In industrial design, artists and scientists work together in order to create a product with improved aesthetic, ergonomic and usability features. Moreover, well-designed products can achieve higher marketability and can be produced more effectively. Industrial design is connected to user interface design, information design and interaction design.
At the beginning of the 20th century, in connection with industrialised production, design became an important factor for products. Industrial designers need to have knowledge of function and form as well as of the interrelation between the product, the users and their environment. The focus in industrial design is on small scale design, in comparison to design on a larger scale such as in the architecture of buildings or ships. Industrial designers usually work together closely with engineers, the former establishing a balance between form and function and the latter enabling the product to work in general.
The process of industrial design for a specific product can be rather complex and time consuming. Designers have to do their research on users and designs from other brands, draw sketches, build models and prototypes and test these models. Nowadays, it is common to work with computer aided programmes and create 3D models on the PC. Sometimes, the prototype of the product is scanned in order to detect faults in construction.
Industrial designers can work on the product’s form in general; the details of the product, where those details are located and how all the details work together; the colour and texture of the product, as well as the product’s ergonomics. It is also legitimate for industrial designers to make suggestions concerning how the product should be produced, what materials should be used in the production, and how the product ought to be presented to consumers.
Sometimes, the industrial design of certain products is treated like a work of art. Examples of iconic industrial designs are the Fender Stratocoaster electric guitar, Le Creuset ovens, the VW Beetle, the coke bottle and the I-Pod, to name just a few. The designers for Apple Inc. are continually working on new groundbreaking designs for their computer products. Their I-Pod, I-Pad or I-Phone have such an incomparable design that they all created new product categories.