Keeping it Real – Practical Applications for Your Product

In a laboratory setting, designers can easily get carried away in creating a product that looks great on paper or even in the prototype phase, but then in the real world, those features just don’t perform as well as expected.  In product design, the practical applications of the product are of primary importance.  No matter…

In a laboratory setting, designers can easily get carried away in creating a product that looks great on paper or even in the prototype phase, but then in the real world, those features just don’t perform as well as expected.  In product design, the practical applications of the product are of primary importance.  No matter how amazing the design seems to be in theory, if it falls apart when it’s actually being used, it’s useless.

Durability Considerations

One of the most frequent complaints of poorly designed products is a lack of durability.  This is a subjective area of concern because the durability requirements of the product depend on how it’s going to be used.  A product designed for children needs to be able to take a lot of punishment in terms of wear and tear, and it should probably not have a lot of tiny parts.  Products designed for the military need to be able to withstand extreme elements and frequent transportation.  On the other hand, if a product is designed to be attached to something else, then perhaps lighter weight and stronger sensitivity is more important.  Consider how the product will be used in the real world before implementing a final design.

User Interface

Strongly consider how the users will interact with the product.  What type of people will be using it most often?  What will be the tasks that they perform with it most frequently?  That will affect the way that your product is developed.

What the Users Really Want

Above all, listen to feedback.  Unless you’re developing the most radically different product imaginable, there will likely be near limitless feedback on other products that are similar to yours.  Listen to the consumers.  What do they want?  What do they like?  What do they dislike?  The answers to those questions will help direct the course of your design.

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