Where might the future of product design be? It’s an impossible question to answer with any degree of certainty, but there are some current trends that can be analyzed in order to reveal a few broad strokes.
- Environmental concerns will be of considerable importance in the coming decades. As more companies become conscious of their impact on the environment, the use of recyclable, reusable, or biodegradable products becomes much more important. With increased populations and the continued expansion of industry, product designers can no longer afford unnecessary waste; fortunately, design innovators are constantly finding new ways to meet these specific challenges.
- Interactivity is likely to increase. With the expansion of online services, smartphones, and streaming services, more and more people are using products to interact with other people and websites. Providing simple, useful user-interfaces for these products will be critical.
- New and innovative materials will provide greater flexibility for design engineers. Whether you’re talking about 3D printing, carbon fibers, or nano-crystals, there are an abundance of lighter and stronger materials that can improve the performance of electronics, casing, and countless other applications.
- Empathy must continue to be an ever-evolving part of the design process. As technology and interactivity march on, it could be very easy for the human element to be lost. Keeping the personal touch with the product allows for users to feel that the future is a warm and inviting one rather than a cold and unfeeling dystopia.
- Expanding our understanding of how human beings interact with new products. New research constantly helps designers explore new ways of creating products that will feel like extensions of the human experience rather than obstacles that are in the way. This kind of organic design may be one of the most important parts of the future of the process.