Design is often the key to success. A well designed product appeals to the greatest number of people, engenders loyalty and can create a market presence.
Yet with all of the potential benefits of design some businesses still view design as an afterthought. Unfortunately, once a product has been built it may be too late to recover from a design flaw. Costs like tooling, manufacturing facilities and set up may have already been spent and in order to recover additional capital may be required. This could have been avoided if the appropriate attention was paid up front to the design.
So how do you approach design at the start of the development process? Here are a few things you can do to kick things off.
- Create a Product Requirements Definition
- Do research on competitive products
- Investigate and identify applicable technologies.
- Recognize trends and position your design in the market.
Once you have answers to these questions you can begin the design process. There are several techniques you can use:
- Brainstorming Sessions
- Maker Events
- Rendering and Sketching
- Proof of Principle Models
- Photo Realistic Renderings
- Story Boarding and Simulation
It is best to start out with several ideas for the product. These ideas may embody the whole product or a combination of individual product attributes or features. typically, reviews are held with the development team to review these ideas and to rate or rank them. At some point the attributes and characteristics that are identified as desirable will be integrated into a final design approach. The final design approach will be detailed with 3D Cad photo realistic renderings, a preliminary bill of materials, a list of components specifications and an indication of materials and processes.
The design process should result in a visual and or demonstrable idea whether 2d or 3d in nature. Ideas can be presented as a whole product concept or as specific attributes or parts of a product. For example, while designing a bike the design can be presented as the entire bike or as a series of feature concepts like the frame, drive system, handle bars, etc. These narrower concepts can be selected for integration into a final design concept. As a result The development team is provided with enough information to make an informed decision on the design.