Product design can seem confusing if you’ve never had interaction with it before, with many phrases used by product designers regarding the design stages and process, it can seem overwhelming. Here is a simple and basic glossary of just some of the terms used in product design to help gain a better understanding of the terminology.
Aerodynamic – Designed to be optimised for air flow
Aesthetic – Describing the look of something
Branding – Marketing techniques used for a particular product, to create it into a brand
CAD – Computer aided design software, enables you to create detailed drawings of potential products
Composition – Putting together different parts to form something complete
Concept – An early idea of a product, more often still in sketch or drawing form
Design – To invent, sketch, plan, draw or make something
Design brief – A statement outlining goals to be met within the design
Eco – Design – Design that considers the environment and nature at the forefront of it’s idea.
GUI – Graphic user interface
Industrial Design – Where aesthetics and usability come together for products which may be improved through marketing and production
Mockup – Essentially a draft of a design whether full scale or not, it allows the user to evaluate and demonstrate the design
Prototype – Functional model of the design
Product strategy – Determining the market, context and money needed to invest in such a product
Rendering – A 2D image of the design, often put into CAD software to also create a more realistic version of the design.
Sustainable design – A design using products that have little or no impact on the environment or the future social environment.
Typography – The art of text, involving point size, typefaces and line spacing
Usability – Determining how usable the product will be for users