Digital Product Design: how we got here, and where we’re going next

In the first of his regular columns on digital product design, Richard Banfield looks at how the discipline has evolved to embrace a multitude of roles and what the opportunities are for designers of every type

In the dirty, dangerous, messy and manufacturing-centric days of the Industrial Revolution, product design was firmly focused on engineering processes that would increase output. It was some time before managers and leaders would even recognise that a ‘product’ was more than just a physical object.

Fast forward to today and you can’t throw a stone without hitting a ‘product designer’. But their contribution is no longer at the sidelines and the products they are working on are just as likely to be digital as physical. At the core of every new product today is a user experience, and with it the user experience designer.