Reflecting on what product design means to me
Product design is all around us. In my opinion, all man-made design is a part of product design. There are certain factors that make the difference between good and great design. Dieter Rams’ ten principles of good design resonates that difference in addition to immense attention to detail. To explain what I perceive as good product design, I took evaluated two products in my day to day life that I absolutely cannot do without in order to be productive.
Good product design is functional and intuitive
For 4 years, I have used an iMac for my design work. It was effective, and really great when I worked from home, but not feasible when I wanted to work outside. When I bought the iMac, I felt like it solved the problem of having a large screen to what I thought was the problem then, to work effectively with illustrator and photoshop. Just a few months later, I realized that I created another problem in the process of solving one. This led to my 13" MacBook pro. I did not have my large screen, but it turned out, I needed portability instead to get through my day as productively as possible. This solved my problem of functionality as far as accessibility went.
In my opinion, apple makes the most intuitive and user friendly computers, at least so far. I have yet to come across another company that just lets me open a brand new product and just know what to do.
Good product design solves problems and is inventive
My android smart phone is something I cannot function effectively without. I use it for everything from waking up in the morning, to setting reminders, keeping track of my habits, entertaining, educating and finding my way around. I find that one part of the success attributed to smart phones is that they are constantly evolving while keeping the core functionality the same. This keeps users interested, engaged and informed, but doesn’t frustrate by making them learn the core features over and over again.
These are just some of the things that come to mind when I think of good design. Ultimately what good product design does teaches us something new without getting in the way of the user’s experience.