An overview of the principles of design focuses on globalization and technological developments.
In this business book, Justice (China’s Design Revolution, 2012) looks at product design in the context of the global economy. The author concentrates on products sold internationally and leads readers through the process of designing and testing. Justice pays particular attention to making sure the design fits the needs and preferences of customers in each regional market. The book teaches readers to develop and apply design thinking skills and “the nuances of design reasoning” throughout the planning process and to understand how the result aligns with overall business goals. The author also explores ways in which technology is changing both the world of design itself and how people expect to interact with products. The book emphasizes the possibilities of a design-driven future and the ethical responsibilities creators must embrace (“Designers and other disciplines related to technology will need to take a prominent role, with values and ethics as a key part of their education”) in order to make it beneficial. Justice incorporates many anecdotes and examples from her own work (for instance, modifying a focus group format in Hong Kong to make participants comfortable sharing their opinions) and that of other designers, providing illustrative stories that constitute one of the volume’s strengths. On the whole, the book is well organized and covers a substantial amount of territory despite its short length, though much of it is presented at a high level rather than in significant detail. But the author points readers to plenty of additional resources with further information, both throughout the text and in extensive endnotes. Justice also does an excellent job of explaining that design exists within a cultural context, and both regional differences and technological developments may require creators to regularly adjust their thinking (“What you think of as good design attributes may change in the future based on what becomes culturally important”).
A skillful, comprehensive, and complex look at design as it’s shaped by technology and culture.