Product design shapes our world, and recent developments in the product design process means that our end products are becoming more advanced too. Technology is at the forefront of any product design problem solving, whether it’s using the latest manufacturing tech like 3D printing to create product prototypes or adding the latest high tech features to simple everyday items. Today some of the most successful products are electronic. Yet, there’s more to a best-selling modern product than HD displays and GPS capability – successful product designs of the moment consider the importance of social factors too. Two key features are the sustainability of a product and the emotional impact of a product. With online shopping making retail competition tougher, new products need to really stand out and connect with consumers in new ways.
The Brilliance of Apple
Apple is one brilliant example of current innovative product design success, and are likely to lead the way well into the future. The excitement around Apple products lies, not just in the use of the latest technology but, in the way it uses its technology and design to really enhance the customer’s lives in even the simplest ways. Apple products not only look great and provide basic functionality (after all the iPhone was originally designed to make calls), but they give the user extra features that will really improve day-to-day tasks and make life easier and faster.
The Role of Product Designers
Product designers can no longer think about functionality alone; their role has become far more complex. Now designers must think about how their product will make consumers feel. How does a product reflect the brand and what connections will they make with the end design? If you want to guarantee a sale, a product can’t just be the best in terms of performance, especially if it has a high price point. It needs to offer more emotional benefits too. Of course, these associations are largely made through marketing once the final product has been completed – but often the intended reaction and marketing ploy has been decided before the first product sketches have been created. Product design briefs have become far more multi-layered over the last few decades too, so with more to think about it’s fortunate that the latest design software and manufacturing process make the designing swifter.
Connectivity in Product Design
Connectivity is another important consideration in current and future product design. Consumers are constantly connected via the web; the way we use products is and talk about products is changing. We live in a world in which we like to share, so the products we use need to enable us to do this. We don’t just want to send pictures via our phones – we also want to send directly from our cameras. We don’t just want to be able to message people from our computers – we want to be able to send them from our MP3 players and even our televisions. Products of the future are going to become more and more multipurpose.