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The Design Sense

yashlay sinha

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Mechanical Design and More

 

Why Design?

The new era is flooded with products - Virtual or Physical. And with no surprise, everything needs to be designed. We are doing it from long back, since we are bringing something new or may be inventing. Design is the medium which brings your thoughts into a physical (nowadays virtual) form.
 

Virtual/Web design

Remember the old days websites or software packages - They were largely comprised of text, and design layout did not exist much. While later versions had some design, they were still extremely basic, consisting mainly of tags for headers, paragraphs, and links. Visual considerations such as typography, imagery, and navigation were still things of the not-too distant future.
 
vDoIT_Ui-ux.png
pc: www.vdoit.in
 
And now, we are into a new age where we look forward to User Interface and User Experience (UI/UX) designers to improve overall experience and usability of webisites and software packages.
 
There is a whole world behind these two words!!
 
Just take an example of one of the largest social networking website, Facebook - Who decides, where will be your cover pic and where should be the display pic be located in your wall. Not only this, there are whole lot of stuffs on each and every website. Simple placement and positions of the buttons will change the overall experience of the user. This is where UI/UX designer are working hard by understanding human nature and behavior of doing things when they are 'online'.
 
uiuxusability.jpg
pc: www.mockingbot.com

 

 
Just to add, each and every thing which you look into a website, software package or mobile applications , be it a logo, buttons, stickers and the entire range of interface details which you see are being designed by someone - Designers. Imagine the vast amount of work involved in this!

 


Physical/Mechanical design

Being a Mechanical Design Engineer, this excites me more.
 
When I say "Mechanical", does it restricts me to gears, bolts-nuts, cam-shaft, car/aerospace bodies and parts?
 
Well not at all !
 
Name a product around you which you think is not of 'mechanical' genre - Mobile phones, Television (its remote too), Refrigerators, Air conditioners and many more. Most of us would say these are electronics/electrical products. They are listed under 'Electronics' category in amazon and flipkart too.

 
 
 TV-fridge.jpg

Now, understand this - All of these products are obviously being invented/reinvented by electrical or electronics engineers and their functionality depends on basic rules and principles of these engineering discipline, but their actual physical being is a work of physics and mathematics. When I say physics and mathematics, its basically mechanical design in broader sense.

For instance, the electronic board inside a mobile phone or TV is work of electronics ( circuit design, voltage calculations, etc), but they never tell how the mobile phone should look or feel to the end user when they will hold it. Also, electrical engineer can not tell how a TV to be wall mounted, what should be the screen thickness, corners, etc. In more engineering sense, the entire design is actually work of a Mechanical Design engineer who designs the fits/forms and the look of the appliance. Obviously when I say 'look', it opens a whole new world which revolves around aesthetics.  Probably, I will talk about ergonomics and aesthetics some other time.

 

The Design Sense

Any design needs to fulfill certain requirements which comes from end users. But the real question is what inspires a designer to design something new or may be modify an existing product to something new and more usable. The designer must satisfy all what is required by the user and obviously the standards set upon it (and off course the laws of physics and mathematics). These all might drive the design and product structure but these can never drive how the product will look or feel to the user. At some instances the user might not be interested on how it looks, it should perform and that's all counts.
Design.png
pc: www.api-university.com

The design sense of the designer plays an important role on how the product is being designed and what features are built to satisfy all the requirements. Be it a UI/UX designer or Mechanical designer, designing under requirements are achievable like solving a problem but developing a design sense is something which comes with time and experience. In a way its a work of art.
design%2Bsense.png
ps: www.designschool.canva.com

How do we develop a design sense?

When I say DESIGN is work of art, any art comes with time and needs passion. We may learn design tools but the design sense needs dedication. A musician can learn how to play a guitar but can only develop new tunes if he is passionate about it.
 
Have you ever thought why a particular product is being made/designed the way it is? Let me take a few examples:
 
1. Bulbs - The iconic shape that blazes in our minds as the quintessential light bulb served two purposes in the advent of lighting: it was easily manufactured using glass-blowing techniques, and its spherical shape was best for controlling heat and light emissions.
bulb.jpg
 
 
2. Golf balls - Are a golf ball's dimples just there for aesthetics?
Try aerodynamics - They actually create turbulence in the layer of air surrounding a ball in flight, reducing the drag behind the ball.
 
golfball.png
 
Now we know why helmets for cyclists are designed with dimples. But why not aircraft or cars?

 
helmet.jpg
3. Manhole covers - Why they are always round?
They are round almost all over the world, so that they cannot possibly fall through their own holes. Any shape other than a circle would be able to fit through in at least one way.
 
manhole1.jpg
 
Off course few designers took it as challenge, but I am sure they had to make some arrangement, may be a hatch.
 
square_manhole.jpg
 
So now you know why certain features are designed in these products and why it was a sensible approach.

I will discuss a lot more about design - Design thinking, mechanical design approach and the process to build something new and off course the tools which are used. Log in to 

Why Design?

