Four tips on how to design with Form, Function and Feelings

Kalle Nordbo, design director at Attention conducted on April 22nd a master class on ‘Form, Function and Feelings’ –at the 2015 Smart Product Conference hosted by Dansk Design Center and IdemoLab by DELTA.

Here he showed the master students, four things to consider when designing quality products.

1. Design is about relationships

Grundfoss pump
“Why would a Grundfoss wastewater pump, which is positioned in an underwater well need form and design? Because the water pump needs to be bought by a client at an industry fair, before it is placed in the well. If the buyers identify with the design of the pump, that’s the one they will buy.” – Kalle Nordbo

Human emotions are processed five times faster than conscious thought, and leave a more lasting effect than impressions created through our rational thought process. Even purely functional products need to have form and design, in order to create an emotional attachment to the user or buyer.

2. Start and end with the user

Consumer research is vital if you want to identify design opportunities, and create a unique product the user can identify with.

Henry Ford once stated; “If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses”. Consumer research is vital if you want to identify design opportunities, and create a unique product the user can identify with.

3. Share your ideas

Share your ideas and problems, with people who have a different mindset than you.

Maybe your initial design is not compatible with the mechanics, or the design is too complicated for production. When ideas and problems are shared, you optimize your design and shorten the development process, hereby saving valuable time and money.

4. Design for the user

You need to see the product you are designing, through the eyes of the user.

Focus groups are a good way to test if your product complies with user’s needs. The focus group will also identify if your product is intuitive, and if the product will be used as you intended. Through iterative testing and revised design, the outcome will be a quality product that complies with the user’s needs and the requirements of the client.

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