Electronic Product Design

Written by Nicholas Kamuda
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As the cost of electronic components and manufacturing decreases, the ideas behind electronic product design seem to be shifting. Though it is still common to find products that are designed using design approaches that are centered on technology, electronic products are increasingly designed using contextual and human-centered design techniques.

The Changing Face of Electronic Product Design

Technology-centered design is product design based on the key technology of the product. A product may be built to incorporate the necessary technology as easily as possible, whether that makes it convenient to use or not. An example may be the field of industrial equipment, where form follows function or may not be considered at all.

Human-centered design, on the other hand, considers the way that the product and the user interact first and foremost. As more and more people own and operate a number of techy gadgets, the demand for human-centered design correspondingly increases. For example, Apple computer has made human-centered design practically their mantra, producing a number of products that seem to continuously revolutionize home computer design and use.

Now, a new chapter in the evolution of electronic product design may be on the rise. ODMs, or original design manufacturers, are small manufacturing operations that inexpensively engineer and manufacture gadgets as per the specifications of larger brand names, using off-the-shelf technology to realize the visions of human-centered electronic product designers. By outsourcing the engineering, the brand name companies are able to concentrate on staying ahead of the curve of consumer appeal and functionality.

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