Industrial Design beyond the “bezel”.

With the advent of multi-touch and capacitive touchscreens it seems inevitable that many buttons and controls that were once part of products, particularly those with a lot of controls (ie. audio gear) will more and more become part of the overall product design.  What was once the territory of specialized designers (UI) must now be brought into the  tool box of industrial design.  We see so many products disjointed and schizophrenic in their approach to physical hardware controls alongside soft controls.  You’d think you were in two different worlds and indeed the design approach reflects this.  One person designs the physical and another person designs the UI software interface.  And there begins the problem.  Two different kingdoms built to serve one master.  Our work does not end where the “bezel” meets the screen.  A holistic and single vision must encompass the entire User Interface from buttons to screen.  So industrial designers, brush up on your pixels, and get yourself acquainted with common and emerging user interface paradigms.

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