What design is – Reflection after visiting Vitsoe
I feel so glad that I didn't cancel the industry visit yesterday even though I have a PMA due on next Monday.
It seems that I visited a furniture art centre rather than a factory. The building, as well as their products, are artworks that fully satisfy the function, style, and incredible appeal.
After a nice tea break, the leader Mark gave us a stimulating talk on what the design means to the Vitsoe: 'Living better, with less, that lasts longer'. Simple and strong.
Less or More?
Vitsoe only has a particular design for shelving, chair and desk. But each of them works flexible and adaptable to various customers' needs. There is nothing complicated in the products, but after seeing the showroom, materials, and assembling work. YES, I want them to be a part of my life. Furniture is not a fast-moving or fashion commodity. Classic furniture could be a part of the family of great sentimental value because there were so many lovely memories happened around it.
Best or Newest?
Living in a tech-saturated world, it seems as if we've been overwhelmed by the newest things. Still, many people argue that routinely introduce new products that replace the existing or even best-selling products is an effective way to remain market share or win more from competitors. That is acknowledged as brand proliferation or brand extension.
From my point of view as a big fan of technology, this is a fairly tricky question because I find sometimes my curiosity leads my life out of focus. As Cal Newport put in his Digital Minimalism, it's necessary to know what is the 'best' for you and how much is just enough. Before I click a link to open a new website or open a notification from an APP. I ask myself: Do I really need to know that now？
Another interesting example is about my grocery shopping experience. I used to spent around 3 hours in Tesco to buy the necessities of life for the next week. As a curious shooper, I walk around every aisle and look through every shelf, keeping asking myself: 'which one do I need?' The answer is 'I don't know'. Always. Then suddenly, it occurs to me that I forget something in that place...back and forth...Time is gone.
Now I designed a route according to the layout of a supermarket which helps me to get everything I want and most importantly, done within a hour! It's true that supermarkets design particular layout to make customer stay longer and spend more.
So, maybe it's time to offer your customer less but better. 'Don't make me think'—Krug's first law of Usability.
Product or service?
Good design cannot live without good service, and good service nourishes good design. In this IP-competitive age, it is easier to copy the physical products than the service. Also, word of mouth has been proved as a strategic marketing promotion.
Make profits or make sense?
Profit, Mark said, is like the food and air to support our lives not the aim. I agree that keep doing the rights things is far more important than making money, which is also highly emphasised in Lumi.