The design of common things isn’t just for design professionals anymore. No longer is the customer satisfied with the outdated notion of manufacturers designing and marketing merchandise. Today’s customer wants to participate. It’s time for an interactive experience between the customer and the product. And that experience isn’t about playing a game or liking a product on Facebook either. The latest thing is for customers to participate in customizing designs of various goods. Rather than purchase from the rack, customers want to be involved before the product is manufactured. With help from the Internet and various software programs, forward-looking companies are already allowing this to happen.
It’s been more than a decade since Nike allowed people to just do it themselves. Someone could visit their website and choose materials and colors for their Air Force One shoes. The idea was expanded to other product lines and the latest version facilitates a shoe design based on colors from a customer’s photograph. There’s Threadless for T-shirts and Blank Label for dress shirts. Furniture, toys and jewelry are all among the possibilities. Even Lego gets in on this growing trend by allowing customers to design their own toys. Of course we here at Cool have long been part of this trend with our Creative USB site. We let customers design their own flash drives. So don’t just sit there – design something.
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