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14 Types of Design Concept

 , February 01, 2018
A design concept is a foundational idea that gives a design its depth, meaning and direction. This can typically be summed up as a sentence or short statement that can also be represented visually. A design concept serves to guide design work. It can also act as a slogan to pitch a design to clients. The following are common types of design concept.


Functional concepts that describe what users can accomplish with a design. For example, a digital piano that includes integrated piano lessons.


Features are how functions are implemented. It is more common for design concepts to be based on functions. Nevertheless, a unique or valuable feature might be used as a concept. For example, a bathtub that glows with color temperature to indicate water temperature.


A design based on a quality objective or approach. For example, a lightweight bicycle tire rim that is unbreakable such that it will last 1 million kilometers.


An idea for the shape of a design such as a chair that looks like a cocoon.


A style concept such a cyberpunk look for a keyboard design that makes use of bare metal and neon buttons.


A design that seeks to inspire emotions such as shoes that inspire power and confidence.


Design concepts that embody usability goals such as productivity. For example, a media editing tool that automates all grunt work such that users can focus on creative elements of a project.


A technical concept that achieves design objectives in areas such as performance and efficiency. For example, a concept for a rocket design that allows first and second stage boosters to be recovered and reused to improve launch efficiency.


Organic concepts such as a house designed to blend into its natural surroundings. It is common for architecture and interior design concepts to be based on an analogy to nature. For example, a green building based on a "vertical forest" concept.


Customer experience concepts such as headphones designed to be light and comfortable such that they feel like an extension of your body.


Community concepts such as a living street or play street in urban design.


Designs concepts based on a culture, superculture or subculture. For example, a concept such as "unbelievably plain but functional" for fashions designed to appeal to the normcore subculture.


Risk based concepts such an "unsinkable ship."


Designs that reduce environmental damage and improve quality of life. For example, a package that fully biodegrades into harmless elements such that it doesn't contribute to ocean plastic.
Overview: Design Concept
DefinitionA foundational idea that gives a design its depth, meaning and direction.
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