Product Design Resources

Submit a Resource

Site Updates 2/17/2013



New resources have been added to Product Design Resources. Improvements in site maintenance have been made to improve the quality and quantity of resources.

Comments



Comment: (limit 1024 chars)

Your name: (limit 32 chars)

Show/Hide Comments


Back to Basics 9/15/2010



Every once in a while as product designers, we find ourselves stuck in a rut. Our designs begin to resemble one another, we spend time just staring at a computer screen or wandering to e-mails, and we consider only what we've done before successfully. In those situations, it's best to take a step back - and go back to basics.


1. Define the problem. Write it out in one sentence only, break it down into multiple problems if necessary.

2. Generate concepts. Quickly sketch/describe/diagram at least five (ten is better) different ways that could solve the problem. View the problem from different perspectives. If you get stuck, reference 10 Concept Generation Techniques.

3. Evaluate/Rate the concepts. There are many methods out there for doing this, but the easiest is to pick a few criteria and construct a chart. Place the criteria in columns, and the concepts in rows. For each box, either shade red for poor performance on a specific criterion, leave blank for neutral, and color green for good performance. This will give a quick visual guide to your concepts. Don't spend a lot of time evaluating, gut feel is ok at this point.

4. Refine and iterate. Pick the best concept and go, or combine features of multiple concepts using the chart from step 3 as a guide.

Voila, design deadlock is broken! Even something as creatively driven as product design can be broken down to practicable fundamentals. It will be your core basic knowledge and skills that pulls you out of your rut.

Comments



Comments have been suspended until further notice.

By: Product Design Resources - 10/17/2010 6:47:01 PM


Comment: (limit 1024 chars)

Your name: (limit 32 chars)

Show/Hide Comments




What BP Could Have Learned from Product Design 7/10/2010



It has been nearly 3 months since Deepwater Horizon exploded, setting off a sea-floor gusher that has yet to be completely contained. In that time we've all watched in horror as various methods of quelling the leak have failed to stop the massive leak. As product designers, we are used to solving tough problems creatively. Could it really be that difficult to stop the flow of oil from a broken pipe? Maybe there were things they should have been doing that would have prevented the disaster from happening in the first place. In product design we have methods for preventing failures and methods for handling them when they occur - What could BP have learned from Product Design that could have prevented, helped in stopping the leak, or could help clean up the gigantic resulting mess.

Properly anticipating failure modes and designing to be failsafe in a critical environment

To prevent failures from occurring in product design, we have various methods. We test our products, we conduct reviews, hazard analyses, analyze fault trees, do beta runs, among other things. They key to all of these processes is to use them as appropriate with respect to the risk of failure. As product designers, we must always ask ourselves does our risk analysis process adequately fit the environments that the product will be placed.



Read complete article here...

Comments



Comment: (limit 1024 chars)

Your name: (limit 32 chars)

Show/Hide Comments


The 5 Goals of a Project Manager 4/17/2010

by Jason Westland

As a Project Manager, you need to manage people, money, suppliers, equipment—the list is never ending. The trick is to be focused. Set yourself 5 personal goals to achieve. If you can meet these simple goals for each project, then you will achieve total success. So read on, to learn...

The 5 Goals of a Project Manager

These goals are generic to all industries and all types of projects. Regardless of your level of experience in project management, set these 5 goals for every project you manage.

Goal 1: To finish on time

This is the oldest but trickiest goal in the book. It’s the most difficult because the requirements often change during the project and the schedule was probably optimistic in the first place.

To succeed, you need to manage your scope very carefully. Implement a change control process so that any changes to the scope are properly managed.

Always keep your plan up to date, recording actual vs. planned progress. Identify any deviations from plan and fix them quickly.

Read complete article here...

Comments



Comment: (limit 1024 chars)

Your name: (limit 32 chars)

Show/Hide Comments


Major Site Overhaul Unveiled! 4/10/2010

now packed with many interactive features

Product Design Resources has been completely transformed. We've packed the site with more interactive features, to allow Product Design Resources to become a valuable resource for all of us in the product design community. Be sure to check out the new Design Feedback section, where new design images can be uploaded and commented on. We've also added the ability to comment on articles and blog posts. The user interface has also been improved to make it easier to find all of the resources you're used to finding on the site, as well as the new resources that are constantly being added. There also is a simple page to submit your own resources as well - which will help Product Design Resources become the premier resource for finding the best online tools for product design.

Comments



Comment: (limit 1024 chars)

Your name: (limit 32 chars)

Show/Hide Comments




Apple Releases Ipad 1/31/2010

Will it redefine computing?

Apple's recent release of the iPad has people scratching their heads. Basically, it appears to be an iphone, with more power, size, and screen breakability. From a technology standpoint, there's nothing new. It's not all their fault though. As a design and technology integration company, but not a true technology development company, they can't forge ahead on truly new innovative product designs, if there isn't new and exciting technology to do so with. So, if there's no new technology in it, and the design isn't really new (just bigger), then where is the innovation we've come to expect from Apple? The answer may actually be with the user. The combination of a multi-touch display, size, computing power, and the price point may allow users to provide the real innovation - in how it's used. A user can draw, mark, notate, scribble, share pics/docs/apps with it in a way that really allows users to use technology to do simple every day things. So, if Apple can get enough people early on to stop scratching their heads as to why Apple would release a product with no apparent new design features, and get them to adopt the device, they may actually find a strong enough demand to turn the tablet niche mainstream.

