The world that we live in is seemingly driven by personalization and bespoke creation and innovation. In fact, a survey by Deloitte showed that increasing numbers of customers want products that are bespoke and made specifically for their needs and likes. The idea of gamers building their own PCs to play specific computer games or a novice electrical hobbyist designing and installing a PCB without the formal training may have seemed farfetched a few years ago, but is now a reality.
From designing your own sneakers to being able to design and 3D print anything that comes to mind and may be useful as a one-off creation is now a common reality. Producers wait to finalize production until the very last moment to enable their customers to personalize and customize their choices. All of this is now possible and available based on the technology that is used in the design phase.
Different needs and types of design sectors
- Product design
This is the area of design that covers the conception of a specific product that will have a defined use and consumer. It is all about the most efficient and effective use of the product as well as the look, feel and color of the product. It must (more recently and importantly) be made of materials that are considered sustainable and green and preferably even be a product that follows a Cradle-to-Cradle lifecycle. The predominant tech used in this regard is in both the research and development, in the analysis of big data and customer needs as well as building the knowledge on continuous use materials and products.
- Informative design
The ability to share an idea or communicate a concept or the benefits of a product through marketing and media informatics is a critical aspect of modern life. We do after all live in the so-called information age, and as such, information is key to most if not all processes and the manner in which you create a cogent information sharing and dissemination process requires well thought through design. The tech required to both create and then share and promote these messages has changed dramatically in recent times and is now all cloud based and all can be learnt and practiced online, using wizards and guides to walk and talk you through the design process.
The design, creation and precise testing for real life use of all aspects of the built environment can now be done virtually and using the most advanced design software and tech that we have ever had access to. Bridges, roads and buildings are all designed using CAD and then can even be re-created in exact replica using 3D printing and then stress tested using the latest design and engineering software that there is.
- Software design
The creation of applications and software that is used to drive monitor and improve all manner of business and industrial processes is an aspect of design and development that many people neglect. Software development and design has reached new levels and there is now a demand by businesses to have a bespoke app and software to drive their specific business and allow interaction and engagement with their customers and clients.
The tech that can be used to perfect and improve all these aspects of design
Being able to both design in VR (virtual reality) and then test various design aspects in the virtual world is now a real possibility and one of the ways that product designers are able to perfect their wares. A great example is how Honda has sped up its automotive design process by designing and testing using virtual reality. The use of virtual reality in the design and sales phase of major architect and building projects has proven immeasurable in its impact, in that the buyer or investor is more easily able to visualize and test the environment.
- Design or graphics tablets
These are specific design tools that are created with the creative as well as the technical aspects of design in mind. Drawing tablets for example or the use of predetermined schematics for the user to simply input and adjust can be used to create anything from clothing designs to gaming consoles. These tablets and electronic graphics boards now offer the artist, architect and designer a means to efficiently design and immediately transfer and seamlessly save drawings and mockup designs.
- Bespoke industrial design software
There is now a wider range of design software available that has democratized most industrial design and manufacturing processes. No longer does the end user or consumer need to wait for an engineer to create an IT solution, rather you are able to learn these skills and then use the available software to do this yourself. For example, the ongoing shortages in chips and semiconductors for electrical engineering design applications has seen a larger number of innovators look to design their own PCBs and related components using software that is able to convert and use CAD data for PCB design and production.
- Improved GPU’s
The graphics now available for all types of designs are superb and getting better all the time. Modern laptops and specifically those purchased with design and engineering in mind have interchangeable and easily switched Graphics processing units. This has made design a much more intricate process and provided the ability to engage in the most minute processes and aspects of industrial design and innovation. Being fully immersed in the design and creation process is one of the best ways create top end products and services and the much-improved graphics capabilities that exist will allow any designer to be entirely immersed in the process, able to see the details of an entire microchip, copper connectors, semiconductors and all, in as much detail as is needed to make design and layout improvements.
The main idea of design has always been to make life easier and more enjoyable. For many it should be about the function and the objective for the item being conceptualized, yet another train of thought would look primarily to the aesthetics of the design. Both are now able to co-exist and arguably have the same level of importance in the manner that industrial and technological design has moved forward in recent times. The tech available for design is serving to not only make life easier, and more enjoyable, but more predictable as well as safer and more fun. It is also allowing more of us to be involved in the design process than ever before.