For our third and final masterclass, Andrew Cook introduced the class to a design philosophy called “Without Thought”. The idea behind this philosophy is to bring a design into its most basic and intuitive form in order to create an interaction that feels natural to the user.
The japanese designer, Naoto Fukasawa, is very passionate about this design philosophy and often creates minimalistic designs that are incredibly intuitive to use. Arguably his most famous example is the wall mounted Muji CD Player, now a permanent feature of the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York.
For this design, Naoto Fukasawa drew inspiration from extractor fans commonly found in japanese homes. Because the Muji CD Player adopts a similar form, people instinctively know how to use it. If I were to ask you to turn the CD player on, chances are you would know what to do without having been told. It works because the interaction of using a pull chord is familiar to us.
In other words, how you interact with a product influences the expectation you have of it. Look at the button below:
You’ve probably seen one like it before, so you’re quite familiar with it. It’s still just a regular button but you have a clear expectation of what it will do.
I hope in my final concept I can create a product that is completely intuitive and will allow the user to interact with it in a way that comes naturally. I’ll have to think carefully about the form, the materials and what the interaction will be.
What will it do?
How simple can it be?
How familiar can it be?
These are all questions that will be influential to my design if I want my product to have real value.