VCD Unit 3 AOS 1.3 Industrial design analysis

Analyse industrial design.

Outcome 1

(Full Outcome statement for the six part Area of Study)

On completion of this unit the student should be able to;

  • Create visual communications for specific contexts, purposes
    and audiences that are informed by their analysis of existing visual communications in the three design fields.

What you will do

This task is from the field of industrial design. 

This is the third task in the six part Area of Study 1 in Year 12 Visual Communication Design.

In this task we look at examples of industrial design and identify components, explore factors that may have influenced their design and begin to describe them in detail.

There will be three different analysis tasks. One for each design field. Each task will increase in complexity.

Read below for instructions.

Quick menu

Model answer

Samples to be posted as they become available.

Learning intentions

Learning intentions should be set at the commencement of each unit, then at regular intervals during the task.

Read through the content on this page. Discuss what you think could be learnt and form them into three 'learning intentions'.  Use sentences like, 'I will learn about making 3d drawings', or I will learn about 'media codes'.

Write your three learning intentions.

For advanced learning intentions, go with 3 different levels. 

  • 1 - What you will learn. (For example, the media code of camera describes the techniques camera operators use to record a scene)
  • 2 - How what you will learn can be used to create meaning or structure. (For example, camera techniques are combined with sound and/ or editing to create suspense).
  • 3 - How could your understanding of the learning be extended or related to other learnings. (For example, the use of camera has changed over the years and the invention of digital formats have allowed anyone to become cinema photographers)

Success criteria

Success criteria should be negotiated between students and their teacher. The class group agrees about what is successful completion of the task. Identification of success criteria is done at the commencement of each unit, then at regular intervals.

Now that you are familiar with what you will learn in this task, it's time to lock in how you will be able to demonstrate that you know it, or can do it. 

Write three success criteria, using sentences like the examples in the next column.

I will demonstrate that I have mastered the learning by;

  • 1 - I Can identify all of the camera techniques used in the selected clip.
  • 2 - I can use a camera to film clips in the ways I have identified.
  • 3 - I can explain how camera is combined with other codes to create meaning in a narrative.

What is

Good design?

In this section we will explore features of examples of industrial design. You will build the skills of analysis you need to write a cohesive essay to describe one visual communication fully.
Take a look

In our study we need to be able to talk about designs. We talk about and write about them to demonstrate our understanding of how, why, where, when and for whom they are made and to inform our own designs. We learn design language. We learn action verbs that prompt us to engage in designs in a variety of ways including skills such as identifying, describing and evaluating. This overall skill is known as analysing designs. Analysing means looking at something and explaining it to someone else. There are several techniques that help learn how to analyse designs.

There are ten examples of popular industrial design below. You will be familiar with them and may have used or even own one of these innovative products. We will use these examples for practicing analysis. However, our final assessment task will be writing a cohesive essay that analyses one piece of industrial design in detail.

This page will reference two other pages in detail.

Click on the images at right to visit my page on Techniques for analysing visual communications and Factors that shape designs.

Elements and principles of design in environmental design


1 Keepcup

( shop/saskatoon-brew-cork)


2 Memo bottle

(https://www.memobottle. memobottles/products/a5-memobottle-2)


3 Quick E electric bike

( showcase/quick-e)


4 Swell wood collection insulated bottle

( swell-wood-collection- insulated-bottle)


5 Kanken backpack

( products/kanken#c_312)


6 Segway X2

( segway-x2-se/)


7 Fujifilm Instax Mini 8 Instant Camera

( p/instax-mini-9- instant-camera---flamingo-pink- 554587930)


8 Beats Solo 3 wireless headphones

( au/headphones/solo3- wireless/add-to-cart)


9 UE Boom Personal bluetooth speaker

(https://studio.ultimateears. com/en-au/configure/ fabric)


10 Apple Watch Series 5

( au/shop/buy-watch/ apple-watch)


tasks 1

1.1 Background for analysis

Navigate to the page shown above. Read the first two sections: Depth of analysis and categories or focus of analysis. Discuss what the intentions of these two sections are.

