This week’s selection is “101 Things I Learned in Product Design School” by Sung Jang, Martin Thaler and Matthew Frederick.
Product design is an art, a science and many other things. Beginning designers may think that the objective of design is simply to produce an item that executes the required function. But that’s only the core of the issue.
Products have many other aspects beyond mere function, including appearance, maintenance, cost and other factors. While core function might be evaluated in terms of discrete measurements and mechanics, other disciplines including regulatory regimes or even psychology are just as important.
How many other aspects should be considered?
Well, according to this book, there’s at least 101.
This book contains a series of straightforward, yet compelling statements regarding product design. For example, consider this one:
“Products Perform When Not In Use.”
How does that work, exactly? The book provides an example diagram to explain their concept:
Once you see the diagram, not only do you understand the concept, but a world of possibilities immediately opens up in this dimension of design.
Your designs will be better with each of these 101 statements in a similar manner. Here are some other example statements:
- Identify the experience, not just the product
- A $25 teakettle needs to boil water, whistle, be dependable and look appealing. A $900 teakettle mostly needs to be beautiful
- Paint is a last resort
- Persuade through story, not just argument
I think you get the idea for each, and this book is full of such provocative design principles.
Many Fabbaloo readers are designing products to be 3D printed, and while many have had little formal design training, this highly-rated book may provide a means to increase the viability and salability of 3D printed designs.
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