Beyond Form Follows Function: Proposing a Simple Taxonomy that better Defines Successful Design

Abstract

Among non-designers (who are often important decision makers) the phrase ‘form follows function’ is a familiar pointer towards what good, contemporary design is about. Yet many products and services which apparently follow this principle turn out to be failures - commercially, practically, or both. For convenience, the term ‘anthrofact’ is used here to cover products and services. Based on an examination of successful anthrofacts across many fields, this paper proposes that the simple principle be extended to consider how ‘finish’ (how well the anthrofact meets quality expectations) and ‘feeling’ (the extent to which the customer’s or user’s trust in the producer of the anthrofact) are important in determining success. This is turn influences the design process, for example through choices of materials and the extent to which brand cues and other devices are used to bolster trust in the producer.

Presenters

Eric Woodcock
Visiting Teaching Fellow, Management Sciences, University of Lancaster, United Kingdom

Details

Presentation Type

Paper Presentation in a Themed Session

Theme

Design in Society

KEYWORDS

FORM, FUNCTION, FINISH, QUALITY, FEELING, TRUST, PRODUCTS AND SERVICES, ANTHROFACT

Digital Media

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Eric_Woodcock_Lisbon_presentation_230210.pptx