Economic Design

Alex Shanmugham

When designing a product one of the key areas I always focus on is the cost, will it be affordable for potential users?, is it too overpriced?, the price of a product has a huge influence on the buyer. When I go to the supermarket to buy a soft drink for example I always end up buying the product which costs 75c as opposed to a reputable big brand one such as Coca Cola which costs $2.50. Reason why I choose the cheaper option is because they are essentially the same product, so spending an extra $1.75, whilst not a lot of money, it’s essentially paying over 3x the amount for a slightly better taste which for me is not justifiable.

When designing economically you need to ensure manufacturing costs are kept to minimum so you can keep the costs down for users whilst still generating a profit. You also need to make sure that if it’s a higher end product then that high price tag must be justifiable. For example when buying a TV a smaller TV will generally cost less than a bigger TV, also determined by screen quality and features.

The way you incorporate this into your design process is through the research and development stage where you explore materials and subsequent manufacturing costs. You must also compare your product with similarly priced items and base the cost for users around that.