An Engineer's Alphabet of Thoughts on Design

< Previous Page 2 / 3 Next >
View Comments: Newest First|Oldest First|Threaded View
<<  <  Page 2/2
User Rank
Importance of Appearance
Tool_maker   11/10/2011 12:37:29 PM
Just as really attractive people are able to usually get the benefit of doubt, so too do attractive devices have the user trying to look for what is right rather than what is wrong. Should not be the case, but it is.

Dave Palmer
User Rank
Dave Palmer   11/9/2011 6:04:41 PM
Not long ago, I judged a student engineering project at my alma matter.  One team of students had the task of coming up with a solution to a manufacturing problem. (This was a "real world" project sponsored by a local company).  The solution they ultimately came up with, I thought, was a pretty good one.

Prior to hitting upon this solution, they came up with a number of other interesting ideas; however, these ideas were unworkable within the constraints of the manufacturing process.

When I asked the students about some of these rejected ideas, their response was basically, "Well, it was a good idea, but the company didn't like it for some reason, so we had to come up with something else." They didn't seem to be willing or able to think critically about the constraints of the process - or why something which might otherwise be a brilliant idea might not work in a given context.

Given that being able to think intelligently about the constraints of a system is one of the most important outcomes of an engineering education, I graded the students down for this.

(For what it's worth, they won the competition anyway).

User Rank
Re: Over-design
Baldrick   11/9/2011 5:50:24 PM

Failure is a part of life and should always be regarded as an opportunity, something we must learn from.


Harmony is a lesson in stagnation. Discourse and dissent are the signs of a great team.


Neatness is a sign of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), avoid these people at all costs.

Ralphy Boy
User Rank
Re: Over-design
Ralphy Boy   11/9/2011 4:44:19 PM
This slimming down the design has been a slow process for me to get a handle on. I will still at times go for a beefy look just because I want that look and not because the added strength or weight is important to the final function.

"Failure. This thing that designers want most to avoid should always be first and foremost in their mind. Otherwise, how could they design against it?"

I will allow that this includes 'Failure to design saftey in first'... Always at the top of my list.


User Rank
Woody@DDLLC   11/9/2011 9:32:04 AM
Great A-Z overview on design! I would only add to judgement: Good judgement comes from experience and experience comes from bad judgement!

TJ McDermott
User Rank
TJ McDermott   11/8/2011 10:11:36 AM
I admit to thinking "Look what I have wrought!" when my prototype works.

Charles Murray
User Rank
Charles Murray   11/8/2011 9:44:46 AM
The comparison between over-design and over-eating is appropriate. There are hundreds of wristwatches, mobile phones and even PCs that are larded with extra features and software that seem to serve little purpose other than to cause unnecessary complexity. Someone needs to offer a class, "Slim Fast Product Design 101." 

<<  <  Page 2/2
Partner Zone
More Blogs
Design News previews some of the solutions exhibitors that will be at the huge UBM-organized design, engineering, and manufacturing trade show in Anaheim in February 2016.
The common denominator in just about every electromechanical system is the use of a motor. If sensors will be the eyes and ears of the IoT, motors will be the arms and legs.
Governmental policies and mandates in Europe are leading the way in creating low-carbon manufacturing.
According to a Randstad Engineering compilation of salary studies, engineering salaries are increasing beyond inflation, with employers paying to keep potential suitors away from their employees.
The company says it anticipates high-definition video for home security and other uses will be the next mature technology integrated into the IoT domain, hence the introduction of its MatrixCam devkit.
Design News Webinar Series
12/2/2015 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York
11/10/2015 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York
10/29/2015 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York
10/20/2015 8:00 a.m. California / 11:00 a.m. New York
Quick Poll
The Continuing Education Center offers engineers an entirely new way to get the education they need to formulate next-generation solutions.
Jul 6 - 10, Building Raspberry Pi Controllers with Python
SEMESTERS: 1  |  2  |  3  |  4  |  5  |  6 |  7

Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.
Learn More   |   Login   |   Archived Classes
Twitter Feed
Design News Twitter Feed
Like Us on Facebook

Sponsored Content

Technology Marketplace

Copyright © 2015 UBM Canon, A UBM company, All rights reserved. Privacy Policy | Terms of Service