Good design is good business strategy. Simply having stunning technology is not enough to achieve market success and sustained profitability. R&D might have developed a revolutionary innovation. But if you fail to package the innovation in a well-considered design that addresses both aesthetics and usability, you will leave a lot of money on the table.
Sure, revolutionary technology might be enough to make your product launch successful. But then what? Competitors will inevitably crop up. One of the ways they can take market share from you is by capitalizing on design deficiencies you might have allowed. If you invest the resources to achieve good design up front, you’ll remove a lever that others could use to take market share.
Did you know that the first MP3 player was a box marketed by Eiger Labs? (Right – never heard of them). The lion’s share of the market was taken by Apple years after the launch of the Eiger product, due in no small part to the iconic design of the iPod.
For medical devices, good industrial design is no less important than it is for consumer products. First, the design discipline brings expertise in usability. Failure to design for good usability has been shown to be a cause of medical error. Second, aesthetic design appeals to our emotions. How we make decisions is influenced by emotion to a much greater extent than most people realize. It is Industrial designers who bring an aesthetic sensitivity to the design of commercial products.
The bottom line is that innovative technology combined with good industrial design yields a product that will command the market not only from the outset but for years to follow. That is a profitable strategy.