I saw a post recently on a job site. "What is the role of a product designer? I find myself intrigued to uncover what the role entails. Is it design? Is it management? Is it research? Does everyone define the role in the same manner? Anyone have thoughts on this?” The first answer back was "It’s a bit of everything”
In Wikipedia’s entry for product design it says "Due to the absence of a consensually accepted definition that reflects the breadth of the topic sufficiently, two discrete, yet interdependent, definitions are needed: one that explicitly defines product design in reference to the artefact, the other that defines the product design process in relation to this artefact.”
So it’s a difficult discipline to define then! Let’s have a go at defining it here in 2016.
Product design is broadly speaking the effective generation and development of ideas through a process that leads to new products. But it’s more than this. It is in fact a mixture of many varied disciplines some of which are listed below.
Product design is about all of these aspects. The role of design in modern business is more important than ever in our rapidly expanding globalised consumerist society. Product design is about making your product stand out from the sea of alternatives. Making users love the product and everything it stands for. Making your company love its own products too because they’re cost effective to build and make profit!
There is so much more that can be written about what product design is but hopefully this gives you an insight into some of the elements. Now go and talk to a design professional and see what he can do for your business.
‘StoreFloor’ is a revolutionary new product from LoftZone that allows homeowners to increase the thickness of their loft insulation and continue to store their prized possessions in the same loft space!
LoftZone chose to develop the ‘StoreFloor’ system with Essex based Product Design consultancy, Cube3.
Gary Rose, creative director at Cube3, said; "When LoftZone first approached us with their innovative idea, we were really excited. We could see the advantages of the system right away and really wanted to create a unique design that would be strong, cost effective and easy to install.”
The key innovation here is the versatility of installation. The ‘StoreFloor’ system is not only easy to install but crucially will fit in almost any loft. Roof truss or ceiling tie spacing varies tremendously, but the loft boarding panels are of a fixed size. The ‘StoreFloor’ system deals with this problem easily where previous solutions failed. We have used a lightweight beam component and a unique triangulated polymer support to allow a considerable variation in ceiling tie spacing without the need for the installer to cut the boards to size!
Gary Rose said, "It was important to create a system that would deal with this issue in a simple and cost effective manner. I believe together with LoftZone, we have created a great solution and a very successfully product.”
Dave Raval, chief executive of LoftZone, said; "These design innovations ensure the system is compatible with the vast majority of homeowner’s loft spaces and gives them the opportunity to increase their loft insulation to 270mm. This will improve their homes thermal efficiency without compromising their storage requirements.”
Simon Miller, Financial director at Cube3, said; "We are really pleased to have worked with LoftZone on the development of this product and look forward to working together on further successful projects. LoftZone have proved that true entrepreneurial spirit and British innovation are most certainly alive and kicking in the UK.”
Since its launch at Eco build 2012, the system has received incredible levels of interest and has led LoftZone to win the "Business of change 2012" award.
Some time ago we entered into a joint venture with a start-up IP company and developed a patented device for measuring and cutting wood accurately and squarely. This project was another ground up design from concept to manufacturing data. It is now manufactured in China under license and won hand tool of the year at two prestigious UK events in 2010. It is now distributed by Toolbank under the Faithfull brand, Clas Olhson as the Multifunction Tape measure and has a number of other brands very interested in the increasing sales volumes the product is currently making.
The product is being received very well, with users comments ranging from "How did I ever survive without this tool" to "Overall, first impressions are five-star"
With a vested interest in the product's success, we are looking forward to reaping the rewards for good design!
Cube3 has designed many lighting products for Peli's Advanced Area Lighting Group and we have recently won a Chicago Athenaeum award for good design for the ground up development of Peli's new 9440 RALS product. This is a robust and versatile remote area work light that picks up where the 9430 RALS left off.
It was a challenging brief. Super bright, lightweight, long burn time, 2.5m high, quick to deploy, easy to use and super robust. The final product delivered on all of the requirements of the original brief and has now become a Peli best seller proving to be the fastest selling new product they have ever released.
With a number of further developments in the pipeline, it looks to be a long and prosperous partnership for Cube3 and Peli.