Design Changing/Influencing Technology

2 Mar 2012 - 1:20pm
4 years ago
6 replies
1331 reads

Hey guys... I'm trying to do a little research on designs that have significantly influenced or changed technology.  So far I can think of the following:

Motorola Razr
iPhone/iPod (obviously, but would like non Apple examples if possbile)
Palm PDA

Love to hear what others people think and why/how it changed technology thinking.

Thanks in advance,


2 Mar 2012 - 2:18pm
Jack L. Moffett

Are you specifically wanting mobile devices? All of your examples are mobile, but you didn't limit it to that in your statement. Also, are you only interested in contemporary (last couple decades) examples, or are more historic examples also acceptable?

2 Mar 2012 - 4:16pm

Actually any devices in the last 10 years or so would be nice.  I'm trying to understand the landscape and how design has influenced the technology over the last few years.  But historical context would also work as long as the lessons learned from it can be applied to now.

2 Mar 2012 - 6:20pm

Do you mean 'change' or 'popularise'?

E.g. There were a few MP3 players in the marketplace way back when, but Apple made a really nice to own and slick to use version. No change in technology but it was repackaged. It was the same deal with touchscreen devices and tablet PCs.


2 Mar 2012 - 6:44pm

Good question.  I'm trying to look at how design, as in Interaction/Industrial, changed the perception of technology in the sense that it fueled growth in the sector after the design became "game-changing".  So if you look at how the Motorola Razr ignited the mobile phone market, iphone with touchscreen and new UI paradigm, etc.  Are there any other key designs that changed the interaction landscape, as well the technology behind it to support that new use.

2 Mar 2012 - 7:46pm
Alan Hogan

Let me know if I am splitting hairs here, but I am not sure I would agree that there was "no new technology" created for the iPod,iPhone, and iPad.

Example: Inertial scrolling and rubber-banding. Techology? Isn’t it?

Example: The touchpads on Mac laptops work a hundred times better than any others. Surely there is technology involved here that is better at discerning intentions from electric impulses.

Example: Apple pushed to use flash memory & custom, integrated batteries well ahead of competitors, for previously unthinkable form factors & battery life.

Example: Apple created their own system-on-a-chip to serve their needs. Pure design could not have created the iPhone out of existing parts.

If we only mean no new physical hardware technology, then perhaps.

I don’t mean to be thick or pendantic, but to say that there is no new techology involved, to me, means blinding ourselves to that blending of design & engineering we have all heard and talked about.

3 Mar 2012 - 2:58pm
Jochen Wolters


  • BMW iDrive
  • Opcode Studio Vision (first software-only music production system to support audio recording)
  • Tivo


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