A design is a blueprint or design for the constructive arrangement of some object or system, the output or product of which is to be implemented, or the resultant of this design in the form of some finished object, merchandise or procedure. The word ‘design’ is derived from the Greek word ‘designs’ which means ‘applied art’. The verb ‘design’ suggests the creative or artistic method by which something is produced. Thus, ‘designing’ is used to mean the art of making something beautiful, elegant, and symmetrical. In technical use, the term ‘designing’ has no technical meaning, but only refers to a particular way of arranging things so as to meet some desired purpose.
In the context of product development, designers use a variety of different techniques and systems in order to derive the desired end result. This process includes research, development, testing, optimization, modification, consolidation, and lastly presentation. A designer may use one or more of these processes, depending on the complexity of the problem at hand. Each of these processes is part of the designer’s personality and skill set. Designers use a number of different approaches in designing, and each of them have different implications and consequences for production processes.
One of the key approaches to design used by designers is represented by the acronym HAIK (High impact incremental improvement). The acronym HAIK stands for: High-level importance, low cost, and frequent change. This acronym, however, is not limited to product development process, it can actually be applied to almost every industrial design situation. It simply denotes the fact that the best solutions to problems exist when designers keep the requirements of the customer in mind while working in a lean or flexible manner. Such approach, when coupled with an experience and knowledge base from past projects, facilitates the development of robust and sustainable designs.
In addition to the acronym HAIK, there exists numerous other design approaches that have proven successful over time. These include: a diagrammatic flow, unbundled flows, problem solving techniques, logical drawing, cost benefit analysis, and engineering directed design approaches. These design approaches are often applied together in the effort to achieve specific goals like quality, flexibility, and cost control. Each of these different design approaches plays an important role in the success of any design process, and each of them have their own place in the scheme of things.
The three main approaches that define modern industrial design process models include: inside out approach, top-down approach, and problem solving approach. The inside-out approach involves a detailed look into the requirements of the customer. From this, an accurate rendering of the product is extracted. Problem solving approach considers the complete business problem and seeks to provide viable solutions outside the realm of the product itself. On the other hand, the third approach – problem solving – originates from the product requirements, which leads to the estimation of probable costs.
Beitz has long been recognized as an authoritative industrial design firm. In fact, the founder of Beitz in Europe, Otto Beitz invented the term EFX, which stands for “efficiency for energy”. He believed that a company should aim at finding a single design that can provide the greatest efficiency gains within the available space. Beitz also believed that the best way to achieve such a goal was by using mechanical engineering principles and integrating them with product design principles. This led to the birth of modern engineering design process modeling.