When a project comes into our firm, parameters are spelled out by our client. Maybe a finish, a general shape or even a specific interface is directed by the client who is paying. Sometimes an entrepreneur has dreamed for years, studied the market closely, and complied all the necessary information to create the perfect visionary product. Sometimes our client has years of experience selling a very specific type of product and therefore can be trusted to know what is best for their client.
Is any of that true?
I know how to use the tools. I am a hired hand who helps a client realize their dream. I need to interpret their words to create their objects. It is their vision and their product in the end.
It is all true.
But from where I am standing, the interpretation is all there is. That interpretation is where my opportunity lies. The possibility of success or failure exists in this tiny crack called interpretation. It is my job to squeeze all my knowledge of the end users and all my understanding of semantics and ergonomics in this tiny sliver.
I am a designer because I love the challenge of parameters. I live to tightrope across your dreams and into a place that satisfies both my client and the consumer’s needs. Without my clients dreams I have no opportunity. Sometimes it is railing components for a spiral staircase, sometimes a pocket sized blue tooth speaker; the product itself matters little to me. The parameters and the needs of so many players are why I call myself an industrial designer. I design for the clients, the factories, the end users, and the design competitions. I design to sell product.