Problem, goal and scope.

The definition of the 24 design factors begins with a rather inconspicuous factor that is often insufficiently well handled in design: the purpose of the product. Often the product is unceremoniously equated with its purpose or product category (for example a pocket knife). This is insufficient.

Our experience in medical product design has taught us how crucial the purpose of the product design and the assessment of the inherent risks are. This is becoming ever more important in the design of everyday products and slowly the understanding is spreading that the product or even the brand, has a distinct or unique purpose to serve.

Understanding the purpose of a product involves returning to the original problem it was designed to solve. Only in doing so can the product and its purpose find a certain level of legitimacy in their very existence. As the Swiss Army Knife has shown, there is no such thing as so-called "one- Purpose" solutions, but rather bundles of optional purposes. This thought leads one to further consider the product’s problem solving scope and whether this is in fact reasonable or achievable.

Can the product’s goal and purpose be summarised in one sentence? If this is simple to articulate, an extremely important foundation for product development has been set, a foundation which should not be altered throughout the process of further development, for risk of derailing the final design.


-> 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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