Thursday, October 20, 2011

Why Design Matters...An Interview with Mobilegs Designer, Jeff Weber

We spoke with Mobilegs' designer, Jeff Weber, about the role of design in the products we use. Here's what he had to say...

Why is design important for consumer products?

Jeff Weber, designer of Mobilegs Crutches
Design is the connective tissue between people and the world we inhabit – the quality of that design profoundly affects the quality of the human experience and thus, defines our existence.

When using a product, we should be almost unaware of its existence. Comfort is the absence of awareness. The less aware we are of the device we’re using, the better. And, the more likely we are to select the well-designed product over one that is inferior.

Consumers want a good product, and deserve to be given that choice.

What is most essential to successful product design?

Empathy is the key to good design. It requires a total understanding of the needs of the people you are design for. This user-centric point of view is critical in improving the design of any product.

The designer must understand the user’s pain, frustration, joy, and physical and emotional well-being. There should always be a human benefit associated with product design – it’s about the experience, stimulating a person’s senses in a positive or beneficial way

Armed with that information, a designer can begin to construct a good product. It is a blend of art and science – using them in combination to positively impact how people live or work.

What has inspired your work and career?

The human body is a constant source of inspiration for me. Comfort and health are like love and peace – they go together and we can really never have enough. Throughout my career, I’ve set out to produce things that will improve the human experience.

Jeff Weber, of Studio Weber + Associates is an industrial designer who has developed such products as the Herman Miller Embody® Chair, PUR® Water Filtration Systems, and Mobilegs Crutches.

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