What Makes a Product Sell?

Is it only the look? Are people in this day and age so shallow that the only determining factor in the purchasing of a product is its aesthetics? Short answer yes! However, I wouldn’t run to be calling anyone shallow for this, after all were only human. The truth is that a product that looks good will sell better than their bland peers. But not so fast! What does that mean? What truly makes a good looking, product? I’m not just talking about the aesthetics here. A sexy product isn’t just smooth lines or well combined colour schemes, textures and materials. These are all important and will ultimately play a big role in the “wow” factor of a product, but I want to talk about the other aspects to a product’s “look” and how these affect the very first impression it gives a potential buyer. From the perspective of Industrial design, a products appearance means so much more than just a material or finish.

Interface Design:

Yes it would be a design blog without having a segment devoted to apple, but they’re just so damn good at what they do! Its no secret that apple product are loved for their sleek minimal uncluttered design language. Hey, they have a kickass industrial design team working on that signature apple style around the clock. Although their range has become somewhat monochromatic, it still answers the aesthetic needs of a world which is becoming progressively more minimalist. Apple doesn’t just stop at form and materials when developing their products.

The interface and operating system of an apple product is something special. In the case of smart phones, Apple pioneered the application grid layout that has come to be a given with any Smartphone today. Most important however, is how does that universal interface layout make a user feel? The use of icons to represent each command and application has simplified the use of what is a very complicated device. The layout is almost like a perpetual computer desktop where all your options and avenues of operation are immediately visible from your home screen. This helps you navigate your next task. In the smaller details, there the spacing between each icon, the colours, order, and location of options in the settings is carefully planned. The way apple has made their digital interface look and work in harmony with the form of the physical case it is packaged in is a symphony of minimalism and usability. Its no wonder every Smartphone producing company uses the Iphone’s minimal style and simple interface as a blueprint for their own products.

Does It Look The Part?

There are two elements to this point. 1: The product must participate in its market, it must have the distinguishable design identity of its industry. 2: the product must be have the authority and emanate confidence, it needs to look like it can do the job its supposed to. If I could take a good example of this through form language, it would be the Dyson vacuum range. Rather than hide the dirt storage, filter system and intricate interior components, Dyson Vacuums flaunt these aspects and wear them like a badge of honour. I mean how you can even question whether a Dyson does its job when you have a display case attached to the thing showing you all the stuff it just cleaned off the floor. This isn’t the only way to do instil confidence of operation through industrial design, but it’s certainly one way to do it, and effective in this example.

Feel, Finish & Function

So its not only the sex appeal in curvature of a particular surface that makes a stylish prodeuct. It need to interact well with the user from the get go. A person needs to see that product and immediately know how to begin operating it. A consumer product couild have all the attraction of modern textures and materials and colours, but it will only appear confusing if someone doesn’t know where to press, hold, pull or turn it from the get go. Thats not a good looking product.