Sometimes, even large companies known for their creativity and innovation in product design fail to find markets for their products. Their inability to convert ideas into finished products could result from poor design or manufacturing practices.
Design tops the list as the most important feature for building great products easily sold. Design decisions normally affect sales strategies, production costs, and manufacturing efficiency. In short, it’s product design that defines you and what gives you an edge over your competitors. It also provides a comprehensive understanding of the final product and what it will be used for.
For this reason, whether you are a designer or a project manager, it’s important to understand the product development process, from design to manufacturing, to create a masterpiece. This article will discover the main principles and approaches that will help you achieve this.
Obviously, this is the first step of any creation. You have completed this step if you already have an idea of the product you want to create. However, this can be quite a challenging and time-consuming process in other cases. If you are stuck in the idea generation step, here are some avenues that can help speed up your thought process:
Solution. Ask yourself whether your idea solves any real-world problem. To answer this, think of any issue you have encountered, such as being stuck in a traffic jam. This problem will drive you to find a solution that guarantees more customers because there is already a demand.
Simplify. Instead of creating a complicated product, imagine simplifying the already on the market. For example, if you can design a product that performs two simultaneous functions, you will have created something with an instant demand.
Redesign. You don’t need to develop an extraterrestrial product to find a market. Sometimes, all you need to do is take an old product and slightly adjust its features.
Repurpose. In most cases, all that is needed is to put an existing product to proper use.
Once you have generated an idea, the fun part comes next. The product is beginning to take shape, and all that you need now is a clearer picture of what you are trying to create and the type of material you are going to use.
The research will enable you to discover the needs of your customers and the constraints of the problem you are trying to solve. The goal here is to learn all you can about your potential customers and deeply understand how the problem is affecting them. This is the only way you can connect with them and verify the vision of your product.
Understanding your customers is critical if you’re looking forward to designing a successful product. You can create surveys or generate discussions about the product and monitor the responses.
Finally, research will allow you to examine the market for similar products. This can be extremely useful as it will give you both a starting point and the validation you need to proceed with production.
Creating a prototype is as important as developing the design itself. It enables you to demonstrate, among others, its functionality and its user interaction.
According to smashing magazine, prototyping must be a part of your design process to deliver a product with a good user experience. Therefore, creating your prototype is a huge milestone when designing a product.
Appreciate that you have a physical product in your hands that you can put through rigorous testing to prove your design and determine whether it stands the tests. So, as you tweak it, keep in mind that it will be the basis for your testing and examination in the foreseeable future.
In the process of testing and trying out your product, you will find its weaknesses and discover where your ideas need to change. In a nutshell, creating a prototype enables you to avoid many errors and corrections in the future.
Lucky for you, there is prototyping technology available nowadays. The invention of machines, like 3D printers, has made it easier for anyone to create a prototype of any product. However, professional prototype builders offer product development services and high-quality, low-volume injection molding if you need any assistance.
To perfect your product design and manufacturing, you first need to develop a viable idea and conduct intensive research to determine its demand and how useful it can be to your customers. Last but not least, you need to develop a prototype to find out how best your idea can be transformed into a tangible product.