Within milliseconds the human mind will make hundreds of judgements about a product by just looking at it. How well it is going to work, the quality, personal appeal, cost, and ultimately the perceived function. One of the many goals of an industrial designer should be to ensure an intuitive product interaction that satisfies the expectations of the user.
Industrial design is a career, a line of work, an industry, a process and, for some, a way of life. ID is also a term often misused and misunderstood.
Industrial design is an extremely broad discipline, and I chose it as a career for myself because of its versatility in application. The same process can be used to design a product for the utility industry or sporting equipment for example. Both are focused on the same thing- Human factors.
Human factors are many. Ergonomics is a ubiquitous term while lesser understood are heuristics and cognitive learning as they pertain to usability. Within milliseconds the human mind will make multiple judgements about a product by just looking at it. How well it is going to work, the quality, appeal, and ultimately the perceived function. In this modern time the main function of a product should be obvious without instruction. Subtle shapes can be clues to how to hold and interact with a tool or product. These “self-learning cues” are called heuristics and today there are many standards that must be met, or the cognitive value of a product will fail, and therefore the product itself may not succeed. The job of the industrial designer, while multi-disciplined, is also to ensure an intuitive interaction that satisfies the expectations of the user.
Here at META we design and manufacture a line of products with focus on human factors and solutions for the end user. In many cases that user is the Lineworker. Lineworkers are modern day heroes because of the dangers they face every day. To reduce injury and improve safety we focus on the core usage scenario of every task, as a scientist uses a microscope, and we use our discoveries to inform innovation in every product we develop.
We combine a process of careful research, rapid concepting, iterative prototyping, usability studies, 3D modeling, finite element analysis, and stringent testing to ensure excellence in products unseen in the infrastructure industry. An industry where tools are often far outdated and dangerous to use, or misused for lack of training, there is lots of opportunity for innovation.
And because of our onsite manufacturing capabilities and cutting-edge technologies, our products are made with the most appropriate materials that add to the quality appeal, inherent safety, and usability of our products.
So, the next time you use a tool or interact with a product, ask yourself if it satisfies your expectations. If it does not, it probably was not created by META. and if it was made here, we want to know about it.