Have you ever heard the phrase, “It’s ugly, but it works”? Perhaps you’ve said it yourself a few times.
What if we told you that you can design a product that performs the functions you require of it while looking great at the same time?
When developing an aesthetically-appealing product, it is best to bring multiple disciplines of engineers together early in the development so you can design housing, electronics, size, and other aspects of your product to make it as appealing as possible for consumers while maintaining functionality.
From the beginning to the end of a project, designing a product that is functional and aesthetically pleasing is a team effort.
From 2-D To 3-D Design
To begin the process, we perform what is known as Voice of Customer (VOC) studies. These evaluations allow us to see what a customer’s expectations are for the product.
When complete, the study is taken to the engineers for conceptual design and 2-D sketches, and the engineers will then take high-level shots for electronics and sizes. If the customer is excited by the 2-D renderings, we will then put that model into CAD software to see it in 3-D before 3-D printing an initial version. Yes, 3-D printing can even include the electronics board!
At DE Design, we also help customers identify the best choice for every component of their product, such as which display is appropriate for their application from an electronics standpoint. For example, the costs of more elegant displays like a touchscreens have dropped, making them more appealing and obtainable.
For those who don’t think they need a touchscreen, consider this: Even in industrial applications, there is a lot more that can be done today with touchscreens to improve user interface and experience than ever before.
Where generic LED displays were once common, product designers are now considering touchscreen interfaces due to ease of use and value proposition.
Moving To Efficient Engineering Design
Engineering designs that have been conceptualized on the computer start taking a real form at this point. If needed, a new 3-D design and print can be created that meets a client’s needs and expectations.
Now all that has to be done is to mount the electronics and implement the engineering design to create a functional proof of concept prototype.
Collaboration Is Key To Success
Designing a prototype that works properly and looks good at the same time takes close collaboration and compromise from an experienced team of engineers. Continuous communication between all team members is essential when making a functional and aesthetically-pleasing product.
For example, imagine a product that needs an enclosure allowing for heat dissipation. The initial design of the enclosure tries to minimize size while adding stylization, which in turn produces less room for airflow. This leads to the circuit board overheating.
Collaborating amongst the engineers can lead to a design that allows for an integrated grill and heat sink that blends into the aesthetics of the unit increasing air flow over hot components while maintaining the style.
In this scenario, the industrial designer doesn’t lose the overall look they were going for after integrating an engineering design that allows functional cooling.
Aesthetics Are Important To Everyone
It is hard to find an industry that doesn’t care about aesthetics. In the medical field, products have to have an aesthetic appeal so it isn’t intimidating to patients. Medical devices should also be ergonomic so that they have easy functionality and comfort for the doctor using it.
When it comes to home electronics, aesthetics are almost equally as important as product performance – you see tech companies boasting about their gadget’s image and design nearly as much as you hear about the technical specs.
No matter your industry, a product that is aesthetically appealing while doing its job correctly is crucial when it comes to effective marketing and operational use.