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Innovative Product Designs & Awesome UX

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What obstacles or inconveniences do you encounter in your day to day life? Nine times out of ten, these routine disturbances could be easily solved with the right design. While we specialize in digital user interface design work, the same usability principles apply for products.

Custom solutions often offer superb user experiences. Custom doesn’t always mean complicated, but it does mean thinking outside the box. Add a clip to a cup holder and voila– genius functionality, original design out of two standard concepts. The smallest changes can make a big impact on user experience.

A cup attached to a desk via a cup holder  A mug with a plate that has a hole in it for a tea bag when you're done with it

We all know that sitting at your desk all day everyday will eventually kill you, but how else are you supposed to get exercise in at work? The pedal powered desk desk offers a green solution. Wish we had one in our office!

A pedal powered desk

Smart user interface designs are all around us, and being constantly generated everyday. Tide recently came out with these detergent “pods” that are pre-measured, no mess, and offer a nice alternative to the old clunky bottle. Same product, new package. To the right, a tiny railing grill designed to let you grill pretty much anywhere.

Tide PodsA grill attached to a railing

Design greatly impacts efficiency. Savvy designs can conserve resources while duplicating value. Take the two designs below for example.  Efficient & attractive.

A home with an overhang to double as a garageA pot with a strainer built into the lid

Convertible furniture falls under this category too. A crib that converts into a table or desk sounds like a pretty good investment. Apparently this is a new “trend” in furniture design– pieces that can grow and change to adapt to your child’s needs as they grow up.

A crib that converts into a desk

Adaptability and flexibility of a product is a shrewd business characteristic across the board. This applies for digital product designs too. Think about a responsive website design that automatically adjusts to fit optimally in any browser size, mobile to desktop– I spy a parallel. Being modern means being adaptable. Below: Warhol designed sofa/desk/bed.

Now we are admittedly getting into boutique items.  These innovative designs are not typically mass marketed; they’re more costly and well purposed. They also share an insidious quality where you didn’t know you needed it until you experienced it, type thing.  Experiencing a great user interface design evokes the same reaction– when you know what’s possible, you know what you’re missing.

Sometimes it’s hard to consciously recognize when something is poorly designed because we are so accustomed to it.  It’s not until we experience something superior that we recognize the difference.  An example: the blades inside your fan collect dust and create noise. Besides that, they probably don’t bother you so much. But what if you were presented with an alternative– the Dyson Blade-less Fan .  The lack of dust or noise isn’t the only draw here, about 50% of the appeal is how the Dyson looks aesthetically. The combination of looking cool and offering a highly effective design makes for a winning combination. Even for something as random as a fan with or without blades.

A dyson bladeless fan

Simple Human is another brand that is widely popular for their sleek-looking and carefully considered designs.  There isn’t as much science behind their products as with a brand like Dyson. Simple Human product designs are not necessarily hi tech, new technologies, but they are well-considered and constructed. They also always look cooler than what you already have. Take for example, their new “open framed” dish rack. It’s beautiful, and it channels water drips directly into the sink. It also doesn’t have walls or sides which accommodates larger objects and also maximizes capacity.An open framed dish rack

Takeaway:  Smarter designs make ordinary experiences delightful. This is exactly the user experience we expect of consumer products, which is why companies like Apple are wildly successful.  Shouldn’t we demand the same of our experiences on the web, especially as clients and customers? We think so.

If you like the innovative product designs in this post, or have some of your own to share, follow me on Pinterest and check out my Innovative Design & Enhanced UX board.

 

Author Alex Stetson

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