Watches Tell More Than Time: Product Design, Information, and the Quest for Elegance

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9780071362436: Watches Tell More Than Time: Product Design, Information, and the Quest for Elegance

From Audis to iMacs, Beetles to palm-tops, the design secrets behind some of the biggest business success stories of all times

"Del Coates has written a definitive playbook for product managers on how to cultivate winning design leadership strategies."­­Betty Baugh, President of the Industrial Designers Society of America

In Watches Tell More Than Time, awardwinning designer and mentor Del Coates explains the importance of product design for businesspeople and other nondesigners. From an explanation of the physiology of our responses to product design, to secrets of achieving harmony and elegance, to the impact of computer-assisted modeling on modern design, Coates covers the topic from every angle, using real-life product design case studies to illustrate his points. A lively and accessible exploration of the fascinating world of product design, written by an internationally acknowledged master, Watches Tell More Than Time will appeal to managers and executives, marketing professionals, and design junkies interested in the subject.

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From the Back Cover:

The design of every product conveys certain information, and modern consumers are experts in reading the language of product design. Most of us can discern the different messages conveyed by say, a Rolex versus a Swatch, a Porsche versus a Hummer, a Kenneth Cole versus a Bally, or an iMac versus a Compaq. But whether we're talking watches, cars, shoes, personal computers or any other mass-produced item, how many of us can say with any real conviction what differentiates a good design from a bad one, or exactly how the good design manages to tell its story so clearly and so well to so many people?

Design experts, psychologists, marketing theorists, and even French philosophers have wrestled with these questions for nearly a century. But few have provided more comprehensive or persuasive answers to these questions international industrial design authority Del Coates has in this fascinating and accessible book. Watches Tell More Than Time is a much needed resource for shaping corporate design strategies, evaluating product designs at any stage of development or marketing­­and optimizing them.

Drawing upon findings in an array of disciplines, including aesthetics, psychology, information theory, physiology, anthropology, as well as his own vast experience as an award-winning industrial designer, Coates peels back the layers of some of the greatest product designs, past and present, to reveal the secrets behind their success. From the neurophysiology of human perception and how it shapes our responses to design elements, to the secrets of achieving harmony and elegance, he attacks the subject from every conceivable angle in order to flush out the basic laws of good design. And perhaps more fully and eloquently than any author before him, he explains exactly why, while zeitgeists come and zeitgeists go, and today's Space Age sensation is tomorrow's white elephant, the principles of good design are forever.

Watches Tell More than Time is essential reading for managers, entrepreneurs, marketing and advertising professionals and virtually anyone in business who understands that, in today's volatile global marketplace, more than ever before, superior design is the key to success. At the same time, this book offers design professionals and "design junkies" a unique opportunity to learn the secrets of successful product design from an acknowledged master.

From Audis to iMacs, Beetles to palm-tops, the design secrets behind some of the biggest business success stories of all times

In this fascinating and informative book, award-winning designer and international design mentor, Del Coates, explains why design is so important to the success of a product. And, with the help of examples of many of the best product designs of all times, he takes design professionals and non-designers alike on a lively excursion into the world of product design to reveal the subtle interplay of psychological, physiological, and aesthetic forces informing both the design of man-made products and our responses to them.

About the Author:

Del Coates is a professor of design in the world famous San Jose State University design department. He has worked as an industrial designer, on corporate staffs, and as a consultant on a broad range of product, including consumer products, furniture (as a member of the renowned Herman Miller design team), automobiles (he coined the product strategy and the name for Nissan Maxima), and computers (applying his methods, he contributed to the design of only the second computer to be added to the MOMA's permanent collection). Del lectures often and widely around the world, most recently this summer as an invited guest for DaimlerChrysler AG's research and development group, at the University of Sunderland in England, and at the ISATA Conference on Automotive Technology in Vienna. He teaches each summer at the University of Michigan's Human Factors Engineering Conference and chairs product design sessions at the Silicon Valley Ergonomics Institute's meetings. He writes a regular column for IDSA journal and has published a number of seminal articles in a variety of journals and professional publications. In addition to his teaching and speaking, Del consults to many of the world's top companies including Unisys, Daewoo, Mooney Aircraft, Nissan, General Motors, Peterbilt, Hewlett Packard, Rockwell International, Tandy, Black & Decker, Kodak, General Electric, NCR, Owens-Corning, Pitney Bowes, and Xerox.

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