Copy out the action verbs and descriptions beside them.

1.2 Action verbs in action

Using the examples shown above, answer the following single action directed questions.

  1. Identify one dominant design element and one dominant design principle in example 1.
  2. Describe the dominant design elements and design principles you identified in example 1.
  3. Discuss the benefits of the Apple watch shown in example 10.
  4. Explain how the large + and – symbols on example 9 contribute to the function of the speaker.
  5. Identify the function of one of the designs with which you are familiar. Evaluate its ability to fulfil the function you have identified.
1.3 Overview of the design

Read the section on ‘categories or focus’ of analysis. Choose a piece of industrial design with which you are familiar. Create a mind-map (see examples below) that identifies and describes the 5 question prompts listed in ‘Overview of the design’.

1.4 Aesthetic qualities and functional characteristics

A - Describe and discuss the aesthetic qualities of the camera in example 7. (Refer to the ‘discuss’ example in the Action verbs section on the Analysis page). Explain how the aesthetic qualities contribute to the function of the camera.

B – Identify and describe the materials used in the Apple Watch in example 10. Explain how they contribute to the function of the watch.

Comprehensive and clear mind-map


A beautiful example of analysis in mind-map. Tory Salvaggio, 2014.



influencing industrial design

In this section we will revise factors that influence design and build the skill to identify each one and discuss how it helped shape visual communications.

Can anything cause design?

You will be aware that all arts and design works including songs, films, theatre productions and of course visual communications are products of their time and place. 

Two films that explored current social issues of their times are 2001: a space odyssey (1968) and Bombshell (2019). Consider, what were the dominant events of the times when they were made?


2001: a space odyssey, Stanley Kubrick, 1968

Bombshell, Jay Roach, 2019.

To determine why art works were made when they were, you have to know something about what events happened or attitudes society held at the time of their production. Did you think of any events that may have created an interest in either space travel in 1968 or the empowerment of women over sexual predators in industry in 2019?

When you discussed reasons for interest in the topics in the films, your discussion would have probably centered around social factors. This factor includes the ways people interact framed by issues such as accessibility, gender and racial equality, cultural and religious beliefs and practices, politics, etc.

There are other factors that influence visual communications. These are; economic, technological, the environment and legal and ethical considerations.

We will work through tasks designed to help you notice how each of these factors impacts on designs.

I have created a table below for you to use in Task 1.5. I have done the first row for you.


Sub-Factor (if required)

Desires in visual communications

Communication design

Industrial design

Environmental design


That all people have access to read and use visual communication equally

That all people have equal access to read and use visual communications equally
That posters do not use colour combinations that colour blind people cannot distinguish
That appliances have large buttons and switches
That all public buildings have wheel chair access

tasks 2

2.1 Factors that shape visual communications
If each one of these factors was to influence a design, explain how it would. What would a design influenced by each factor be seeking to achieve? List each factor, describe what it would seek to achieve and given an example for each field of design like the table above.
2.2 Identify factors

Suggest a factor that may have influenced the design of each example from 1 – 10. Create a simple table.

2.3 Explain influence
Elaborate on one example you identified in Task 1.6. Explain how it influenced the design. Furthermore, explain how the design addressed the factor.

Connections with future designs

This is the last general section before we begin our analysis assessment task. In this section we have to make connections between existing and future designs.

What is essential

Have you even noticed that some designs seem like improvements on others that have been produced before? What kind of products seem to work like this? Cars, planes, iPhones, teaching lessons? There are probably many.

A required part of this unit of study is to identify and explain what we have learnt about design and how that knowledge will, in turn be used to shape the visual communications we create in the practical parts of the Outcome. The task below will help us form connections between existing and future designs in the abstract. The equivalent task in the detailed analysis section will enable use to form a connection between the Segway and a similar product you will design.

