Design quality is the value of a design to customers. Design is the root of all quality including the quality of products, services, experiences, systems and processes. For example, a product with a poor design will be low quality even if quality control and quality assurance succeed in producing the design accurately. The following are common types of design quality.
Functionality & FeaturesFunctionality that serves customer needs and meets customer expectations. Another factor in design quality is avoiding features that customers find annoying. In many cases, products with few features can be perceived as higher quality than a product packed with features.
PerformanceThe operational characteristics of a design such as the conversion efficiency of solar panels.
UsabilityA design that is pleasing to use.
AccessibilityA design that is equally useful for everyone.
AestheticsA pleasing look and feel.
ReliabilityDesigns that endure real world conditions over time.
PredictabilityDesigns that work as people expect. For example, if a user interface requires training to use it may be poorly designed.
ConsistencyConsistency such as a user interface with the same controls on every page.
StabilityDesigns that are error free.The ability to continue in a reasonable way when an error occurs. For example, an aircraft that doesn't suddenly halt and catch fire every time an error occurs.
Safety & SecurityDesigning things for safety and security. For example, transportation systems designed to reduce human error.
ReusabilityA design that is reusable and extensible. For example, a mobile device that allows memory to be upgraded as opposed to requiring a completely new device when you need more capacity.
Communications & PackagingPackaging and communications such as as instructions. Packaging has a significant impact on quality perceptions. In many cases, packaging such as a reusable shoe bag can be considered a feature.
ExperienceIntangible elements of quality such as a business tool that is as engaging as a game.
Emotional DurabilityA design that people value at an emotional level such that they don't easily throw it out. For example, a bicycle that is worth fixing when it breaks.
RefinementThe overall sophistication and elegance of a design. For example, a cosmetic product that is effective with just three natural ingredients might be viewed as more refined than a product with 50 chemicals.
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