Good Design is Appropriately Elegant

User Experience Designer Seattle

Misano is an industrial designer working on a project with a collaborative team to create a set of kitchen utensils for users with moderate to severe arthritis. The design constraints for the project required that the tools be easy to hold without much grip strength, and withstand a drop from a level of 4 feet or higher without sustaining damage.

Early designs met these criteria but, in the eyes of the management team, were so ugly as to make them unappealing to anyone including the target audience. In an effort to make them more attractive and saleable to larger number of customers, Misano added ornamentation to the lower handle of each, a ball and a fleur-de-lis.

Misano met with her manager, Massimo, to review the designs. “The ornamentation increases interest, certainly, but adds weight to the handle and clashes visually with the simple lines of the blades and scoops of the tools themselves.” he said. “The ornamentation is fragile, too. We need to focus the design to our target user set here and not try to be everything to everyone.”

Misano eliminated the ball and fleur-de-lis and added a gentle curve to the handle to make it attractive and appropriately elegant without unnecessary ornamentation.

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