Design Theory 4: What should the right form of the product be?

Many times when I consider the concepts being presented to me as a Design Manager, I find my self thinking: “I’m not visually or mentally excited”.
This is because many designers often get ideas from either being inspired by another object, design, form, emotion, picture etc, that they saw on the web or worst still a design magazine.
What they do next is to transfuse that “seed” of inspiration into the design that they are working on at that time.
Not that there is anything wrong with this method to getting inspired to design, but the main issue is to ask if this inspiration applied to your design contextually correct in the first place?
Many times it is not, and this is one of the main reasons why many designs of products, graphics and websites today all look the same.
To me I find the best designs have a form that creates its own aesthetic look and feel, and exists as its own being.
One good way to judge how is the famous squint test. Squint your eye and study the silhouette with a critical eye. Furthermore ask your self “what does the silhouette remind you of?”
Many times by just squinting you would find the product’s form is just boring or worst it’s actually just a re-worked design that has been done before.
So how do you create this first impression that draws you in?
You ask yourself: “What should the ‘right’ form of this product be?
Simply, this causes your mind to blink and pulls from your mind the solution that is hidden within. It pulls from your mind all the factors that will make your design a successful one.
It considers the big idea or big picture and the objective the design need to achieve. Furthermore it links and synthesizes everything it required with the external environment. (target market, functioning environment, mechanical requirements.)
At the end of the day you want your design to have a deeper meaning and objective, not just mindless styling. We have too much of that already all around us.
It’s not easy though, some designers find it harder than others to bubble it to the surface. The good news is that there are many answers or design solutions that can arise, and I hope this technique opens the tap for you as it has done for me.

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2 Comments
  • Alex

    April 25, 2007 at 11:29 pm Reply

    Thank You

  • Riza

    August 15, 2014 at 10:35 am Reply

    hi. Interesting write-up on Design Theories, but do you have the link for Design Theory 1-3? I’d like to share this with my students.
    Thanks.

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