Product Architecture, Construction and Structure

There are two fundamentally different strategies in product design: from inside to outside and from outside to inside.

In the former, one begins with the components (eg, the power supply, display, etc.) which are classified according to their technical/physical requirements around which a case is designed and constructed. The second concept goes the other way round. First the form is defined based on ergonomics or the users usage needs and then the components are made to fit within this form. It’s easy to imagine that both strategies have their own limitations.

Therefore, we combine both strategies and first try to understand the inner values of a device - without creating a fixed and therefore limiting structure. The type and arrangement of the main components is the first thing to consider. The size and weight of which are of main importance, however the interaction and interference between components is also vitally important to understand and anticipate early on.

The distinction between important and unimportant parts is crucial here. Imagine all the important parts as rigid blocks which must be worked around, all unimportant parts can then be amended to fit in the remaining gaps.

If components or entire product architectures are based on existing producsts or even production lines it must be recognized and dealt with early on. Only once we have understood the interdependencies of the internal structures can we take this knowledge and begin working on the external form of the product.


-> Back to overview

-> More information on the methodology behind the 24 design factors

Image source: Shutterstock, WILDDESIGN

The WILDCARDS and 24 design factors are copyrighted (Author Markus Wild , copyright number 1539098).


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