Product & Industrial Design
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Industrial design is a typical step in the development of a product - usually for the consumer market - where the interaction between the product and the user are considered. Industrial designers are concerned with features such as ergonomics and aesthetics. They bring the science and technology behind a product, together with the artistic and inviting qualities that make it desirable for purchase by the consumer.
Often times, the industrial design aspects of a product are what give it a sales advantage over other products which are functionally nearly identical. An excellent example can be found in consumer electronics products such as the MP3 player. The core of these devices is designed by electronic and software engineers, and in fact most function using similar technologies and components. However, because they are constantly being interacted with by the user, the interface must be appealing to the see and touch.
Industrial designers often operate independently of manufacturers, and may be involved in a wide variety of industries from automotive, to furniture, to kitchen appliances. They follow consumer trends and focus on making products marketable.