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The Demand for a New Approach to Designing

The Demand for a New Approach to Designing
January 10, 2017

Co-Authored By: N M B Prabhu

It's a common notion among designers, engineers, and brand product owners that customers and users cannot tell you what they want. The question remains then, how do you make content and products that people actually want? There are still designers, though, that have a hard time determining “the design approach” and where you should put it in the cycle of production when you deliver solutions made of devices and digital experiences. There are projects which designers are not allowed to take part in; however, if designers are made a part of the process the project would be much more successful. Not only would it be more successful, but it would have better user experience and retention rates, with lesser re-work required.

If we dig into the details, this problem has different aspects. The first is that SDLCs did not incorporate design into software engineering when it was first developed. The second is that the solutions of design components have to be performed at the speed of the business; if not, then these solutions just add time and money, which isn't necessary. The third aspect is that there aren't any fully-developed, existing design practices which provide the combination of a device and one's digital experience in a reliable way.

New approaches are being created by the designers in order to address these issues. These approaches come in a variety of ways, such as, Design Thinking, Digital Experience, Responsive Design, User Experience engineering, etc. They of course, help in finding a solution; however, a definitive solution is yet to be found. Different skills and processes are utilized in order to design for a material product and for software experiences. Hardware production, for example, needs engineering for long periods of development and product design. Unlike hardware production, both digital and software design is performed in shorter loops. This is because designers aren't given the opportunity to participate for more than a few sporadic cycles. Also, it is very common for the creators of products to have a pre-conceived plan as to how the overall design should be. Prototypes are often created from the creator's original idea and then directly delivered to the public without any help from designers. This prototype was probably created before users had the chance to deliver their own opinion and after the product gained good results, a more advanced prototype and design was conjured up.

Design Thinking addresses many product related issues by questioning the old ways of product designing

It combines creativity, design, and innovation in an iterative approach to find new solutions to problems. In fact, it need not be about problems; it could be just about finding a better way. Design Thinking facilitates a defined process to match people’s needs with what is technically possible and its business viability. This indicates that Design Thinking allows organizations to think beyond complications with designs and come up with business models that combine the physical and the digital, with its powerful divergence-convergence aspect. Design Thinking seems to be promising to legitimately aid in the solutions of technology – it begins a set of guidelines which designers use to put together a repeatable and effective approach to designing for current physical needs.

Pioneers of today are working on new methods of design with the evolution of 3D printing, which allows objects to be built on command and demand. This evolution may further well open the doors for various other design methodologies which are yet to be defined. Engineers, too, are breaking new ground. By pinpointing their focus, engineers are able to make breakthroughs that the user never even expected. These ninjas of our world are demonstrating focus with highly desired innovations.  Whoever is successful, however, will lead the future digital world.