Design – in all forms – is a funny beast. Often the higher the consideration and thought in the early design stages of any product – kettle to website to car, the less ‘visible’ the design and engineering becomes to the end user in the final piece. You purchase or interact with something and want it to function wonderfully, look and feel great. If it does, you might not even notice – it is only when things are not considered that we sit up and have a grumble.
The lemon squeezer that does not squeeze lemons properly, the website that is bad to navigate, the engine that is not as fuel efficient as perhaps promised, the buggy app that crashes at every opportunity. Bad design and unconsidered design is not only frustrating, it is a wasted opportunity to do things well.
There is so much that combines to create any piece of design and engineering – often across multi disciplines – that the co-ordination that goes into creating a ‘perfect’ project is staggering.
So when the blood, sweat and tears that are poured into every highly considered project appear to go unnoticed, instead of being disappointed, it is exactly what designers and engineers actually strive for. The ability to create a project which is so intuitive, or just works so well that the user breathes a sigh of relief rather than a cry of frustration every time it is used.
Innovative design, or ‘design thinking’ is not a new concept at all within the industry (it’s what we do). However, the foundations of a great project and exactly what that means for business has been gaining wider recognition over recent years through programmes like ‘The Apprentice’ and ‘Dragon’s Den’ and was the subject of a recent BBC Radio 4 ‘In Business’ episode, which looked at real industry examples of exactly how considered design created successful projects.
So even though the fields of engineering and design – in all their forms – can create the most wonderful projects, instead of standing out as part of the process, sometimes it is better if you are hardly noticed at all…