Design for People

electronics_300x200People respond to products that are attractive and are perceived as adding value. Shape, form, color, texture, material, when combined in the right way will attract a buyers attention. Studies have shown that when cost between products is equal, customers will buy the better looking product.

It’s a fact that many manufacturers overlook. Spending time early in the development process gathering information on what the consumer values, then creating quick appearance sketches, computer sketch models and 3D appearance models, will help drive your products design in the right direction.

Since we’re all people, many may think it straight forward to design with us in mind. The fact that there are more than 317 million of us in the United States alone, male and female, young and old, small, medium, and large sizes, it is considerably more difficult than at first glance. Enter Henry Dreyfuss , the celebrated Industrial Designer from the 30’s and 40’s who applied a common sense approach to design and made significant contributions to ergonomics and human factors.

Measurement of Man by Henry DreyfussErgonomics (or human factors) is the scientific discipline concerned with the understanding of interactions among humans and other elements of a system, and the profession that applies theory, principles, data and methods to design in order to optimize human well-being and overall system performance.

International Ergonomics Association

An intuitive knowledge of how the product functions and a proper feel during operation, have never been more important to people. Consumers are becoming very sophisticated users. This is most apparent in consumer electronics and the design of electronic control devices. As component prices continue to fall, they have proliferated onto everything and have flooded the market place. Today electronic and mechanical devices have to function seamlessly between the user’s mind and product operation.

Consumer products are not alone when it comes to improvements that can be gained by the study and understand of design for people. Industrial equipment can be improved, where human control, monitoring or component assembly is required.

The understanding and proper application of data from the measurement of humans is a critical part of designing for people.

Design Network associates are trained in proper use of ergonomic data.  When it is coupled with the gathering of user metrics and the testing of assumptions with (sometimes very quick) prototypes, this knowledge can provide valuable insight into the final form and function of your product.