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Re: "Things are going digital"

Postby Sketchgrad » March 19th, 2018, 5:11 pm


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iab wrote:I would agree that physical objects will have a lesser importance as time goes on. It is really a just an algorithm. How much time one has in a day and how they choose to use that time. If a greater percent of time (and there is no denying it is) is being devoted to InstaSnapYouFaceChatBookGramGoogling, less time can be used camping, fishing, sports, hobbies of yesteryear, cars, motorcycles, etc.

Less time devoted to physical objects will lower demand.


This is part of a bigger discussion but you are forgetting that the entire reason people post on those apps is to project a life better than the one they actually have. FOMA and the likes, people will still make it look like they have gone camping with the cool gear, the enamel coffee mug by a roaring fire etc. People still want those products if all they are doing is taking a selfie of themselves to post on "the grams". For all the viewer knows the post is staged and come Monday morning all that gear is being returned....it still needs designing in the first place.

AVClub wrote:I will be interested to see if there will be any disruptions though with children (and anyone in general I guess) who are becoming addicted to tech. I am starting to see tech addiction and "disconnecting" a huge theme more and more.


Toy companies are getting smart to this. One good example is "LEGO dimensions". Essentially it is a video game that you have a pad with a sensor on. Your kids LEGO Batman has a chip on his foot that when placed on the pad allows you to play that character in the game. The kid still plays with the LEGO without the console but can then jump in front of the screen to become a square eyed zombie.

It's all about marrying things together, nothing exists without the other even if not directly related.

LEGO-Dimensions-Toy-Pad.png

Re: "Things are going digital"

Postby designbreathing » March 19th, 2018, 5:54 pm

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If you are just beginning to observe that "things are going digital" in my estimates you are about 5 years behind the leading edge. What I am seeing now with GenZ here in Korea is that they have grown up 100 % digital and are now just beginning to explore the physical world. The complete opposite of generations before them. It is a game changer that is moving away from pure dematerialized digital lifestyles. It does not help that we are now recording statistics on pedestrian deaths caused by self-driving cars...
Form follows culture....

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Re: "Things are going digital"

Postby iab » March 20th, 2018, 7:09 am


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Sketchgrad wrote:This is part of a bigger discussion but you are forgetting that the entire reason people post on those apps is to project a life better than the one they actually have. FOMA and the likes, people will still make it look like they have gone camping with the cool gear, the enamel coffee mug by a roaring fire etc. People still want those products if all they are doing is taking a selfie of themselves to post on "the grams". For all the viewer knows the post is staged and come Monday morning all that gear is being returned....it still needs designing in the first place.


What is the proportion of time posting content versus viewing content?

Again, viewing content reduces time to create content.

Re: "Things are going digital"

Postby AVClub » March 20th, 2018, 7:11 am


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Definitely not just beginning to observe, just reached a point that I felt like posting about it :wink:


designbreathing wrote:If you are just beginning to observe that "things are going digital" in my estimates you are about 5 years behind the leading edge. What I am seeing now with GenZ here in Korea is that they have grown up 100 % digital and are now just beginning to explore the physical world. The complete opposite of generations before them. It is a game changer that is moving away from pure dematerialized digital lifestyles. It does not help that we are now recording statistics on pedestrian deaths caused by self-driving cars...

Re: "Things are going digital"

Postby AVClub » March 20th, 2018, 7:27 am


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designbreathing wrote: What I am seeing now with GenZ here in Korea is that they have grown up 100 % digital and are now just beginning to explore the physical world. The complete opposite of generations before them. It is a game changer that is moving away from pure dematerialized digital lifestyles.


wow, super interesting, if you have a second could you elaborate? I find this fascinating.

Re: "Things are going digital"

Postby Cyberdemon » March 20th, 2018, 8:03 am

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Is now a good time to remind everyone to go watch Ready Player One in a week?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cSp1dM2Vj48

Re: "Things are going digital"

Postby yo » March 20th, 2018, 10:15 am

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Loved that book... lots of designed objects (even if they are digital :-) )

Re: "Things are going digital"

Postby John_Mauriello » March 23rd, 2018, 10:38 am


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I graduated in 2011 and everyone was saying that there would be a huge shift towards UX. Much like manufacturing, all ID jobs were going to be shipped out to China in the next 5-10 years. Looking back, this statement was completely ridiculous and I don't know how that guy could say that. Think about how difficult it is to communicate with overseas manufacturers regarding measurable things like tolerances and part quality. Then multiply that by the fact that ID uses a lot of subjective/trend-based/soft skills and it would just be a total nightmare.

While it is true that the UX field has grown exponentially in the last few years, it is certainly not true that ID is failing in any way.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, industrial design is set to grow about 3-4% year over year. That is considered slow growth. Just for some context, the average rate of growth is 4-7% in any given field. Fields like journalism are SHRINKING by about 10-15% per year, and fields like software engineering are growing at a staggering 15-20% per year.