Is this for real?

Here is an example where a designer has been clearly influenced by both the approach and the form created by a previous designer.

Giant, Dieter Rams (Braun) conceived a radio in 1958. Jonathan Ives (Apple) penned the iPod in 2001. Can you describe the aesthetic qualilty Rams embedded in his creation in 1958?

If Ives had done this exact task, what would he have wanted to retain from Rams' design?

Click on the image at right to visit the full article on the relationships between these two designers.

tasks 3

3.1 Connections between existing and future designs

Choose one of the examples 1 – 10. Imagine you were going to design a product with a similar function.

Paste in a picture of the design. Describe how you would improve the design then discu which features you think would be essential to keep and would therefore influence your design. Give reasons for your answers.


Assessment task

The final step of this task will be to make a full analysis of a piece of industrial design. The object of our study will be the Segway X2. This is because you will be linking this to your Kakadu National Park project.

Extended analysis

We are now going to link all these skills together to write an extended analysis of a Segway X2. To make your analysis you will research it thoroughly by making an annotated mind-map. You will use this mind-map to develop your extended response for assessment.

Before we start, visit the 'Applied analysis' part of the same page on 'Techniques for analysis of visual communications' (link above). Read through this section, taking into consideration how the action verbs have been used in conjunction with the categories for analysis.

Research time

Watch these videos on Segways to get an understanding of this incredible machine.

How Segway Works

Segway x2 Personal Transporter Review

Segway S-Pod looks weird, but it's really fun

tasks 4

4.1 Visual research
Explore information about the Segway X2. Collect information and pictures from a range of sources. Use the questions in the categories in the analysis for designs as prompts for your research.
4.2 Synthesise findings

Create a mind-map on a computer to arrange the information you have found about the Segway into an informative and accessible form. Annotate you mind-map with notes or text from a range of sources. This will act as notes for your essay. Create an effective visual hierarchy to organise your information.

4.3 Identify factors influencing the design of the Segway X2

Using the knowledge, you have gained in the pre-section where you looked at factors that influence design generally, create a table that ranks each factor (from most to least influential) then gives an example of how the top two factors may have influenced its design. (Social, economic, technological, the environment).

Assessment task

This task is the task for graded assessment.

5.1 Detailed analysis

Write a detailed analysis in response to this prompt:

Analyse and evaluate the Segway X2. In your answer describe and discuss;

  • the overview of the design,
  • its aesthetic qualities and how they contribute to its function,
  • the functional characteristics and how they relate to the user
  • factors that may have influenced its design

in addition,  explain briefly how your understanding of this personal transport system will influence your design of a similar transport device in the next task.

Your essay may be between 500 – 100 words. Give references sources for the information you collected.


Evaluation and deeper learning

In this section we will think about the learning we have done. We will review the main topics and evaluate our learning. Follow the steps in the tasks shown here to prepare your folio for presentation and grading.
What have I learnt?

Take a moment to read through the content on this page. Reflect on what you have been introduced to and what you have learnt first time.

Putting it together

Find where you wrote up what you thought the success criteria might be. Check that you have done something for all of the steps you wrote down.

Check the assessment criteria below to see if you have prepared your work for each criteria. If not, take the time to complete it.

Hand up your work on the due date as instructed.


Evaluation and deeper learning
Complete the evaluation, deeper learning and rating tasks as shown above.

Assessment criteria

Below is shown a broad indication of the evidence a student should show.

Click here to download a complete assessment rubric for this task

The extent to which the student identifies and explains:

  1. Characteristics of audiences that influence visual communications, including age, gender, interests, location, socioeconomic status and cultural background

  2. Factors that influence design

  3. Characteristics and functions of design elements and design principles

  4. Connections between existing and created visual communications

  5. Use of appropriate terminology.

Please note:

To achieve good marks in criteria based assessment you must remember to include some work for each part of the task required. Spread your time evenly across the task.