When Do I Need Industrial Design

And That’s Why We Only Focus On Medical…

A couple of weeks ago I posted that new blog post I mentioned that’s been sitting there for a while, waiting for the WP backend to be rectified. The only thing is, I’d already posted it some time ago and hadn’t realised it was the same one. Yes, I’m an idiot. So to limit my foolishness I’ve pulled that one, and replacing it with this one.

See, when you spread yourself across many projects all with different needs and objectives, it takes time to refocus every time you switch. Different projects have different systems and different ways of thinking. And if one project sits a while, you forget where you were at. This leads to mistakes. In my case, I’d utterly forgotten what posts I’d published, and which I had not.

Industrial Design has an extremely broad area of application. The design methodology can apply to many industries, specialisations, and niches. When consulting, it’s very difficult to be ‘in the zone’ for each and every project simultaneously. There are generalist design consultancies out there, but from my experience their ability to apply themselves to every project is just that, general. Granted, for most things that perfectly sufficient. However when the projects are large, complicated, or difficult, a general knowledge isn’t enough to meet the needs of the client and project. Especially when it comes to regulated industries that require detailed knowledge of requirements, specific to each industry.

Like any exercise, if all you did was run, you’d become an astoundingly good runner. If you ran, swam, windsurfed, and rollerbladed you’d certainly become a fit and versatile athlete, but you still couldn’t compete with the most elite runners out there. Trying to know everything all at once will lead to one of two things:

1. Your knowledge in all areas is broad, but shallow.

Your knowledge is versatile, but remains general. This means your application to a specific project may not be as deep as it needs to be in order to deliver real value.


2. You focus down on one project, but at the cost of others.

As you deepen your knowledge to apply yourself to one project, the knowledge you’ve learnt for application in other projects gets shelved. It’s not that you forget, but it takes effort to bring that knowledge back to front of mind.

The limiting factor is time.

It is possible to have a deep knowledge of many projects, but it takes an extreme amount of time to learn and maintain that knowledge. Enough time there’s little left for applying it. It is also possible to have a deep knowledge of each project, as needed. But that also takes time to bring yourself back up to speed each and every time so that you can fully apply yourself. When you’re consulting, someone is paying for that time, and your clients will not be willing to pay you to relearn the deep and technical knowledge needed to deliver value on their project, each time you pick it up.

This is why as a design consultancy we only focus on medical device design.

Medtech, regardless of device, all exists within the same regulatory and quality frameworks. As designers, we continually work within that space and never need to ‘brush up’ on our knowledge of medical device development or quality management systems. It’s part of our day-to-day, every day. That means as a consultancy we’re able to deliver real value to clients seeking to maximise their capital.

If anything, focusing in medtech not only prevents our knowledge base from becoming muddled or superficial, it makes the opposite true. With time, our knowledge of the industry and the specific requirements needs to take devices to market becomes deeper. We become more elite.

If I’d been routinely posting fresh blog posts every month for the last 12 months, I’d exactly where I was at, and wouldn’t have posted the same one twice. I’d be pretty good at it, and less inclined to mistakes.

Of course, medical devices is in itself an extremely broad and complex field. There are many technologies and applications that go extremely deep within the medical devices. People dedicate their whole lives to learning all there is to know about one specific area of one specific field. We don’t pretend to know everything. We choose very deliberately to focus on what we’re good at. To continually improve at it, and deliver maximum value to our clients. And when we operate constantly within medical device design and development, it means operating within those constraints is second nature. If means we can dedicate more time to understanding the specific needs of the project.

If you’re keen to discuss your project with us, we’re always happy to jump on a call. Just shoot us an email at studio@virtimachi.com or find me on LinkedIn.