I was reading an article (which you can find here) that touched on something I hadn’t thought about. Designing with the future interest of someone who is about 15 or 16 years old. I figure this gives you about 3 years to smooth out your concept before this group of people become adults and more importantly, become heavy consumers of technology and other retail products. Every designer may be trying to design for the future, but they may be going about it all wrong. Surely, if you want to design for the future, you should not be looking at the people of today. Look at the people of tomorrow who will be the people of today. The products that a 15 year old will want in 5 years are probably much different than what a 20 year old wants right now. The fact is, that designing takes time and time moves very fast in the current state of tech and industrial design.
Making re-designs over and over of current products for the current generation is great for a short term turn around, because we can always think of some way to improve on what we have made and make others want that improvement. Take for instance cell phone keyboards. Touch screen or physical, they are smaller and have unique layouts compared to the standard computer keyboard. With the rising use of cell phones to do just about everything, why are we still designing keyboards the same way or cell phones the same way. I don’t think anyone would admit that they believe a cell phone touch pad is anywhere near perfect for typing. Every couple of years, there is a new generation of people who mature, get jobs, and start spending money on products that were designed for the generation before them. The tech might be current but it’s not important or innovative/ as useful as it could be for the person it is targeting.