Functional vs. aesthetic

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One of the challenges facing any designer or engineer is the quandary of form vs. function.

On the one hand, function is a requisite for any sensible design. If it isn’t easy or useful the product doesn’t have a long life in store for it. But form and aesthetics?

If a product doesn’t appeal to us we rarely give it a second thought. We’re visually attracted to equipment first, then look to make sure it fits our needs second. And that’s what all the reviews and talk concern, not how it looks but how it performs.

Of course, in the end, it’s function and performance that wins, but without the aesthetic to attract us, we rarely get past first base.

The good designs are a combination of function and aesthetic where aesthetic does not dominate function.

The very best designs are when function exceeds aesthetic’s promise.