Designers must Develop Critical Insight
Image source: Insight
One of the key factors I noticed in any successful product and/or design, was that the product’s designer had some kind of critical insight.
It is this “ah-hah!”, this “Wow!”, this “Eureka” moment that can turn any design into a great one. It gives meaning to a product’s form, its function or even its existence. Therefore it is vital that designers develop and enhance their thinking skills to a level that allows them this critical insight.
So if you notice that you are just coasting your design/concept/model along the pathways of a design process it is likely that the design is going nowhere and will end up as an “oh-hum” product very similar to what the majority of the world churns out.
Easier said than done, I know.
So how do we find this critical insight? My suggestions, in no particular order of importance:
1) Anchor your design with a strong user centered research methodology. Have a good understanding of the user’s needs and wants, and a be very very observant.
2) Focus on the type of experience your product is trying to create.
3) Be aware of the natural and synthetic environments your product has to “live” in.
4) Know well and understand the requirements of the product and what it is trying to achieve.
5) Be inspired, not bogged down, by the entire design process.
6) Have a wide range of related and un-related multidisciplinary interests in areas surrounding the design problem.
I just want to end this post with a quick note. A critical insight also has to be meaningful to the context of the product. Otherwise it will just be a gimmick.