Principles of Acceptable Design

22Oct07

I gave some thought to what I would consider the fundamental goals of design today at work. My job is one-hundred percent mindless robot work so it’s essentially free time to brainstorm for me. Today there was drizzle.

In a nutshell — which itself is a good design, unlike blister packs — I would suggest, perhaps insist that a successful product is one that is:
High in Quality, composed of good materials
Reasonable in Cost, to both user and manufacturer
Safe, in that its use won’t harm the user and its materials are not hazardous in any way to humans or the environment
In Good Humor, that does what it is meant to with grace and efficiency while being enjoyable and worth caring about, and that improves the space in which it resides
Honest, that is not ashamed of what it is, what it’s made out of, whose use it is intended for, its function and exude self-confidence
Well-Intentioned, made with a genuine desire to help improve someone or everyone’s life

A startling number — startling in lack — of products meet my requirements. Some simply can’t be met in today’s conditions, like the computer I’m using, which while a noble attempt on all counts is almost certainly off-gassing particles detrimental to my health and will last for thousands and thousands of years in a landfill after its useful life. Some are not well-intentioned, like any product that is packaged in a blister pack. Quality and reasonable cost almost never seem to go hand-in-hand; I can either choose fiberboard Ikea furniture affirdably or hand-made wood furniture way out of my price range.

So, the idea now is to meet all those criteria. Then I will have done good by you all.

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