I think that if you're a recent ID graduate, things are not as easy as they have been in the last 10-15 years...but to be fair, for as long as I've known about the field, industrial design has never been very easy to break into. Even some very talented designer friends in my graduating class were not able to break into the field of ID. But they did end up becoming very good UX designers, and they probably make more money than most of us too (generally, UX pays about 20% more than ID).

Just like anything else, if you strive to create the highest quality of work, people will want to hire you. I constantly try to stay up to date on my skills in order to remain relevant in the field. When I first graduated, I struggled to find work. Over time as I built up my skills, network, and portfolio, things have gotten much easier.

Industrial design will always be a profession for as long as we still exist in our physical bodies.

Re: "Things are going digital"

Postby Cyberdemon » March 23rd, 2018, 12:23 pm

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Much like manufacturing, all ID jobs were going to be shipped out to China in the next 5-10 years. Looking back, this statement was completely ridiculous and I don't know how that guy could say that. Think about how difficult it is to communicate with overseas manufacturers regarding measurable things like tolerances and part quality.


I will comment on this line, again not because all jobs were outsourced - but for companies which manufacture in Asia, it's MUCH easier to hire an overseas ID team to handle design and direct connection with the manufacturers. At my last job our ID team & ME team saw no growth (or a small decline) in our US or European studios over the past decade, but began hiring additional resources in Asia to help do the jobs which usually required designers getting on a plane and spending 3 weeks in China. It was easier to pay a lower salary for an additional employee overseas then it was to spend huge amounts of money on overseas travel.

Only a single example, but certainly not a ridiculous standpoint, especially given the cost and availability of ID labor in Asia. It also became tougher to argue the quality of overseas design, since for every 100 mediocre designers overseas there were still some great designers that you could track down.

Re: "Things are going digital"

Postby yo » March 23rd, 2018, 1:28 pm

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another thing I've been hearing for 20 years :-)

Last time I was there I did check in on 2 factory design center and had them pitch original concepts to me... the studios were very nice, but the design work was not in these two cases. Everything was a knock off of something else. They even pitched a knock of a product I had designed, and 3 knock offs of competitor's product. They didn't seem to understand that even if we felt like that design was a good brand fit, and that implementing a 3 year old design was acceptable to the marketplace, we would likely legally be in trouble. That said, the design talent is improving, but a brand that would rather do everything on the cheap and want to deal with sifting through all of that would be a good client fit for me. Plenty of work to go around in ID from my experience, it is just a matter of finding the right fits.

Re: "Things are going digital"

Postby Cyberdemon » March 23rd, 2018, 1:48 pm

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Agreed that certainly was not where our "innovation" projects came in, but for things like accessories, lower tier products (which grafted features from the higher end products) it was a big growth area for us. Not every charger needed a principal/senior ID leading it.

Re: "Things are going digital"

Postby John_Mauriello » March 23rd, 2018, 5:39 pm


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As things go more global, inevitably certain jobs will be outsourced. My instructor, however, was saying that ALL (or most) ID jobs would be sent overseas within 10 years. That was in 2010.

Re: "Things are going digital"

Postby yo » March 23rd, 2018, 8:32 pm

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Sounds like an instructor who had a hard time getting a job. If he believed all of the ID jobs were going overseas, how could he ethically feel good about educating a crop of new designers in the US?

Re: "Things are going digital"

Postby MK19 » March 25th, 2018, 12:38 pm


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yo wrote:Sounds like an instructor who had a hard time getting a job. If he believed all of the ID jobs were going overseas, how could he ethically feel good about educating a crop of new designers in the US?

It's no different to being a lecturer knowing full well that, as mentioned above, only around a 3rd of students who graduate the course will get an ID specific job.

Re: "Things are going digital"

Postby yo » March 25th, 2018, 2:31 pm

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I think there is a fundamental ethical difference.

In the situation you pointed out, 2/3 of design students might not get a job based on their abilities (and connections, but for purposes of this argument let’s classify that as a kind of ability. Also other schools have much higher placement rates and still others have much lower, so for simplicity let’s stick with 2/3rds). In this situation the professor knows that not all students will get jobs but does his or her best to prepare those paying students hoping that the top 33% will get placement.

In the first stituation the instructor believed “all jobs” were going overseas, so 0% of students would have jobs no matter their level of ability. In effect that professor his selling something he believes to be faulty. I. This situation the instructor takes money believing that how well or poorly the students are prepared that they won’t have jobs (an untrue presumption, but this is the belief of the instructor)...Thus very different from an ethics standpoint in my viewing.

Both viewpoints are not uncommon. Having taught as an adjunct off and on, and done plenty of guest lectures and critiques at schools, I’ve run into both kinds of instructors often. The first group tends to double down and try their best to prepare students, the second tend to phone it and let their personal defeat become their students’ defeat.

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