It’s always interesting being introduced to a work domain that you haven’t been in previously. Trying to understand how people think, work and interact in the product design community makes me see a lot of weird things going on. One of my first realisations was that a great deal of product designers are designing stuff that never reach the public. Maybe they see their design as an art form more than a practical tool in the development of a product…maybe they just like to show their design to other designers which in turn will acknowledge their designs.
It’s not entirely unlike the open source computer programming community: people share code pieces that are so far from being a proper program, that you really have to live within the community to appreciate it. It’s essentially raw pieces of code, just like raw pieces of design is just that: an unfinished part of a greater whole.
For me, the design is just one of many important steps in a product development process. I understand and acknowledge the importance of design … but at the same time you have to acknowledge the equal importance of e.g. production, sales and distribution as parts of a product development process.
And I shrivel each time I hear someone say “great design” when seeing some crappy 3D design sketch rendering and when that design sketch is being promoted as the next big thing. C’mon let’s focus instead on the successful designers – let’s find the designers that have successfully managed to make great product designs that resulted in great products that you can buy. After all…the product is the goal, not the design, right?