Design: Explained

Product design is the process of imagining, conceptualizing, giving physical or digital form, testing, iterating and refining a product so it’s ready for the end user.

Design does not mean “make pretty”. Design aims to create functional and pleasing products.

Good design has an inventive scent, it involves problem-solving and creativity, and it adds value to a product and makes it better.

Design: Medical Products

Medical product design carries a huge responsibility. Products that quite literally have the opportunity to change and save lives. Products which may remain on the market for 10 years or more, influencing the way people manage their health or the health of others.

[Paul Greenhalgh]

Based on Dieter Rams’ “10 principles for good design”-

Dieter Rams is a German industrial designer who had great influence on modern design due to his functionalist approach to design. He is well known for his role as Chief of Design at electronic devices manufacturer Braun, between the years 1961-1995.

At the late 1970s, he became aware of the influence designers have on the world through the products they create. To help define the design decisions, Rams captured 10 principles for what he believed was good design.

The following may be considered the most important principals when referred to medical design, and development of devices for the health-care field.

“Good design makes a product useful”

The main goal of a product is to serve the cause it was made for. In medical devices this principle has even more importance, as dawdling with operating the medical tool, can sometimes have an impact on life and death matters.

“Good design is innovative”

Evolution is an ongoing process that will never end. New technologies, new materials, new researches, new tools and techniques. We are in constant development. Technological development is always offering new opportunities for innovative design.

As for medical devices, innovation can lead to improvement in current products (making them more precise/small/fast/durable/pleasant/etc.), adding new capabilities to known devices, or inventing new products that could not be implemented with the previous technologies. Advanced medical devices lead to advanced treatment for the patients.

“Good design makes a product understandable”

Products in general, and medical devices in particular, can be complex and difficult to operate. The easier it is to understand and handle, the more likely of it being used (by the clinician or the patient) and assimilated in the medical care.

“Good design is as little design as possible”

Less is more.

Medical devices should concentrate on the essential aspects, and the products are not burdened with non-essentials. In the world of medical products, the design should be concentrated to the minimal number of features and interaction. Back to purity, back to simplicity.