The Future of Technology Design
After speaking with some of our hardware designers last week about the challenges of designing for hardware, it got me wondering about where we’re heading in the future. At Red Clay we spend a lot of time thinking form our customers’ point of view: what’s next for the retail industry as a whole? But this is the first time we’ve sat down with some members of our Design Community to find out where they think the principles of hardware design are heading. Their answers were fascinating:
Ivan, Benedikt and Jake: where do you see the future of technology design going?
“Every design solves a genuine problem, and as our technology is getting more and more advanced, solutions to our problems start to come in the form of technology instead of in the traditional physical way.
Designers will start to inject technology into their industrial designs to solve problems in a more effective way and to attract more customers. In this way, industrial design will become closer and closer to hardware design and, in a sense, ‘technified.’
On the other hand, there will be less constraint for hardware design in the future as the flexibility of hardware design is enhanced along with improved technology. This will allow the hardware design to branch out and, soon, become more ‘industrialized.'”
“It will become more important for designers to focus on the usability of smart devices. Any innovative technology is useless if the user isn’t able to understand it quickly. The future will be that the technology designers blend a lot together. There are product designers, user experience designers, interaction designers…and technology design needs to combine them all together. Technology creates a virtual system, a function, a non-physical gadget and this needs to be transported by a physical design to the user. The technology designer needs to combine a lot of fields to design the final physical product around the virtual product with the objective of displaying the main functions to the the user.”
“I think it’s important to keep designers in the conversation around technology design because technology people and designers often sit on opposite ends of the scale. Technology/software advocates tend to want to add more and more features in order to add value to a product, while the designer tries to strip away anything that is distracting from the core purpose of the product.
If you take Apple, for example, the original iPhone had a limited feature set but remained a great product because the designers had a very well defined user in mind. Now, if you look at the Apple Watch, you can tell that their user was much less defined and they added many more features than any one person can use. I think that’s the danger of letting the technology define the product. Without a well defined use case, a piece of technology can end up being confusing and overall less compelling as a product.”
Featured photo from the portfolio of Red Clay designer Jake