IDEA Conversations 4 - Ümit Altun & Prof. Dr. Özlem Er

Forth of the IDEA talks was realized under the moderatorship of Prof. Dr. Özlem Er with the participation of Ümit Altun, founder of the Designum Design Studio. Ümit Altun, who said; “Product development process looks like a relay race. All sections taken part in this race run respectively and also enter in each other’s area. I see all departments taken part as players of the same team”, emphasizes the importance of flourishing as to see the information and differences for profession development. You can access the talk in which you can listen to their suggestions aimed at design approach and the area of profession on ETMK YouTube channel. Here we share a summary from this talk with you.

Özlem Er: I see you gained work experience at institutional companies after your graduation. There were design teams in these companies and I foresee that you worked together with engineers. How was the point of view to industrial designer of other disciplines in the institutions and your relation?

Ümit Altun: I see the entire process as product developing activity. Roles of each other in this process are defined. What does designer do, what does engineer do, we have borders, we don’t have any problem unless borders are overstepped. Of course, my relation with engineers in the companies where I worked must be good. Designer makes a section, engineer carries on it, sale-marketing complete, even service ensure participation into the process. Success of the product depends on the work of these teams in harmony.

You may make a nice design, for yourself. For being well aware of the customer expectation, guidance of especially sale-marketing team or production within the corporate company become effective. Keeping these relationships in balance and seeing each section as a player of the product, developing process altogether ensure that you obtain a successful product. The utmost contribution to me of working in the corporate companies became this.

We did good works with our mechanical engineer friends, we did it together. Sometimes we interfered in their limits, of course at the rate of their permission, sometimes they intervened in our area. This balance has become stable by working. I can say that gaining that experience today became effective on management within the context of works I narrated today.

Özlem Er: We carry out design projects as if there is an imaginary company by giving a description of the problem. When we look in the context of a company, I think the necessities become clearer when we look in the context of a firm. Could you please give use examples of the difference between industrial design project process in the education and a process undergone by a design company working in the market?

Ümit Altun: Of course. Our manner of work is dynamic. In the school, sometimes a trademark is described, student design in conformity with that trademark. The final stage where we stand now is trademark strategy specification stage. It starts with the part in which design specification is specified. A design description come, there is a description. Market, user and technical specification of the product are taken part. However, mostly necessity of the brand, place where it wants to go are much detailed. Up to date, it was also required to analysis the brand.
We try to understand the values of the trademark, after defining their values together with customers, we define the visual elements, perform the perception analysis and position study. We find out concepts the customer thinks that they represent their trademark. We match these concepts with basic, trademark and product values. The reason we make this study is to analyse which concepts represent the trademark better and which study, made by us, can support the trademark.

When we send the tables to customers, they can realize which is more important or lesser for the trademark. Especially the places where trademark and product values are dense are being more important values for the trademark. Later, by matching these values with visuals, we try to show that also the products produced by us must be compatible as being visual identity.
We define how details, form, technology usage should be or how the color-codes usage should be. Later we do the study of positioning together with customer relating to the trademark. When we place the trademark in the table where rivals take part we can observe where the trademark wants to go. We analyse what kind of material and technology are used by the competitors and trademark. We also study on the market definition together with customer. Detailing for target group, we define the effect of the impression we want the product to leave on the user. We make all these processes for reaching to a product design supporting the trademark. We are not the persons who say; “We make the fine design suitable for us”. By taking the responsibility of the trademark, we design the product that is the face of the trademark.

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