More than Form and Function in Product Design

When the makers of Coca Cola wanted a new bottle..

More than Form and Function in Product Design

When the makers of Coca Cola wanted a new bottle design that was instantly recognizable, even in the dark, they asked their bottle makers to come up with something distinctive. Looking to reference the ingredients in the drink, Earl R Dean, the bottle designer, looked to the cocoa pod for inspiration. The result is one of the best examples of form and function coming together in an iconic, winning design.

Useful Function

The Industrial Designers Society of America says design is a professional practice for creating the useful function of products, objects, devices and services. Industrial designers focus on the intersection of functionality, appearance and manufacturability of a product. The result is a product that provides value, an enhanced experience and positive feelings for the user.

Designers are often part of a multidisciplinary team consisting of strategists, user experience and interface experts (UX and UI), branding and graphics specialists, consumer representatives and manufacturers. Often these roles are combined as Denver Product Design with a goal of understanding how a product is used and why it meets the customer’s needs.

As an applied art, industrial design looks to combine how an object can be attractive to both the intellect and emotion while serving a function. Successful designs offer solutions for form and function but also for ergonomics, marketing and branding, sustainability and sales.

Shared Experiences

From innovations in automotive and transportation products to housewares and medical devices, industrial design improves daily lives and provides shared experiences.

Good industrial design starts with an understanding of the end user. The design process can originate with a product that does not exist, one that may not be selling well or simply needs a refresh. By processing the demographic and psychographic profiles of the target audience, designers can understand needs and wants. However, empathy with the user’s frustrations and expectations can elevate a design to the level of greatness.

A great design cannot succeed without a story that helps in understanding how the design works and why it satisfies the intended goal.

The Importance of Touchy Feely

Everyday interactions with an product or other object to produce a response is described as a two-step process. Many such interactions are mundane and overlooked but if the emotional response it produces can be considered for its personal and cultural reactions, patterns and connections can be identified and integrated into good designs.

By combining creative thinking with practical understanding of how products are made, designers provide solutions that produce results.


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