Has anyone ever told you your thermostat was sexy? What about your phone? Associating sex appeal with a hunk of metal and glass may sound crazy, but that’s exactly the reception the original iPhone garnered when it was first released to the public. Some tech enthusiasts even compared it to a piece of candy! But just what is it about our technology that quickens our heart when we touch its cold metal frame? Is it the comfortable rounded corners, its brightly colored polycarbonate shell, the way the light reflects off of its body, the sounds it emits, or the intuitive and effortless interface and user experience?
Some tech enthusiasts believe technology is considered sexy when it brings pleasure to multiple senses in an intimate way, a la Sigmund Freud. For example, the iPod brings auditory pleasure when two small earbuds are inserted into the ear canal, creating a private listening session for the user. Oh my. Its design also gives us a sense of immense power by commanding a library of 20,000 songs with just our thumb on the click wheel.
Sexy technology isn’t confined to gadgets either, even kitchen appliances strive to give off a pleasing and clean aesthetic from their now very popular brushed metal faces. Lately, Nest and Dyson have proven that usually forgettable devices like the thermostat, smoke detector and vacuum cleaner can become enviable pieces of modern art. Now with the advent of wearable tech, more than ever the importance of style through good design must come across for a user to willingly strap the device to their wrist every day.
The iPhone spurred manufacturers to realize gadgets must be functional as well as visually appealing for consumers. Apple’s lead designer Jony Ive has been known to utilize famed industrial designer Dieter Rams’ “10 Principles of Good Design” for invoking their timeless and elegant feel. So without further ado, here are Rams’ 10 Principles manufacturers should consider while designing the next big thing.
10 Principles of Good Design
- Good Design Is Innovative: As technology improves, devices can become thinner, more attractive and daring.
- Good Design Makes a Product Useful: We as consumers buy products to fulfill a need. Good design strictly promotes the usefulness of the device for fulfilling that need.
- Good Design Is Aesthetic: If the device is used every day, make it beautiful.
- Good Design Makes a Product Understandable: It needs to be user-friendly.
- Good Design Is Unobtrusive: Finding a balance between function and form. Not too gaudy. Neutral and restrained for self-expression.
- Good Design Is Honest: Gimmicky features or inflated specs are worthless if they don’t truly add to the user experience or can’t deliver.
- Good Design Is Long-lasting: Pursue timeless design to transcend temporary trends.
- Good Design Is Thorough Down to the Last Detail: Care and accuracy in the design process show respect toward the consumer.
- Good Design Is Environmentally Friendly: Big companies have an especially large responsibility to design with environmental care.
- Good Design Is as Little Design as Possible: Less is more.