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Design & Technology

Social, moral, environmental and legal issues

The opportunity for new products arises from developments in technology or customer need. The effective design of these products does not just consider how they work. It also has to take into account a broad range of issues, including social, cultural, market and environmental factors.

Market pull, technology push

Designers identify the opportunity to develop new products based on technology push or market pull.

Technology push

Technology push is when products are re-designed because of changes in materials or manufacturing methods. This might mean that new materials have become available, with improved properties; or that improvements in manufacturing processes mean a manufacturer can make the product cheaper or more efficiently, which reduces manufacturing costs.

Market pull

Market pull is when product ideas are produced in response to market forces. Examples of market influences include:

  • A demand from consumers for new or improved products.
  • A competing product is launched by another manufacturer.
  • A manufacturer wants to increase their share of the market.

Other reasons

Sucessful designs: Apple iPod and Dyson vacuum cleaner

Sometimes a designer will design a new or improved product simply because they believe that the very existence of the product will create market pull. Designs like this may succeed or fail, depending on consumer demand, how innovative the product is, and the state of the market.

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