What exactly is industrialdesign, actually?

in this article you can read about our definition of industrialdesign

What is industrialdesign?

Gathering Information

beyond styling

When you hear of industrialdesign, many people first think of the current furniture trend. But industrialdesign is something completely different.

Any company launching a new product should not leave anything to chance. Every feature of a product is equaly important. Only in this way can one sell successfully, set oneself apart from the competition in the globalized world and bring one’s own products to the customer. For an idea to become reality, not only engineers and developers, but also industrial designers are needed.

We do not just work on getting the things of everyday life nice to look at. It’s a much bigger process. industrialdesigners work closely with all departments or assist as freelance external collaborators.

Innovation needs new perspectives

A company would like to bring a new product to market to continue to innovate or to replace or replace an old one. If there is already an idea, great. But if companies simply want to diversify, you can also hire designers to find the idea itself.

During workshops, the employees of the company can be creative and bring in ideas. But you can also just look at what trend analysis looks promising and play a little game of poker. Afterwards the market has to be examined.

  • Who is already playing?
  • Why is he successful with that?
  • Who are my potential customers?

All these questions need to be answered so that you do not waste expensive capacity on developing a product that does not fit into this particular market or in your portfolio.

What exactly is industrial design?

It's about balance

Concepts and ideas, demands and wishes

When all the basic intel is gathered we come to the actual concepts. Together with marketing and research departments, we build a list of requirements and all these properties, the future product must have. There are minimum requirements and wishes, because in the course of the project, compromises will have to be found. There are interactions between different product properties that can have both positively and negatively effects.

For example:

A long battery life on smartphones is desirable, but the battery dimensioning influences, among other things, the price, the weight and the volume. But even after the successful sale, the manufacturer should know what happens to his products. Batteries may fail. We all know what happened to the Samsung phones. So the product life cycle should be considered right from the beginning. Only in this way a better circular economy can be implemented.

Designers are manipulators

To stay with the smartphone: A certain weight feels more valuable, but the volume should not increase, otherwise this effect does not occur. There is, so to speak, a sweet spot between volume and weight that you want to hit. This subtle impression is important for pricing, because we guess the value very intuitively. As an industrial designer you also have to do some psychology.

It continues with the material selection, the package. A product is broken down into smaller sub-products. These can be considered as partially independent units. You can puzzle with them, manipulate the arrangement for an aesthetic product appearance. In addition, one can resort to various technical solutions to solve a problem.

Say: The battery can be a lead gel battery, a lithium polymer battery or a large capacitor.

What exactly is indusrial design?

seeing the big picture

Designers are engineers

The feel of the housing is important to the customer, so that the product can be used well. there is a reason for the handle of a hammer to be made out of wood. It always feels warm and has good clamping properties. If you made the rod out of metal, it would always feel cold and the impact would be uncomfortable transferred into the hand of the user.

This designfreedom comes with great responsibility.

Anyone who develops everything from plastics must also think about disposal, recyclability and separability. Unfortunately, the supply of consumer goods reflects rather a thoughtlessness. Plastic is a great, very versatile material, no question. But encapsulating electronic components to save on manufacturing costs is simply not value-oriented. It can be seen that the production technology should also be taken into account in product design, the earlier, the better.

Designers are mediators

Only when all these points have been clarified, we can start with the actual design. However, since almost every piece has impact on each other, one proceeds according to a cascading principle. You design, adapt the package accordingly, you have to revise the design. It loops back to previous process steps, sometimes just one, sometimes jumping several levels. A visually appealing solution may not fitwell into your hand. A product feature can only be implemented with a specific solution, but it can not become smaller. Ideas are communicated with sketches, because images are usually easier to understand than to describe everything in words. Then follows the modelling in 3D. With modern tools such as CAS and CAD software you can run fast iterations and get an optimal result. Updates to electronic components or new possibilities in manufacturing technology can be quickly incorporated.

What exactly is industrial design?


Designers are critics

Afterwards, everything gets verified. You build the first prototypes, a 0-series and stuff that is not working well, is changed. You can find suitable production processes for the production volume and adapt the product design so that it is very close to the original idea, but can also be produced. If a product is not feasable, even the best styling will not help.


In addition, an analysis called FMEA is performed. This possibility of error and influence analysis should serve preventively. For example, an electric shock from an electr. Lighter could pass when the spark comes out too far out of the device. Those things must be prevented. With the prototypes first customer feedback is obtained. A test group may try out if the product is intuitive to use and suggest improvements. Industrial design is therefore a very holistic and accompanying process in product development. Therefore, it is not surprising that methods of the process are used as design thinking in other disciplines as well. Any company that wants to be successful in the market, should at least get advice from an industrial designer.