The man who is responsible for the interaction between people and technology is design. All artificial things are designed. Whether it is a path through a garden or forest, or the interface of an electronic device, someone has to decide about the design, layout, operation and mechanisms. We will talk about design of machines and daily usable devices.
It is a lot harder to spot good design than poor design, because good designs fit our needs so well that we don’t notice them.On the other hand, bad designs often draw an attention to itself and uncertainty to user. Due bad design, user can easily miss understand how to use device properly. It is important to remember, that device should be designed in the way that is easy to understand, safe to work and handle.
That is why designs of machines are pretty limited. Machines usually follow simple and clear rules, because if we get the rules wrong the machine still does what it is told to do. This can lead to accidents, injures and even deaths. Just remember nuclear catastrophe in Chernobyl, where test supervisor failed to follow the procedure.
But there are also a lot of good practices. If you look at the oldtimer car’s dashboard you can see that basic symbols haven’t changed a lot. It’s very hard to accidently put engine oil into the fuel hole due good design. Keep in mind that is not user’s duty to understand mechanical properties of device and to figure it out how to use the machine – device. The problem with the designs is that they are too logical to most engineers and illogical to users.
VW golf rabbit 1974
VW golf 7 2019
Three important things that give user overall positive experiences are:
User has to know how to use it – we are complex beings, so usage needs to be understandable to everyone
It has to work properly – User will remember the experience
It has to look nice – we buy with our eyes
We can see, that two of three important things are connected with the design.
When we are designing a device for general use we must consider expenses which are related to production. Designing an end product should not raise a price crucially if it is not necesary. We had a customer which orderd a CNC manufactured holder for a drinking machine. The approximately costs for production were over 300€. The same part was produced by welding a few steel plates together and it cost less that 40€. That’s almost 600% difference, without changes of look and its purpose.
Three most often mistakes when designing a product are:
Not suitable manufacturing technology
Designing too complex products, with a lot of complex parts from different materials
Usage of too expensive parts, which don’t make product more valuble or desirable
We can avoid to most mistakes by consulting with experts from the field you are into.
We wish you a lot of success at designing a device