Comments



Comment: (limit 1024 chars)

Your name: (limit 32 chars)

Show/Hide Comments


Great Product Design 11/1/2009

Defined by You

A while back, Product Design Resources asked you what defines great product design. We learned two things: first, our readership isn't as big as we'd hoped, and second, great product design has something to do with the user. Here are some of the responses we received:

Great design includes the ability of parts to have multifunctions, sometimes 3 or more. Electric motors used for driving, braking and generating for example. Good example is a computer or brain but at the expense of complexity. Best are simple parts with many functions.

Something that not only performs the intended function(s), but also has that Wow Factor - i.e. the user has an unexpected benefit. A REALLY great design also is cost effective and enviromentally friendly.

No instructions required

A great design is one that serves its purpose with ease and simplicity.

Great design is something that looks good, is functional, is user friendly to a wide variety of people, and is as green as possible. Great design encompasses a variety of features.

A great product design is one that I can't improve upon.

Comments



Comment: (limit 1024 chars)

Your name: (limit 32 chars)

Show/Hide Comments


Displays, Screens, Interfaces, and Bezels 8/15/2009

Case Studies in Design

Image loaded from www.gpsmagazine.com This is the Nav for a Mercedes-Benz SL55 AMG Console. Notice the soft-keys around the edge. These are less common nowadays, but soft keys do have some advantages. They can be a clear way to navigate deep menu structures and provide the flexibility of performing different functions, depending upon what is being displayed. They also can provide tactile feedback. One very important benefit in some applications is that soft keys can allow the screen to be sealed from ingress of liquids. Another feature to note in this design is the stylized lead-ins in the screen bezel. For tight spaces, they can make the display appear larger.


Read complete article here...

Comments



Comment: (limit 1024 chars)

Your name: (limit 32 chars)

Show/Hide Comments




Overlooked Fasteners for Product Design 5/10/2009

A Handful of Selected Favorites

As product designers, we often try our best to avoid the use of fasteners so as to avoid the added cost, assembly time, and often poor aesthetics. But, there are many cases where the use of a fastener is required or it creates a better design. Here are some overlooked fasteners that can be very useful in product design:

Rivet nuts - creates a rigid mounted nut in a sheet of material. Here are some interesting options.

Set screws - This type of screw has no head, and can be recessed to create a nicer appearance than a normal screw in the surface of your product. Typically an allen wrench is used to tighten or adjust the screw, for a higher level of tamper resistance. While they can't be used for clamping like a normal screw, they can fit into some tight areas and provide adjustability in many situations. Various tips are available, including a ball bearing swivel tip, which is a simple way to manage motion in your product.

Read complete article here...

Comments



Comment: (limit 1024 chars)

Your name: (limit 32 chars)

Show/Hide Comments


Product Design Takes Practice 4/26/2009



Often times, I look at a new product that is released, and my jaw drops. It's well-formed, intuitive, and does exactly what I need it to do. It's easy to think that some designers just possess some cryptic innate talent that allows them to deliver fantastic products. But, when you break it down, that inspiring product was constructed in a huge number of small, doable, bite-sized chunks. Nobody wants their work reduced down to that level, but when it comes down to it, there is no magic to creating beautiful product. It's the well-practiced weaving of all these tiny pieces together that creates the illusion of design magic. So, how do you get there? Practice. Study products and learn what elements must have been used in the design process. Identify the most important elements and practice them tirelessly. Those designers that master the tedious elements of their trade will create the most inspired, and unique designs. Because of their years of effort and practicing skills, their minds are free to create.

Read complete article here...

Comments



Comment: (limit 1024 chars)

Your name: (limit 32 chars)

Show/Hide Comments


Deformation in Design 4/19/2009



3D solid modeling has significantly changed how product design is done today. For the most part it has been a very powerful tool for increasing speed, improving design, and allowing early visualization of concepts. However, it can also be argued that it has caused many designers to overlook certain areas of design more frequently. Solid modeling is exactly that - modeling of solid objects... rigid solid objects. However the world our products live in is full of dynamic, flexible, deforming, chemically active, phase changing matter. Until full real-world physics simulation is available (don't hold your breath, there is plenty in the realm of physics left to be discovered), we as designers need to constantly remember to look at product design with a broad view of the environment the product will be inhabiting and to supplement powerful tools such as solid modelers with an even more powerful personal product design skillset

Read complete article here...

Comments



Comment: (limit 1024 chars)

Your name: (limit 32 chars)

Show/Hide Comments


Design Value 4/1/2009



As product designers, we often get wrapped up in technical details and personal creative crusades to solve that nagging design problem. It's always a good idea to refocus, and recognize (especially in the current economic climate) that design must create value. Here are a few articles and resources along those lines:

Design Value
Translating Design Value into Business ROI
Value In Design - Website dedicated to the VALiD approach
Adding Value Through Design - article with data showing the value of design

Comments



Comment: (limit 1024 chars)

Your name: (limit 32 chars)

Show/Hide Comments


Read more articles here...

Latest News

Feb. 17, 2013 - Site has been updated and site maintenance has been improved to increase quality of resources presented.

Featured Links

www.engineering.com - General Engineering Website
Product Design Forums - A strong community of primarily industrial design focused users
Design Droplets - Unique Design Content

Site Info

Javascript enabled

RSS feed RSS
Add to Technorati Favorites