Dousan Miao Design


What Design Means to Me? (Video)


Few weeks ago, Advanced Sketching (@advdessketching on instagram) asked me to film a video about what design sketching means to me. To be honest, I am not sure if I am entirely qualified to really address this but to me, design sketching is the refinement of ideas. Sketching is a very useful skill to have across all stages of the design process. And after each iteration, it is just fascinating to see how a doodle comes more and more to life. Although sketching is all about exploration and experimenting with different shapes and forms, I think it is important to stay grounded to some degree otherwise it might loose focus. Obviously, the focus should always be around the end-user and their needs. Yet, a lot of designs have extravagant design features that sound promising on paper (or a screen), but is in fact redundant. Personally, I think the phrase ”thinking outside the box” is overrated. 


‘Thinking outside the box’ is overrated.


One great example to illustrate my point is Coca-Cola O! By Sunny Su, a bottle cap design concept which aims to “ enhance the consumer beverage experience and increase the opportunity to share, make it more convenient to carry a drink bottle -or even six, to give back the ability to use your hands while holding one?”. Right off the bet, my question was: why would users have the desire to carry multiple bottles simultaneously? It sure sounds interesting, but is it necessary? The final solution Sunny came to was an injection-mounded 2-part cap with a ring. In this presentation photo we can see the user using the new mechanism to carry 3 bottles with his fingers. However, a very strange thing that you may have already noticed: the bottles are empty. It goes without saying that if those bottles were full it would be very straining on the user’s fingers. Not to mention the high increase in manufacturing cost introduced by 2 injection-moulded parts. 

While “thinking outside the box” still holds merit to a certain degree. We as designers should not design a product for the sake of being different. Design should be about solving problems, not creating them. 

(These are just my personal opinions, please take it with a grain of salt.)

Credit: Sunny Su Coca-Cola O! 

Credit: Sunny Su Coca-Cola O!