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Design to solve problems

Design Thinking

September 9, 2015

Know what problems really need to be solved - that is the big secret to good design and problem solving. I have posted previously about asking heaps of questions to uncover the right problems to solve. Happily I have found an article about a product that has been designed so that consumers use it in the way that will optimise its use. This is a superb example of working out what causes problems with use and designing so that those problems are eliminated.

The product is Google's new wifi router.

It is a large inverted cone with a blinking light on top. Not easy to shove under the TV or stack papers on top – intentionally. This is a good looking router, one that you will be happy to display on your desk or on a shelf – again, intentionally because routers work better when they are up high on a shelf.

This is a bit of very smart design. Rather than try to convince users to put the wifi router up on a shelf, designing it so that it is hard to use any other way will drive users to find a shelf to put it on. The designers create the desired outcome by design – yay!