kitchen design software. Due to the same IKEA effect consumers who create their own designs using this free software can believe their designs are equal to or better than far superior designs created by knowledgeable and experienced kitchen design professionals.
Experienced kitchen designers know that it takes at least a decade of exclusively designing kitchens to become a competent designer. Why is it that people accept that they can’t fix their transmission – or even cut their own hair without professional training and, yet, believe that they would be competent designing their own kitchen?
As a kitchen designer who studied Engineering for 4 years at The University of Pennsylvania and ran a construction a company specializing in kitchen renovations, I know that my own kitchen designs from 20 years ago were simplistic and uninspired compared to the designs I do today. It took me many years working exclusively as a kitchen designer to become a good one. And part of becoming a very good kitchen designer is being able to help a customer spend the money they have budgeted for their renovation effectively.
Helping customers understand what options they have within their budget is not intuitive to anyone without extensive experience as a kitchen designer. The following videos elaborate on this in both an informative and humorous way.
Please enjoy them, beware of the IKEA effect, and of course . . . Bon Appetit!
Paul, Julie, John, Stacia, Tom and Ed
Main Line Kitchen Design