Meet Jacob Wilson. Jacob works as part of the engineering team here at Vita Group, as an Industrial Designer. He has been an employee for Vita Group for 9 months and does important work for the development of medical devices. So, let’s dive into what a day in the life at Vita Group looks like for Jacob.
Industrial designers like Jacob combine art, engineering, technology, and problem-solving to create designs for new products. They begin their work with researching what the product will be used for and who the target audience is. They also research the product landscape to understand where they can improve on what currently exists. Then, they use creative and critical thinking to brainstorm how the product will look, feel, and work. The product can’t just look aesthetically pleasing, it also must be practical, functional, and user-friendly.
Industrial designers also develop technical drawings and concept sketches of their designs either digitally or by hand to communicate their ideas. Those sketches are often the basis for digital 3D models, and those models are the basis for final renderings, or for prototypes. An Industrial Designer requires complex thinking skills and experience in the creative and technology field.
So, what does Jacob specifically do for Vita Group? Well, he mostly works on projects in Phase 0 and Phase 1, which includes concept development and refinement, user research, and prototyping. He is an important player in the early stages of development. Without him, we wouldn’t be able to provide high quality and aesthetically pleasing prototypes to our partnered inventors. In the later phases he provides graphic designs for IFUs or posters for devices.
Since Jacob specializes in being artistic and problem solving, his role includes both creating concept designs and generating those designs into 3D prototypes. It’s important to have a specific look that aligns with the objective of the product so the design is cohesive to the project. Jacob says it helps to put himself in the user’s shoes when designing. If he can get in the mind of the user, he can better understand the problem the device is trying to solve.
There are 3 steps Jacob cycles through when working on a project: problem identification, ideation, execution. As stated before, research is an important step because the design must align with the function, so this is where Jacob and the team starts. Next, he brainstorms. When asked what his brainstorming process looks like, Jacob said, “The most important part to brainstorming is staying open minded. You should feel free to say whatever comes to mind, even if the idea seems bad. It’s good to think of it as quality comes from quantity.”
After brainstorming, he visualizes his ideas and works with the team by sketching out designs and iterates on the designs. Jacob receives feedback from the inventor of what they like and dislike, and it's back to the drawing board.
Jacob and the team then transfers his approved design sketches into a CAD program called “Solidworks” that allows him to create 3D models and renderings. From those, he can create prototypes with a variety of colors and work with different textures, hardness/softness, and materials. This is the moment of truth, to see in real life whether his designs fit the vision for the product.
Vita Group is very proud to have Jacob Wilson on our team. He adds a lot of value to the development of products and works hard to create quality designs for devices. We can’t wait to see where his future at Vita Group takes him.