When design intention meets design experience

It’s now been days, weeks or even months of designing the dashboard of the new Model Z of a car everyone is waiting for to be unveiled at the Auto show. Brand new interiors, Premium leather seats and what not. All the designers are feeling great! The board members, the decision makers and anybody who’s somebody in the auto industry are all waiting for the smiles and flashlights of cameras in the show. The car is unveiled with fanfare and as expected, the crowd applauds.

A few months pass by and this beauty is spotted on the streets of Bangalore in the hands of the fortunate and the accomplished. On paper, everything is great! Still, there seems to be a subtle sadness on the face of the driver of this car. He just can’t find a place suitable to affix a small golden idol of Lord Ganesha. Nor can he find any place to keep flowers around it. A 2 litre repurposed soft drink bottle is now the driver’s hydration canister, full of water and it rolls from side to side near the feet of the driver as the car moves. The bottle holder on the door is just not big enough for the climate. It’s now running on a few last drops of fuel because the driver could not see the dashboard clearly because of all the flowers.

Now imagine the design team was sitting in this car. This is what happens very often when the intended design is not in harmony with the culture it is presented to. I say ‘presented to’ and not ‘target’ because that is what mostly happens. Had this beautiful car been designed in and out keeping in mind the culture, things would have been much better.

There are two kinds of design ventures. One, in which a dream is created and the experience of this dream by its users is imagined. This product is then released for the world to like or dislike. The other kind of design venture is when a specific target user is considered, studied and new experiences around the lives of these users are built. It is important to know if one wants to design a new kind of ‘chair’ or a new way of sitting. Both are right and necessary but they can not be unplanned and accidental.

Of the few projects we have had the fortune of working on, we have faced a lot of such larger questions. Are we creating something cool for people to experience or are we solving a problem through innovation or are we looking for a problem to solve? These are questions designers need to ask their clients and when all the minds combine, great experiences can be created. Design is team work. The intention of design should always be aimed at the experience imagined.

Let’s imagine some experiences for the future together. Please do visit us at www.meshined.com

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