Four Myths About Product Design

Coming up with a product design?  How hard could that be?  Some people really believe that, and that kind of shortsighted thinking can lead to huge mistakes and missteps throughout the production process.  There are several myths about product design that should be debunked before you proceed with the creation of your product. Myth 1:…

Coming up with a product design?  How hard could that be?  Some people really believe that, and that kind of shortsighted thinking can lead to huge mistakes and missteps throughout the production process.  There are several myths about product design that should be debunked before you proceed with the creation of your product.

Myth 1: Design is just about making something look good

Design doesn’t just refer to some aesthetic quality that appeals to the eye on the store shelves.  While that’s certainly part of it, there’s way more to it than that.  Design greatly impacts the way the public will use your product.  A poor design can lead to improper use, damage, or even injury.  Effective design takes into consideration the full functionality of the item while optimizing the experience for the user.  Sure, the overall look of the thing matters as well, but that’s only a small part of a much larger puzzle.

Myth 2: You are just like your customers

A major problem for novice manufacturers is assuming that the customers know everything about the product that you do.  After spending months or even years of the design process with the product, you may lose objectivity when examining the product’s design.  What seems obvious to you may be completely alien to your customers.

Myth 3: More choices mean higher satisfaction

Sometimes a product can become too complicated for its own good.  Adding more options to a product design may seem like a good thing, but sometimes more options mean that more things can go wrong.  Options can be a good thing if they can be integrated well into the design, but otherwise they may only make your design unwieldy and confusing.

Myth 4: Simple = Minimal

On the flip side, a simple design doesn’t always mean a minimalist design.  Albert Einstein once said, “Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler.”  Overly simplistic designs may not provide enough information or fit in with user expectations.

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