There are many problems a product designer has to face on a day to day basis. These problems can include doing research, working with materials, and dealing with clients. I think one of the biggest problems we face is our clients. It is always a challenge getting the correct information out of them.
Sometimes they cannot explain their needs and end up steering the designer in the wrong direction. Asking many questions to be specific and doing your own research is definitely a must. Another problem we face with clients is they always seem to prefer our least favorite design. You can show up with four very developed designs and one bad design, and of course they will probably choose the bad one. Designing products is more than just making something look cool. I mean, obviously you want your product to be aesthetically pleasing but if it doesn’t work well it really doesn’t matter how beautiful it looks. Let's take furniture for example: a designer may take months sketching out ideas for a chair he wants to make before he decides on a final idea. He may have his mind set on the idea but when he makes the prototype he might realize it's not very comfortable. This can be very frustrating. I made a hiking stick earlier in the semester and after finishing it I found that the handle really didn’t feel as comfortable to hold as it looked in my sketch so I had to start all over. Another thing you have to think about when designing is who you're designing for. Is your design good for people with diverse abilities? If you're designing kitchenware, is your design going to work the same for someone who uses their left hand instead of their right? Is it simple and intuitive to use? These are all things we have to think about while designing. Other problems can just be with materials. You may have used a material a thousand times before but every now and then somethings are just not going to work out how you wanted it to. Currently I’m making a shelving unit for a wall. I'm using a really cool piece of live edge silky oak. I just noticed that a piece chipped off the corner of it. There’s not another piece of wood that looks just like this so I can't just go buy a new one. Now I have to make a resin mold and fill it in. You need to account for unexpected things like this to happen. Unfortunately, I did not so I will be rushing to finish by the deadline. Often times you have to compromise with your design because the material just won’t work with it. These are just some of the challenges we face when it comes to designing products.