Qualities That Define a Well-Designed Product
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The primary objective of this research is to identify the defining characteristics of “good design” as applied to Industrial Design and to determine what specific qualities it possesses. I assessed what qualities in a product serve as attractors; are they design traits like function, form, colors, ergonomics, or materials, or will form be chosen over function? Finally, I sifted through these identified qualities in search of dominant themes to provide myself and other industrial designers with a list of considerations for designing more desirable products. This requires researching the product design theory, the relation between the consumer and the product, and the role an industrial designer plays in the entire process. The findings of my literary review were tested by comparing products with similar functions but differing designs (e.g. different types of chairs). These products were then compiled into a survey and a collection of 180 people ranging in a wide spectrum of age, gender, and background were asked what they thought of the products. The survey asked participants to answer questions about what qualities in the products make them appealing or unattractive and ranked them from most to least important. Based on literature reviews, product comparison surveys, and customer opinions, I developed a list of considerations that can be consulted when attempting to design products that are more marketable to the average consumer. This codex can be utilized to develop a personal design identity with a workable context. As a tool, this process will give myself and other young industrial designers a starting platform for their own designs. My hope is that my research project can play a small, yet significant role in the paradigm shift and perhaps allow me and fellow students to maximize opportunities to influence the future of Industrial Design.
Pirics, Marjorie (2011). Qualities That Define a Well-Designed Product. Texas A&M University. Available electronically from