The new era is flooded with products - Virtual or Physical. And with no surprise, everything needs to be designed. We are doing it from long back, since we are bringing something new or may be inventing. Design is the medium which brings your thoughts into a physical (nowadays virtual) form.

Virtual/Web design

Remember the old days websites or software packages - They were largely comprised of text, and design layout did not exist much. While later versions had some design, they were still extremely basic, consisting mainly of tags for headers, paragraphs, and links. Visual considerations such as typography, imagery, and navigation were still things of the not-too distant future.
 
vDoIT_Ui-ux.png
pc: www.vdoit.in
 
And now, we are into a new age where we look forward to User Interface and User Experience (UI/UX) designers to improve overall experience and usability of webisites and software packages.
 
There is a whole world behind these two words!!
 
Just take an example of one of the largest social networking website, Facebook - Who decides, where will be your cover pic and where should be the display pic be located in your wall. Not only this, there are whole lot of stuffs on each and every website. Simple placement and positions of the buttons will change the overall experience of the user. This is where UI/UX designer are working hard by understanding human nature and behavior of doing things when they are 'online'.
 
uiuxusability.jpg
pc: www.mockingbot.com
 
 
Just to add, each and every thing which you look into a website, software package or mobile applications , be it a logo, buttons, stickers and the entire range of interface details which you see are being designed by someone - Designers. Imagine the vast amount of work involved in this!
 


Physical/Mechanical design

Being a Mechanical Design Engineer, this excites me more.
 
When I say "Mechanical", does it restricts me to gears, bolts-nuts, cam-shaft, car/aerospace bodies and parts?
 
Well not at all !
 
Name a product around you which you think is not of 'mechanical' genre - Mobile phones, Television (its remote too), Refrigerators, Air conditioners and many more. Most of us would say these are electronics/electrical products. They are listed under 'Electronics' category in amazon and flipkart too.

 
 
 TV-fridge.jpg

Now, understand this - All of these products are obviously being invented/reinvented by electrical or electronics engineers and their functionality depends on basic rules and principles of these engineering discipline, but their actual physical being is a work of physics and mathematics. When I say physics and mathematics, its basically mechanical design in broader sense.
For instance, the electronic board inside a mobile phone or TV is work of electronics ( circuit design, voltage calculations, etc), but they never tell how the mobile phone should look or feel to the end user when they will hold it. Also, electrical engineer can not tell how a TV to be wall mounted, what should be the screen thickness, corners, etc. In more engineering sense, the entire design is actually work of a Mechanical Design engineer who designs the fits/forms and the look of the appliance. Obviously when I say 'look', it opens a whole new world which revolves around aesthetics.  Probably, I will talk about ergonomics and aesthetics some other time.

The Design Sense

Any design needs to fulfill certain requirements which comes from end users. But the real question is what inspires a designer to design something new or may be modify an existing product to something new and more usable. The designer must satisfy all what is required by the user and obviously the standards set upon it (and off course the laws of physics and mathematics). These all might drive the design and product structure but these can never drive how the product will look or feel to the user. At some instances the user might not be interested on how it looks, it should perform and that's all counts.
Design.png
pc: www.api-university.com

The design sense of the designer plays an important role on how the product is being designed and what features are built to satisfy all the requirements. Be it a UI/UX designer or Mechanical designer, designing under requirements are achievable like solving a problem but developing a design sense is something which comes with time and experience. In a way its a work of art.
design%2Bsense.png
ps: www.designschool.canva.com

How do we develop a design sense?

When I say DESIGN is work of art, any art comes with time and needs passion. We may learn design tools but the design sense needs dedication. A musician can learn how to play a guitar but can only develop new tunes if he is passionate about it.
 
Have you ever thought why a particular product is being made/designed the way it is? Let me take a few examples:
 
1. Bulbs - The iconic shape that blazes in our minds as the quintessential light bulb served two purposes in the advent of lighting: it was easily manufactured using glass-blowing techniques, and its spherical shape was best for controlling heat and light emissions.
bulb.jpg
 
 
2. Golf balls - Are a golf ball's dimples just there for aesthetics?
Try aerodynamics - They actually create turbulence in the layer of air surrounding a ball in flight, reducing the drag behind the ball.
 
golfball.png
 
Now we know why helmets for cyclists are designed with dimples. But why not aircraft or cars?

 
helmet.jpg
3. Manhole covers - Why they are always round?
They are round almost all over the world, so that they cannot possibly fall through their own holes. Any shape other than a circle would be able to fit through in at least one way.
 
manhole1.jpg
 
Off course few designers took it as challenge, but I am sure they had to make some arrangement, may be a hatch.
 
square_manhole.jpg
 

So now you know why certain features are designed in these products and why it was a sensible approach.

I will discuss a lot more about design - Design thinking, mechanical design approach and the process to build something new and off course the tools which are used.

 

Mechanical Design and More

 

 



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