[Response] Designing for the Digital Age – Kim Goodwin

In this reading of “Designing for the Digital Age – Goal-oriented Product and service Design” by Kim Goodwin, it gives a clearer view on basically how to design.

Goodwin gave an accurate definition for the word – Design – is the craft of visualizing concrete solutions that serve human needs and goals within certain constraints.

Serving human needs and goals will confuse people on whether human factor and HCI are different from designers. Goodwin raise the criteria to differ both groups of people. Designers will give creative problem-solving solutions whereas people who are trained in human factor and HCI are people with evaluative techniques. I agree with her as the line between designing and making something suitable/comfortable for human can be very vague at times as all our target-audience are human beings. Being trained in human factor will be a bonus for designers as there will be some considerations given to human. Personally I feel that on top of designs are for usability, it is also tackling with emotions that users feel when they uses the product, which is something that thoughtful designs can achieve.

Goodwin also focused on Goal-Oriented Design and the method to it. I agree that a goal-oriented design can maximise the efficiency of the team and also ensuring clear communication with other teammates or client. However, I am not very receptive to the point that she made about pattern. In some way, I feel that having a pattern can seem like a template/stencil for design. Personally, I’ve always felt that a good design should be polished overtime, just like brewing a pot of soup, taking time for the taste and essence to reach the maximum. It will be definitely easier for designers with their “vocabulary”, where they can come out with solution faster and efficiently. However, if every design were to follow certain template then where and when will the breakthrough in design come?

Aesthetics of Products

From the previous lecture, we were introduced to the 3 factors that influence the aesthetics(form) of a product. The factors are Function, Human Factors & Emotion.

I will be sharing 3 products that show dominance in each factor in this post.


A functional based product will be straightforward about its function so users will be be able to use it intuitively.

This product is Happy Bowl from an online store named ezpz, designed by Brad, one of their team member. This product is made of silicone and specially created for toddlers (>6 months).

I chose this product to illustrate function-dominance aesthetic as it is simple in showing the function. The main intention of this design is to allow easy cleaning after the toddler is done with their meal. The suction of the silicone mat will not allow tippling of bowl and also captures any food that are dropped outside the bowl.



Human factor based products are designed with priorities on the interaction of human and the product itself, hence focusing on comfort of users during use. Usually this will also be known as ergonomics. One of the common product that is greatly influenced by this factor will be computer mouse.

Also, designs that are specially for human with specific requirements (such as infants, elderly or handicapped community) also falls under the influence of this factor.

This product is Leaven Jug, designed by a British Product Designer, Simon Kinneir. Leaven Jug is part of the series of kitchen products that are designed specifically for visually impaired users.

This product enable visually impaired users to know when the jug is full by touching the frame of the jug. The jug is slanted and as the jug is filled, the center of gravity will shift and causing the frame to tip forward, hence cueing the user that the jug is full.



Emotion based product focuses on giving a specific personality to the product or show certain mood to users. This type of products will attract the users who prefers the specific spirit of the product.

This product is Juice Bruce, designed by Yaacov Kaufman. A wooden citrus juicer with an unique look.

The blockish juicer with a emotionless expression gives users a rather adorable feel and it will definitely attract users of different age groups too, especially children and ladies. Simply a product that will be too cute to handle and definitely bring smiles to users just by looking at it. On top of its function, it is good to be just a decoration in the house too.