industrial design vs product design

It is very difficult to configure the differences between industrial design and product design since both are used interchangeably. But in this article, we will figure out the aspects that distinguish industrial design from product design. First, we need to understand both the terms in detail to ascertain the differences between them. Let’s check out both the terms individually and then head over to their differences.

Industrial Design

Industrial design is a designing process implemented to design such products that are to be manufactured by mass production. It is concerned with the designs that are implemented to make products at an industrial scale or using industrial processes. The term Industrial Design was coined after the first industrial revolution when factories were set up to create specific products in huge amounts. Before the first industrial revolution, the products were designed by implementing manual techniques which resulted in lower manufacturing productivity. After the first industrial revolution, the industrial designers were entrusted with the following tasks:

  • Replacement of existing products by such new products that would perform the required functions and appeal the consumers to buy those new products
  • Design such products that could be manufactured in large volume
  • Look for such possible methods that could reduce overall product manufacturing costs and value engineering

It is concerned with bringing the art form and usability, which associates with craft designing and ergonomics for producing goods in large volumes. The industrial designing process is creative as well as analytical. Industrial designers often implement certain designing methodologies in the creative process such as user research, comparative product research, designing of the model, prototyping, and testing. It focuses on technical concepts, products, and processes. It also encompasses engineering, usefulness, and market placement. Industrial designers do not go into the technical details of the products.

Product Design

Product design is the subset of industrial design. It is the responsibility of a product designer to deliver a fully functional product. Product designing is implemented to create new products that could be sold by businesses to their customers. It is the set of strategic and tactical activities, including the generation of ideas for the creation of the product and its commercialization. In a more systematic way, it involves conceptualization and evaluation of the ideas to turn the products into ideal inventions.

The role of a product designer is to combine various approaches to create new products that can be helpful for the masses. Product designers widely need to consider details such as the ways people use and abuse products, faulty products, and the desirable ways in which those products could be used.

The product designing process focuses on different aspects. The processes are brought into action by a unit of people having different skills and training. The processes consist of identifying the requirements, exercising possible ideas, creating models, and generation the product. The finalization is done after making it into an actual product and removing any fault in the product or improving the product if necessary. The product design is classified into various categories such as mechanical product design, electrical product design, electronic product designs, etc.

After understanding both designs in detail, let’s head towards the basic differences between industrial design and product design.

Differences Between Industrial Design and Product Design

Industrial design encompasses a wider area. The product designing team works because of the input that industrial design engineers provide. In short, industrial design involves activities that consist of product specification, aesthetics, and presentation. On the other hand, product design involves detailed designing of the products based on the specifications that are provided by industrial design engineers.

INDUSTRIAL DESIGN

PRODUCT DESIGN

Industrial design is mainly concerned with product development lifecycle.

Product design is basically a subset of industrial design.

Industrial designers focus on the aesthetics of the products and their manufacturing.

Product designers focus on the detailed design of the products.

It is about creating solutions.

It is about taking the solutions to the manufacturer and the customers.

Industrial design is responsible for the overall function, aesthetics, user interface (UI), and user experience (UX) of the products.

For product designing, function-specific teams such as mechanical, electrical, and software engineers are involved.

This field widely ensures that the product design meets customer expectations and if they are suitable for mass production.

This field ensures the functioning of the products according to their specifications and applicable standards.

It involves activities that cover the complete product lifecycle.

It involves activities that cover up the processes up to final product development.

The above listed are the fundamental differences between industrial design and product design. Though there are not many considerable differences between them, as product design is the subset of industrial design, the points included above are enough to differentiate between them. I hope you find this article helpful in distinguishing industrial design from product design.

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