While it sometimes seems that breakthrough design comes out of the blue, a closer look reveals that individual insight or invention alone is not enough. Successful industrial and product design involves integrating insight with available technology, implementing the details well, and most importantly providing user-centered functionality. Getting all of these ducks in a row is the job of Strategic Design, and the follow through is the job of whole systems Design Methodology.
Integrated families of products can be generated from systems of related design requirements, while offering high levels of customization and adaptability. With tools like Pattern Languages, essentially production rules or expert systems for design, companies can specify such product families.
The designer's task is to integrate the miriad of design factors into a form that works. But the most important design factors are human factors. For example, a well-designed automobile doesn't just have showroom appeal; it covers every conceivable ergonomic consideration. It has no blind spots, the controls are fingertip close, the displays and instrumentation can be read and understood in a glance, and in a crash it does everything possible to keep you out of harm's way. Human factors are also what ecologically responsible green design and socially responsible universal design are all about.
With roots in industrial design, we employ this same design philosophy in our Software Design and Web Design work. Leading companies like Google and Apple know that the users should come first, but that entails much more than "look and feel". The system is the interface.
Paying attention to human factors isn't just a matter of design responsibility, it's the genesis of qualitiy and what makes products successful. That's why we say, "Human factors rule."
To get expert help for your product design needs call Design MatriX at (310) 455 3107 or Joint projects with other industrial and product designers are welcome.