User input can lead to better, not duller product design

Christian Barnett’s letter a couple of weeks ago last week (’Want dull design? Just ask a crowd’, DW 23 September) was sadly typical of the backward attitude designers have towards collaboration.

That in 2010 we still have designers – or, in this case, planning directors – getting precious like this is a damning indictment of the staid, formulaic approach of some established design consultancies in London.

And it was also completely inaccurate. In this context [the redesign of Vogel’s bread by B&B Studio, pictured], the design was perfectly executed to the brief.The sample of consumers had nothing to do with the design. They simply stated their preference – ’over the Internet’, to use Barnett’s quaint phrase.

Involving consumers in the development of new products and designs is the best way to ensure the final results are rooted in a consumer reality, and don’t deliver more tawdry examples of designer onanism.

Let’s push things forward, shall we?

Dan Miles, by e-mail

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