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What Are the Best Tips for Writing an Industrial Design Thesis?

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  • Written By: Angela Farrer
  • Edited By: W. Everett
  • Last Modified Date: 22 November 2016
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Some tips for writing an industrial design thesis include formulating a unique product design, illustrating this design's possibilities with applied science principles, and creating a plan that demonstrates the new product's marketability. An industrial design thesis typically differs from a standard written academic thesis in other disciplines due to the lack of a stated argument to be proven. The goal of an aspiring industrial designer is typically to identify a current production shortcoming and to offer original design solutions. Creating a good thesis project entails applying both aesthetics and practical usability for an innovative design that appeals to a range of potential consumers.

Many students find the most challenging step of an industrial design thesis is thinking of an interesting idea that has not been previously covered in another project. Some choose not to focus on an existing problem but instead to brainstorm possible future problems with product design. A number of current products develop later issues with ergonomics, which can limit their usability for certain groups of people. Thesis projects that improve ease of use are often considered as valuable as those that improve on other design areas such as aesthetics. The topic of a design thesis does not necessarily need to be large or complex; it can sometimes be as simple as a well-designed handle that is more comfortable to hold.

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An industrial design thesis with an original idea also needs to be justified, described, and illustrated with polished drawings. Established industrial designers often recommend dividing the body of a thesis into several sections devoted to each specific purpose. One section can be devoted to a description of the current design problem and an explanation of why it falls short. A following section can include plans for solving it with established practices of industrial design. The final sections of the thesis can consist of the actual design process in the form of hand drawings or slides of computer aided design diagrams.

Well-organized design theses are the easiest ones to read, describe, and defend as a final requirement of the project. An industrial design thesis also needs to address the business aspects of a new product design. While a thesis may not need to include a comprehensive marketing plan, it should usually include a description of how the designer plans to communicate the improvements to consumers. Including a practical demonstration can be a helpful addition to an industrial design thesis when space and time allow.

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