Monday, 11 October 2010

Has Technology Become Too Design Focused?

Undoubtedly one of the major aspects of innovations in devices is actually not engineering developments but style and design. Whilst anyone could assert that design and technology improvements go in hand, it is additionally quick to see exactly how design dominates consumer habits. Many men and women decide to purchase things that are not always better technology-wise or possess helpful features but simply because they look great or are buyable in specific colors. This has actually been the case for a long time because mass-production enabled producers to create cheaper products with the onus on design instead of functionality. E.g., the paper dresses of the 1960s were cheap and of a bad standard yet for many fashionable consumers they were must have wardrobe items.

This process carries on today. Mobile phone manufacturers continually play with the dichotomy of functionality vs design. Many designers choose understated designs and instead rely on feature development. Many others choose to offer less features but instead focus on the design, at times working with fashion designers.

With this attention given to design instead of function, it is easy to think of products solely as aesthetic but it is also good to remember that such products are meant to have useful benefits as well. When you are making your choice of what product to buy there tends to be three elements that you have to think about - features, cost and design. Sometimes you may wish to spend more on features and at other times for design. At other times they are merged together. Apple's design ethos is an awesome example of design meeting technology.

If you always buy products based on their design then you should really start to think about the functional factor as well. While it may be desirable to buy the coolest design, it might very well not be the most robust. You ought to always check the functionality of the product and how you will use it. There is no point buying a really flash laptop if all you will be doing is writing emails with it or browsing the Internet.

Thus, whenever you are buying new products, always think about how you will use it or why you need it. A good example is e-book readers, such as the Amazon Kindle. They have practical uses in real life. For instance, a lot of airlines are now limiting passengers to only one piece of hand luggage. A Kindle is a lot smaller than an average book and you are able to take a lot more books with you when you go on holiday than you might otherwise be able to.

Mobile phones have also greatly improved their technology features. You can take your cell phone for all your multi-media needs. Lots of phones now come with large amounts of memory letting youenabling you to save music, videos and pictures on there. phones now also have digital cameras as well, meaning you don't need to buy a separate, costly camera. The Internet is no different. Plenty of websites have been created with usability and functionality as the focus. You can find sites which were made to allow you to organize online time better. They vary from a bookmark organizer, password manager and personalized homepage.

An online bookmark manager can save time and can alter your work process. Sadly, lots of them have a functional design. It will be interesting to watch how they evolve over time as more and more people come to expect functionality that is shown in a well designed product.

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