How to design like Apple!
The forgotten basics of Industrial Design & the reason why you can't build a story...
By me (Alex - leManoosh)
As an industrial designer, this should already be obvious to you, but…
Among every designer I’ve had the chance to meet or coach, this seems to be wildly forgotten, skipped, or studied without purpose.
The thing is that, your “DESIGN STORY” is created by finding reasons for your design to be the way it is.
Before you begin, here is the link to receive the extra techniques which I mention in the video:
To say this another way…
The form of your products come from its function. If you do not have ideas, it is probably because you didn’t study the needs of your product in depth. While designing, it’s important to understand its market, what its competitors are doing well, what they are doing wrong, what design elements need to be included in the product, what is your client’s brand identity, the ergonomics, etc, etc… the list can be long.
If you define this well, then the form of your product simply becomes the consequence of your function… and it helps you to create a meaningful “design story” throughout the process.
I know that some product / industrial designers think that they have known this principle of “form follows function” since school, but still, they don’t apply it and they then end up surprised when they can’t build a strong argument for their concepts when presenting to their clients.
In the video above, I give 2 examples of form following function in the design world:
LEICA RED CAMERA, designed by Jony Ive and Marc Newson.
One of the “function points” on this camera is “fitting the fingers”. The circular indents make it easy for the user to understand where to put their hand while holding and using the camera.
SO now once we know the important user tasks, we figure out what is the best way to do this. In other words, we define the function first, then we define its form. See what I mean?
You apply the same thinking on the outer part (Where your hand holds the product), and you finally have your design.
No need to look for adding more jazzy things to it. Your design is just there. Refine it, tweak proportions, align elements,…. and your design is done!
APPLE MACBOOK, designed by Apple (Obviously...)
Same applies for the Apple MacBook Pro.
The profile of the product isn’t made to be “cool”. Of course there is a degree of matching the design language of the brand. But before this, we would study 2 points.
1 – One of the challenges of electronic is to make products look thinner, so they appear more technologically advanced.
2 – The screen component is smaller than the product footprint, allowing you to just build a simple curve from one point to the other.
Now if you combine these 2 elements, the only thing which is left to do is to build a line between these 2 functionality points. And again, you end up with “a form that follows function”.
See what I mean?
This example simply shows that if you study your “function” first, your design becomes logical and easy to explain. It makes sense!
So what can you do with this?
Think of it like this: How easy would it be to explain your concepts to your clients if you were able to build proper reasons to support your design decisions?
So next time, you are sitting at your desk wondering what your next idea should be… Think about your function first and explore ways to refine it. That’s what your creativity should be focusing on: We are not designers to find “Ideas”, we are designers to “resolve problems”.
Alright? Cheers everyone, lots of love and a stain of ✏️ marker on your 👃 nose! ; )
Learn more with this...
Here is the link where you can download more videos about my creative process. https://lemanoosh.com/wp/start-here/
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Hope you found some great tips here, please leave me a comment on the blog or under the video. It’s always nice to see that you guys enjoy this content as well.