Category Archives: M3 Design Journal

7 Keys to Successful Product Development, Part II

This is the 2nd in a 3-part series that looks at the keys to successful product-development (PD) programs. In the first post, 7 Tips for Selecting the Right Product Development Firm, I outlined the key considerations in choosing a product-development resource for an important project. In this post, we’ll discuss some factors that set apart good programs with excellent results from those that aren’t so good.

Functional Decomposition

Have you ever seen a product so complex—yet so elegant in execution—that you think its designer had divine inspiration? That in his genius mind, the design popped forth fully formed, with countless elements depending on one another to perform a myriad of functions? For me, this genius product is the writer automaton, designed and built by Pierre Jaquet-Droz in the late 1700s. It is a marvel of cams and movement, combined with meticulous craftsmanship

Bridging the Interaction Divide \ Part 3

In this article, I’ll discuss the widely debated topic of multitasking interfaces in the transportation environment. And I’ll look specifically at the user-experience tradeoffs that we make as consumers by adopting software-based controls

Bridging the Interaction Divide \ Part 2

In part 2 of a 3 part series, M3 examines the impact of high interface complexity combined with poor interface technology choices on the user experience…

Bridging the Interaction Divide

This article is the first in a series of three that will dissect some of the tragic mistakes we see in today’s industrial design and highlight some best practices for creating product experiences that move us forward.

Stakeholder-Centered Design

User-centered design is absolutely critical to the success of most, if not all, products. But it’s not enough, especially when we consider high-value complex systems, where many different stakeholders must interact with the product successfully. If anyone in the chain has a poor experience, the success of your product is put at risk.

Only one of those stakeholders is the user.

Bold Predictions for the Apple iCar

Over the past few weeks, there have been all sorts of interesting rumors concerning a possible foray into the automobile business by our favorite purveyor of consumer lust, Apple. Being an ex-Ford engineer, I have a basic understanding of what it takes to design, build, sell and service a car line, so my first reaction was total disbelief. Auto manufacturing is hugely capital-intensive, highly regulated, and has low margins compared to Apple’s current business. Why the heck would Apple want to get involved in something like this?

Finding Creativity in Requirements

Have you ever been given a project or challenge that on the surface seems like it has only one answer? Before you’ve even begun, you run through the logical outcome scenarios in your head and come to the conclusion that there is only one way to solve it. We call this a highly constrained solution space

3D Printing the Future

Low cost “desktop” 3D printers seem to be getting lots of “buzz” these days, and rightly so. As described in the M3 Design Journal article “Low-Cost 3D Printers”, the cost, reliability and capability of that class of devices is improving at a rapid clip. But where else might 3D printing, or more accurately, “Additive Manufacturing” be headed, and how might it affect product development in the future? Let’s explore.

Do it right the first time (NOT!)

I don’t think any other six words in the English language have done more damage to product developers than “Do it right the first time”, otherwise known as “DRIFT”.