Don't let Engineers define your Design
Updated: Apr 8, 2021
I'm an Engineer, and I love working with Designers.
I appreciate their creativity and willingness to push the boundaries and follow industry trends.
Designers are the architects that see the whole solution end-to-end, and engineers help make it real. An engineer may have 90% of the workload, but that's just tactical work.
The more important work is the 10% Designer role which defines the direction.
Designers - Keep your Engineers in check. Without a Designer's input on form and usability and aesthetics, Engineers will find their own way to a solution.
They'll justify a solution as acceptable based on technical limitations or personal lack of experience with certain technology.
Stay strong. Keep your eye on the goal. Your device will succeed because of the value to the end user (in spite of, not because of excellent engineering) A well engineered solution that doesn't meet user needs should not be produced.
Engineers are not wrong for how they think, it's just that they are (sterotypically) analytical thinkers.
They're trained to find ways to optimize solutions within constraints.
Whether they're writing code, or analyzing forces, or designing mechanisms, Engineers are always trying to solve problems.
They need to work within constraints, or the solution space is infinite.
They love to be handed a problem that "nobody else could solve" and then solve it.
You have a vision for the worlds best new widget.
Lean into it. Don't let engineering get in the way.
Keep your user first.
If Engineers get to design the product, the usability will be second.
You'll have the most cost-efficient, power-efficient, simple-to-assemble device that nobody wants.
Stand your ground.
Engineers are not designers, but sometimes they can think like them.
If you're building an solution, it is nearly certain that an engineer will build that app as efficiently as possible. Why not? It's how they're trained.
Your software will be LEAN, and FAST, and USE LESS RAM (whatever that is, I'm not a coding guy).
Your device will be CHEAP, and EASY to assemble, using components of the highest RELIABILITY possible.
But it won't necessarily be designed for the user needs. That's a designer's role.
Keep your users first and keep your testing strategy front of mind.
Constant testing with your target market will improve your device.
Isolated engineering in a cloud of secrecy under the guise of IP control is a great way to build a solution that the market doesn't want.
Take user feedback early and often. Learn what works and what doesn't.
Accept that early concept ideas are flawed, and scrap things when it's clear they're not working.
But keep your user first.
Our global team of Mechanical Engineers and Industrial Designers is prepared to help you win.
We're good at expediting concept prototypes and building high-quality manufacturing documentation.
Call us if you need assistance.
Signup here to get this newsletter in your inbox: