The Principles of Great Design
When we consider “great design” the first thing that usually comes to mind is aesthetics, perhaps closely followed by function or usability. We believe that great design goes beyond desirability and extends to the product lifecycle.
Rarely is “manufacturability” considered to be a key ingredient of great design, but there are many examples of products that look great but prove to be unreliable and expensive through poor engineering (particularly in the supercar world!).
To us, great design is a fusion of form, function and manufacturability. It is evident in the product that looks and feels right, reliably meets all functional requirements and, importantly, is delivered to the market at the right price and at the right time.
It seems crazy to us to design something and THEN worry about how to make it.
We have seen many concepts created by designers with little knowledge of manufacturing simply thrown “over the wall” to production.
We know that manufacturers are skilled people – they can make anything work by “tweaking” and hand fitting. Whilst this is fine for prototype build it will not do at all for production, where the design of parts is supposed to be optimised for the most cost-effective production processes and this usually translates to fast and “poka-yoke” (a Japanese term meaning mistake-proof).
Re-working the design after prototyping then becomes a damage-limitation exercise and usually results in a half-way house: the designer cannot afford to stray away from the original concept else another round of testing would be warranted. Additionally, the design re-work adds considerably to costs and time spent at the detail design phase or in the transfer to manufacture – so much so that the window of opportunity to take the product to market at a given price may be missed.
Warley Design is different…
At Warley Design our ethos is to get the design right for market first time. Key to this is choosing the right manufacturing process and tooling strategy from the off and then designing to within the limits that the process can readily achieve (and critically not beyond, which is where the costs creep in). This in turn drives the material selection and ultimately shapes the design itself. Manufacturability, then, is first and fore-most in our minds from the very start.
As far as we’re concerned, it’s only great design if it looks right, feels right, meets all its functional requirements and hits the market window at the right price-point.