Towards a redefinition of product design and product design education

DS 62: Proceedings of E&PDE 2010, the 12th International Conference on Engineering and Product Design Education - When Design Education and Design Research meet ..., Trondheim, Norway, 02.-03.09.2010

Year: 2010
Editor: Boks W; Ion, W; McMahon, C and Parkinson B
Author: Oswald, David
Page(s): 36-41


Today product design and screen-based interface design merge increasingly in the product world. This requires a shift in product design education. But merely integrating usability into product design will not suffice. Product design and usability do share common goals, but they also differ in their methods. This paper illustrates the relationship between the two disciplines and will recall product design's long tradition of user-centred design and the contrasting misconceptions of design in the usability community. It documents a brief history of two design and usability approaches. Based on an analysis of how design disciplines have been defined traditionally, a redefinition of product design—based on user activity—is proposed and its relevance for design education is discussed.

Keywords: Design disciplines, product design, use, user activity, usability, affordance, workflow


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