Physical Design Is The Next Big Thing In The Digital Era

Charan Singh

It’s a crazy time to be an designer. Possibilities are enormous. Everything is getting better and better in terms of experiences. A community of awesome people is driving the whole world into a whole new direction of meaningful designs. Few examples are like Tesla, Amazon, Google, Next, Uber and the list goes on…

In current e-commerce or tech industry, Mostly the design is something which comes out with same perspective but different goals from every other designer out there. Majority of work around the design talks and design thinking is going around the design for screens.

On the other side, A shift is happening around the design thinking. The companies and the people are realizing the power of physical design and its impact. The impact that they are noticing lies beyond the screens. The fact is getting stronger day by day that people do not just care about beautiful screens anymore. What really matters to them is physical satisfaction which does not just come through screens.

Curious or Completely lost about what I am trying to say here????

We all are humans at the end of the day. All our hard work is towards getting a better living out of that. No one wants to wait for hours to get a cup of coffee in a shop while they can get it in a minute at their home or office. In short, If there is more pain than gain then your business is dead. Audience wants more rewards than the hard work that they put in your product or service. Else, Its just a painful experience which no one wants to indulge themselves in.

“In short, If there is more pain than gain then your business is dead.”

The emotional satisfaction of a user comes majorly from their physical actions. Both are inter-related. As a person, The emotional satisfaction factor relies majorly on physical satisfaction.

Let’s dig a bit deeper here in terms of emotional design and what I want to say here. For every task either you are using an mobile app to play games or just watching TV. In both cases you are doing physical effort. To play games you have to consistently hold your phone and may need to use your fingers to do actions. You want a playful and painless experience for your fingers on the mobile screen. Similarly, During watching TV, your eyes need to feel comfortable from the lighting from the screen, your ears need a soft comforting sound to hear.

Physical Impact is instant and much effective on a scale.

So, Everywhere physical engagement is there. When these small details are considered and taken care of, Then the emotional senses gets satisfied much better. Let’s take an completely different scenario of anyone or yourself playing football ( in real ). When you win the match, the level of joy is unremarkable. This feeling is way bigger than winning a match on X-Box or PS4. What I mean to say here is that bigger the physical investment a user makes, Higher the emotional satisfaction comes into existence.

Amazon has surely made it pretty clear with “Amazon Go” stores. They have realized the potential in physical design to satisfy human needs at a greater level.

Amazon GO, surely is a major leap in physical design space.

“Bigger the physical investment a user makes, Higher the emotional satisfaction comes into existence.”

Another major examples in physical design space for which Google is spending billions of dollars is their in-house “ Self-Driving Car ”.

Google’s Self-Driving Car Prototype

“These all major shifts are leading to a clear definition and proof of design’s real existence beyond the mobile and desktop screens.”

Physical design experience has been there since very long. But it’s bond with digital era is leading to endless possibilities. I have been doing research and study on my own from over the past one year on this subject. So far, I am getting tremendous results and discoveries on my way.

I started working in UX domain to just do research, planning and wireframes earlier. With time, I have realized and been trying since then that a design needs to understand human’s at first on the root level. Deeper you dig, better the design will be. Companies like Google, Facebook, Amazon etc spending like hell to get these insights before their competition.

It’s all about understanding the humans and their physical pains on a deeper level. Whoever will do it with wider perspective and deeper thinking, They are gonna have the edge over the others for sure. For now, This is it. Hope I made my point very clear about my perspective about the design approach.

For more perky stuff, Please read my other articles!

Charan Singh

Written by

A 24-7 thinker, After the unknown! An Serial Entrepreneur, Distance Runner, Meanwhile I build inspiring cultures & products @ startups!

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