Design for Who?
Most people will have bandages, tweezers, and gauzes instead of scalpels, hemostatic clamps or bone saws in a first aid kit. Well, unless you are a surgical doctor.
Daily necessities designed for the everyday use of the public is very different from products designed for professionals for specific purposes. Take band-aid for example. A band-aid was designed to be used without any effort while a bandage requires some skill to do it right. The bandage has more functions than a band-aid of which the usages are restrained to injuries like small cuts and scratches while a bandage can wrap up larger wounds, sprained ankles or fixing splints. Additionally, bandages demands more in quality and in design than band-aids. Sterilization, waterproof, elasticity, adhesive, medical grade materials for medical application standards are considered according to scenario and target users.
Just like implements used by a school nurse in an infirmary will not be the same as what was used by a neurosurgeon in a surgery room of a hospital, designing products for professionals is a whole new level. Products designed for specific purposes will involve more details. Since operating these products and equipment requires skills and techniques, designers have to consider not only the function but also the users’ operative habits, trainings and accident preventions. Designers have assumed the users to be professionals, who know how to use the product. The product will be designed particularly for certain uses and only for professionals with certain techniques.
The development of these professional products is very complicated, for they are usually cost higher to purchase and more difficult to operate. In other words, modifying these sorts of product is not like adding a tine or curving the handle of a salad fork but improving the engine of a yacht or optical sensors in satellites. These products are not made to be pleasant to the eye but to accomplish tasks with efficiency and quality. Hence, designers pay more attention on improving the products’ performances than on how it looks.
However, this does not mean that products designed for daily uses are easy. As technology advanced, people can use the technology without knowing how it works. For example, initially, computers can only be operated by scientists and engineers since it was impossible for people who had no such knowledge to use. Today, computers are getting more complex but much easier to use. What designers are doing is to narrow down the gap between professionals and average people that the product should be accessible to every users.
Although many products are not possible, or are not necessary, to be usable for everyone, regardless of user orientation, user experience design or user interface design are applied to build better communication between products and users from diverse angles. Products developed for manufacturing, transportation, medication, research or national defense stand significant position in the progress of human society that not only influence economically and politically but change people’s mindset and concepts toward the world while designs for everyday products have shaped people's lives.
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