Progressive Design, New Theory on the Move

“Progressive Design Theory – It’s not a matter of taste, it’s precision engineering!”

Being a progressive designer is about being an engineer, an architect and an artist, and in that specific order. It is about embodying the spirit of the entire product, not just visualizing and prototyping your ideas.

As a progressive designer, your brain is capable of curved, linear and abstract thoughts. You are able to switch from one mindset to another based on the task at hand. You can implement ideas, inspiration and guidelines from the people around you, into the product and lead the development from start to finish, being involved in every detail.

Before anything else, you start by defining your functionality as an engineer, the very core mechanics of your product. When you know what your product can achieve, you have a platform to build on, you have defined the essens of your product. You will then shape and bend your functionality, into a useable and structured product as an architect, streamlining every metric. In the end, you will unleash your artist and sculpt the impressions of the product, the very soul and personality, that must accomplish consumer admiration.

Every change to the product by the engineer, will invalidate the work of the architect. Every change by the architect, will invalidate the work of the artist.

Think like a designer, not a consumer!

Being a progressive designer is, at the core, about functionality, not artwork. Artwork is exciting and the attention parameter for all of us. It’s what we as consumers are attracted to. But when the first impressions are over, the attention is moving and the consumer is fulfilled. Now the design has to deliver more then just first impressions, it has to have a great function, a use, a purpose and it has to meet the users expectations beyond artwork.

If you don’t want your design to end up in the back of the consumers mind, it has to be functional, it has to enrich your user with new possibilities, it has to be more then just pretty.

Progressive design is about the engine, before the car! Imagine you’re designing a product with all the right curves, simply a work of art. But then you take a look at the engine; it’s small, it’s limited and it is far from the spirit of the products design. There is a gap between the two things, unmatched expectations. The functionality of the product is not what I would expect as a consumer and you end up with a sense that your product is fake, it’s hollow, it’s missing its core, the functionality, the possibilities.

When you design a product, you start with the functionality, then the structure and in the end the artwork. Functionality will make the product sustainable, structure will give the product usability and artwork will satisfy the user, communicating quality and brand values.

The Engineer…

As an engineer, your primary drive is functionality, creating the core of the product. You don’t care about how parts are fitting together or how they look. You only care about what parts you could invent and enrich the possibilities of your product with. You are an idea machine, an inventor, an innovator.

You keep asking the same question; how could you improve the mechanics of your design, the very essens of the product you are creating. You have a mindset that despise regularities and celebrate every nuance in the world around you. You are the true definition of a nerd and will dive into every detail in your path, to understand it and break it, to rebuild a better and a stronger version.

The Architect…

As an architect you demand control, taxonomy and structure in every aspect of your product. You are the king of logic and everything needs to fit together and become standardized. You are driven by intuitive controls and recursive structures, to satisfy your lust for streamlining the functionality and behaviors of your product. You have a mindset that will eliminate every irregularities and polish every scratch in your work, to create a useable and understandable product.

The Artist…

As an artist you understand a wide array of feelings and are able to communicate these feelings in a captivating canvas of colors, shapes, images and typography. Your drive is the very first impressions, mesmerizing and guiding your consumer through your message and delivering that satisfying feeling, that this product is something unique. Your mind is visual and you can deliver that imagination into your work. You think in abstracts, unstructured and can turn any blank canvas into beautiful creations, without being bound by limitations.