Those of us involved in medical product design and development spend a lot of time thinking about product appearance and about how the user will interact with the product. As it relates to medical industrial design, these activities are at the heart of what we do.

There are many methods, processes and techniques we employ to develop what we intend to be good design. User research, applying anthropometric data and ergonomic principles, understanding style and aesthetics and how people respond to visual form and charachteristics. These are all important. But what we need to keep at top of mind always is that a medical product is nothing more than a means to an end. In an ideal world, people would just as soon not have to deal with the product at all. They would prefer that it simply do its job, as unobtrusively as possible, and get out of the way.

One of my guiding principles is this, from Dieter Rams: “Good design is as little design as possible”.

Strive to develop a product that is as simple, transparent and automatic as it can be. From a user’s perspective, design it to be invisible.