A design is a plan, specification or blueprint for the structure of an object or machine or for the execution of an action or procedure, or the anticipated result of such plan or blueprint in the shape of a machine, product or implement. The verb to design normally indicates the planning of a design by means of the application of suitable material and technological developments. A designer may be regarded as the person who “designed” or who “designed something.” Thus, “A group of experts developed the X-ray machines,” “The invention of the telephone was made by committee,” and “He designed the best management program at Harvard.” In a more technical context, a design might also be called the “given model,” or simply “a set of specifications.”
To develop a well-defined, well-documented design concept, designers perform several important functions. They collect information needed for drawing up a design concept map. The information they obtain from their research activities helps them refine and modify the set of design elements necessary for implementing the product development process. Designers also use their knowledge to justify the needs of the client in terms of cost-effectiveness, functionality, suitability and usability. They also select the appropriate technology that will support the expected requirements.
The execution stage of the product development process involves determining and designing a set of functional or performance specifications that are sufficient to describe the essential characteristics and functional aspects of a specific object, whether it is a machine, a building, a vehicle or a product. These specifications often specify the operation, performance and output status of the object at a particular configuration and physical condition. Industrial designers translate these functional specifications into operational designs that satisfy important functionality needs of the client. These designs are used by industrial designers and technical personnel to build physical products and industrial machines that are efficient, economical and safe.
An effective industrial designer must be able to determine the interaction of physical, technical and psychological factors that are required to achieve a specific design result. This means that an accurate description of the functional components of objects must be written down in a detailed design process model that effectively represents all the different functional components. To achieve this result, an accurate outside form such as a drawing is not enough.
The success of any designing effort relies on the validity of all the data produced during the research phase. All the results must be based on the correct definition of each individual element, including both its location in the model and its behavior when it is placed in the physical environment. Only when all the different elements are considered together, including the boundary conditions, will you be able to come up with a very accurate representation of the real system under consideration. This is exactly what industrial designers do in order to come up with quality design approaches that satisfy various clients.
In addition to representing all the important physical and logical properties of any given object, an accurate DESIGN approach also enables the designer to effectively communicate the functional characteristics of the object to its prospective users. For example, a DESIGN approach may be used in designing construction sites. Here, the physical aspects of the site are accurately represented by a digitally-derived layout and the layout is provided to the client in a format that they can easily read and understand. On the other hand, an inside-out approach may be used in designing products for industrial uses. Here, the physical characteristics of the product are represented by a digitally-derived layout and the product’s behavior is simulated using a corresponding numerical representation.