Simon King, Director of the CMU Design Center, has recently co-authored a new book on Industrial Design, with the intended audience of Interaction Designers and UX professionals. The book, Understanding Industrial Design: Principles for UX and Interaction Design, was released by O’Reilly Media earlier this year. King collaborated on the book with Kuen Chang, a Design Director at IDEO.
"Today, many interaction designers find themselves working on products and services that are increasingly in the overlap between the digital and physical," said King. "More and more, designers are finding themselves with a need to understand and be sensitive to both mediums."
This book attempts to address this need from seven topic areas, one per chapter, chosen based on their broad applicability to most design challenges and also specifically to UX Design. Using real world examples, the industrial design pricinpals discussed include:
- Sensorial: create experiences that fully engage our human senses
- Simple: design simple products that provide overall clarity in relation to their purpose
- Enduring: build products that wear well and live on as classics
- Playful: use playful design to go beyond functionality and create emotional connections
- Thoughtful: observe people’s struggles and anticipate their needs
- Sustainable: design products that reduce environmental impact
- Beautiful: elevate the experience of everyday products through beauty
"The examples were selected for how well they could demonstrate a particular approach to design, so many of them have a strong point-of-view that will hopefully inspire designers to apply the principles behind an example in their work," added King.
"I find that tangible examples are the best way for people new to a subject to wrap their head around a new way of thinking or working."
On what he hopes this book offers its readers, Simon said, "Creating a good user experience requires designers to break out of their disciplinary silos, so I hope this book inspires readers to come away with a broader understanding of their role and an improved ability to think through physical UX challenges."
Simon was previously a Design Director and Business Lead at IDEO in Chicago, where he led the studio’s Interaction Design discipline. During his eight years there, his work spanned diverse mediums and audiences including medical imaging equipment, vehicle HMI platforms, personal health apps, and financial planning tools. He is also an alumnus of the School of Design at CMU, holding an MDes in Interaction Design.