Skip to content
Skip to main content

About this free course

Download this course

Share this free course

An introduction to design engineering
An introduction to design engineering

Start this free course now. Just create an account and sign in. Enrol and complete the course for a free statement of participation or digital badge if available.

1.3 Design is not just for designers

Design takes place at every single stage in any project. Even the smallest design sub-task can be approached creatively, often leading to significant innovation and improvement when it is scaled up. In many world-leading product design companies, the design of apparently insignificant elements and components is given as much attention as the overall design because this can lead to other benefits.

In some cases the smallest components may have a significant effect. Take Trunki, for example, an internationally successful product that failed to get funding on the BBC television programme Dragons’ Den due to the strap clip breaking during demonstration. Despite this failure, its designer continued with the product, realising that the problem could be overcome through further design and testing (Figure 7).

Described image
Figure 7 Children’s hand luggage product Trunki

This is an extreme example of a small detail having a large consequence, but the lesson is important – you never know what detail might matter most. The principles of design can be applied usefully to all stages of a project and even beyond. The smallest detail in a project needs to be designed just as much as the overall project.