The Design Mix

The Design Mix consists of three components, often arranged in a triangle,

  • Aesthetics – How the product looks.
  • Function – How the product performs its task.
  • Economic Manufacture (Cost to Produce) – How much it costs to produce the product.

Examples of paradigms the Design Mix,


Maintaining a good product image that will appeal to customers is only one small portion of aesthetics, one must also consider consistency and differentiation. A product may be very aesthetic but may have shortfalls when it is used or may have a much lower profit margin than other products of lesser quality. A product like a smartphone that is top of the line may look and feel better than its competitors, however if it has a small processor that cannot perform tasks to the same standard as other phones on the market, it may be left behind when other competition sacrifices some of their aesthetics for performance, such as a camera bump or metal case for use as an antenna for better reception. Typically when a product is made, Aesthetics are one of the first considerations, whilst also factoring in cost.


An Ink-jet printer is much less functional than a modern day laser printer, however for most people, all they require is at most a few family photos, therefore a cheap, and a possibly unreliable printer would be more preferable than an expensive laser printer.

Additionally, most people would much prefer a non-consumable product over one that requires a refill or maintenance if the products are functionally similar, with the exceptions being things like coffee machines, where it is much quicker to have it made from a capsule.

Therefore the functionality of a product and its associated cost must also be considered.

Economic Manufacture

A company that wishes to sell its products must do so at a profit, selling highly functional products with aesthetic appeal may move a lot of orders, but if the business does not cover its break-even cost it may struggle to expand.

Design Mix Triangle

A Design Mix Triangle can be used to show the struggles between the relationship of each corner, a product may be functional and aesthetic, but not economical to manufacture.

Changes in Response to Social Change

  • Concern over limited global resources
  • Reducing Waste
  • Reusing Materials
  • Recycling
  • Reducing Consumables
  • Ethical Sourcing and Management
  • Fair Trade


Garbage in Garbage Out Data

When you signup for a website. You enter your information (or data). You don’t always get it right and could miss a box or spell your own credentials wrong (garbage), this data in an ICT system is very important that it is minimised. There are numerous ways that this can be accomplished.

Data must be correct

In order to have an accurate IT solution, your data must be correct, otherwise users may find your solution hard to use. It is important that you minimise GIGO through thorough data validation.

Garbage in Garbage Out

garbage in garbage out


When you enter data into an ICT system it is vital that your data is accurate, valid, and up to date. This can be accomplished though input validation. When you enter data, it should be of top quality it is vital that GIGO does not occur. GIGO is garbage in, garbage out, and refers colloquially to the fact that whatever you put into an ICT system, such as garbage, is what you will get out. This is because ICT systems are designed to preform the task that they were designed for, and doing tasks that aren’t what they are supposed to do, will inevitably produce garbage as computers work by logical process. An example of this would be putting an email address in a phone number box on contact information, and when ringing someone, the call does not connect, because it cannot ring an email address.

To stop this sort of thing from happening you must read instructions, follow tutorials and understand the implications of what you are doing, otherwise you could corrupt your data.

Data should be accurate, up-to-date, reliable, complete, correct, designed for purpose and when entered, it should be paramount that it follows these principles, otherwise your it solution could produce frustrating results that the user does not expect. Make sure your data is accourate by forcing users to enter it correctly.