A Good Idea = A Good Product
Not necessarily. To generalize it in saying all good ideas make good products is false. While it is important to start out with an idea, either good or bad, it is not until you get through the development of it that you soon realize whether it makes a good or bad product.
Product Features vs. Function
Another common mistake when it comes to design is to label and call attention to the product features but not giving thought to how it would function and be used by the mass audience. For instance, take the laptop. It is a folding computer. Folding is a feature of the product, but does it have to fold? The better description would be a “portable computer.” It could mean tablet, smartphone, or laptop. It opens up the possibilities in how we use the product and in the end helps define how it is used.
Falling In Love with a Solution
Another common mistake that most of us have fallen victim to is latching on to one idea or to a name of a product. This can severely limit the creativity and mindset towards the product, especially if it is your own idea or name. By doing so, you are not able to let go and look outside the box. You have to look at a project from an objective perspective. In order to develop and progress through the process you have to try and fail, a lot. It won’t just happen. So by removing your favoritism and love for a product or name you are able to look at from outside yourself in a more controlled manner and thus producing a more quality solution.
Function Over Form
Yes, you read that right. In this day and age of design it is easier to develop a solid, working product that meets all of the end user’s needs. However, there is a vital piece that can oftentimes be overlooked. This being the form, or more specifically, how the user interacts with the product. If the product functions flawlessly but is uncomfortable to hold or operate it isn’t going to sell well. The whole package is required for a good design. Rather than looking at the innards and how it operates, it is better to take a step back and see how the end user will use this device and handle it in all of its uses. This way you can form the function to better accommodate the user.
Industrial Design = A Beautiful Looking Product
Industrial Design is often equated with the looks and aesthetics of a product, which is true, but not the whole picture. It isn’t only the aesthetics that make a product beautiful, it is the entire process from start to finish. This is where the job of the Industrial Designer comes in. Not just to make a product beautiful, but to look at it from every angle from research, to user experience, to manufacturing, color and materials, to even how it is displayed. Take for instance the MacBook. It isn’t beautiful because it is made of an aluminum unibody frame. Or that it has the Retina display. It’s beautiful because it was designed with every possible potential use in mind. It’s the details in how it can be opened with a single hand, or that the screen resolution conveys the clearest and most accurate color display for working professionals. It is not the exterior or the aesthetics that you see that make a product beautiful, it is everything you don’t see behind the scenes, that Industrial Designers try to focus on, that make it truly beautiful.