Discussions on design with Grahame Jones, Senior Design Consultant
A lot has changed in 20 years. We don’t have to endure clouds of cigarette smoke at the pub, we can link our phones to our cars, and we can even pay for groceries through a watch.
The world of design has also changed quite a bit since our Senior Design Consultant, Grahame Jones, started out two decades ago. In our latest piece, Grahame discusses his journey in product design, the changes he’s experienced in the industry and his hopes for design’s future.
For Grahame, design wasn’t always a chosen career path. “In school, I’d never even heard of product design,” he explains.
A college tutor inspired his interest in the subject. “I always knew I wanted to do something creative; I just wasn’t sure exactly what. I was interested in things like graphic design and photography. When I learned about product design, it all clicked.”
It wasn’t long before Grahame was studying for a degree in product design at college, before embarking on a 20-year career in the medical industry, designing therapy and mobility equipment for people with a disability. Having decided it was time for a change, Grahame joined PDR and has now been an important part of our team for over eight years.
In a fast-moving field like product design, a lot can change in just a couple of years.
Grahame explains: “Since the early nineties, product design has changed dramatically. Notably, the tools we use are completely different.
“I started off working with a humble drawing board and tracing paper. Now, we have access to 3D CAD modelling software, and we can quickly realise designs with 3D printers.”
In an ever-changing field like design, new tech is routinely introduced. Grahame is enthused by the opportunities this might present. He explains: “The prospect of being able to use even more advanced tools to conduct more complex, detailed analysis is really exciting.”
“Perhaps the most exciting development of all will be improvements in machine learning. Our goal is always to provide the best user experience possible. Soon, we may be able to use AI to analyse how people interact with design prototypes, giving us a better idea of how a user experiences a product and which elements to fine-tune.”
However, Grahame warns against attempts to speed up the design process excessively: “This often comes at the expense of proper, considered analysis which is essential to meeting users' needs. We want to make sure people love and cherish the products we help to design.”
Like Grahame, the PDR team is driven by the desire to improve people’s lives with user-centred design.