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How to describe and judge the design? My e-book Le Design tout simplement (in French), I mention some expressions related to the word design. So when we talk about design, you can refer to many expressions, which change over time according to  innovation, which makes the definition of « design » a complex task. That’s why in my book, I make a restrictive definition of design, since the definition itself of design is expected to be modified over time. So, I chose to define the design as a method of treating issues related to the design, taking into account five main criterias, those usually mentioned in several definitions already available. Here’s my definition:

Design: A method to conceptualise what is both beautiful, practical, confortable, possible and profitable.

In this sense, one can describe and judge a design taking into account five criteria:

  1. Beauty, style, aesthetics.
  2. Practical functionality, functionalism.
  3. Comfortable: ergonomics, the ‘user-friendly. « 
  4. Feasible: the technical, quality of production.
  5. Cost: the economic aspect, the return on investment, the impact on sales.
In fact, one can judge the quality of a design using a set of criteria, that is to say, a spreadsheet (like Excel ), with which there is the design on a scale value (from 1 to 5, for example) for each criteria. This score changes over time, since changes in the design ensure that the design of yesterday may be less interesting than the design of today!
In short, value judgments based on a strict methodology is used to judge a design. However, we can rely solely on one criteria.Thus, it is relevant to consider in particular the economic aspect, revealing the impact of good design on the sales.
It is also relevant to analyze the impact of design on the imagination of consumers, which refers to the aesthetic, but also the economic aspect, referring to marketing.
Finally, according to the type of use of design, it is preferable to rely more on the technical, ergonomic and practical.Consider, for example an office chair (essentially a work of ergonomics and functionalism) or the design of a workstation in the factory (by the technical aspects such as security devices, but also the ergonomics are much value).


According to a survey of 131 business leaders in Quebec, Canada.

Here in order of increasing the benefits of using an industrial designer:

  1. Increase creativity
  2. Diversification of product range
  3. Increase in turnover
  4. Developing a culture of quality
  5. Practice of technological and competitive
  6. Introduction of new working methods
  7. Increase in exports
  8. Mobilizing internal teams
  9. Deregulation of services
  10. Increased number of jobs.

Increase in sales

An expert on the subject of consumption.

Ronan Chastelier , sociologist and author, said without his book on market trends:

A study in the UK over the period 2002 to 2005, companies that use intensively the design have made twice as many innovations as the other. The corollary is an increase in turnover, as shown in another study, Danish it: over a period of five years, companies that « do design » have increased by 122% of their turnover.

Achieve success

According to the Government of Quebec.

The Ministry of Economic Development, Innovation and Export (MDEIE) shows the importance of hiring an industrial designer:

Essential tool for economic development, industrial design can make all the difference between success and failure of your product. It allows your company to design products that meet consumer needs and fit well to their environment.Industrial design is more than skin aesthetics, and it requires a global approach, from the beginning of the creative process.

According to a study by Industry Canada :

More than 80 per 100 Canadian businesses of all sizes have found a marked improvement in the satisfaction of customer needs and product quality as a result of the adoption of advanced technologies and processes (CDP Design and Product Development).

Increase profitability

The conclusions of Industry Canada.

Strategis – 2001:

An effective and innovative design is a critical factor for economic growth. It is through good design that design professionals are able to increase the value of products, services, communications and physical spaces while reducing costs, improving efficiency and increasing productivity.

Look good

The finding of Leger Marketing.

Omnibus Survey, Spring 2008:

69% of Quebec’s population believes that the work of designers contribute significantly to improve their quality of life.


An article in the magazine Jobboom, here are some examples of products out of the imagination of designers Quebecers:


Product designer and industrial designer are synonyms in that they are both professionals in the design of objects manifacture.

See also


Summary of survey results on the perception and use of industrial design by manufacturing firms in Quebec, Quebec Government, Economic Development, Innovation and Export Trade, April 2008, 32 pages.

CHASTELIER, Ronan. Tendancologie: Making glamorous Organization Eyrolles, Paris, 2008, 208 pages.

The Design Works! , Ministry of Economic Development, Innovation and Export, 2009.

Inter Design Conference in Quebec

BELLEROSE, Patrick. « Making life better, » Spotlight: Design,Jobboom Magazine , March 2009, p. 20-24.

The state of product design, a study by Industry Canada , 2010.

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    Laurent Marcoux, consultant en design industriel

    Email: contrat.laurent(at)
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  • Le Design et l’écologie

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