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Design a new product is primarily wants to help us understand people’s pains, and create a product that will help them solve these problems.
Although many people think a product design process aims to create something cool and good-looking, this comprises just the tip of the iceberg. Design a new product is primarily wants to help us understand people’s pains, and create a product that will help them solve these problems. Thus we can create useful products.
There are 3 steps you should follow when you design a new product:
First, you want to start with the product’s purpose and features.
You want to know what your market needs are and how they will use your product.
If you’re doing this independently, you research your competition! If you’re designing for a bigger company, then their marketing and merchandising teams should already know what product features and differentiators will be necessary. List and outline everything in a product brief. Use this brief to confirm your new design as you produce principle documentation.
Do not ever begin shaping a product without doing this, though there may be exceptions to extremely simple products like a mounting bracket or a doorstop, for more complex products like a vacuum cleaner or even a toilet it is imperative to have a well thought out and researched product brief.
Now you also want to provide for some flexibility of your product brief through the course of the product development life-cycle: the time it takes to iterate and prototype your designs through to manufacture. This is because the cost is king. Cost dictates everything, beginning from your retail price point and working backward from there.
Costs will decide the priority of features (which ones stay and which ones go) and how they may get modified to make manufacturing cost compromises as well as the inclusion of end-user data. Costs will determine color, feature materials, and finish and choice of vendor down to packaging and shipping.
When you are design a new product you should be designed to “best value”, not “cheapest price”. If you go cheap you go “BUST!” eventually. Best value means presenting the best performing product for the cost. If people want to pay double as much as the average then they should be getting the perception of twice the value, through customer service or warranty or life-time usage. Whatever it is, understand the market you’re designing for and hit the best value for that market.
Design your product with the “End-User” in mind. No one wants a product that is complicated or uncomfortable to use. That’s just sending them knocking at your competitor’s door. Ask the difficult questions to yourself and be open to critical thinking and criticism.
That what’s called “low-fidelity” mock-ups and learn from them. Those low-fidelity mock-ups are models that simulate your product using very low-cost materials like fabric, styrene, foam core, wood, paper, clay, etc. They provide the general idea of the form and intended use to allow you and other people to test out the idea and give your critical feedback. Then as you improve your product design you’ll create high-fidelity mock-ups. These are mock-ups that most closely resemble the final product outcome, in shape and mass.
From that time, you’ll only make very superficial ergonomic or aesthetic revisions based on end-user feedback, before creating the functional prototype.
All the principle design work is normally done by one person or multi-disciplinary team, depending on the product complexity. This is where you sit, the industrial designer is the center for principle design with engineers, model-makers, and marketing experts to bring a product from concept to manufacture.
All the stuff I mention above in gross generality is necessary to reduce your risk in the market place. With many new products in the marketplace competing for client attention, new products can be a high dollar risk in some applications, especially hard-surface products. You always do your homework before putting a drawing pencil to paper to mitigate this risk.
Be sure to checkout Why Your ECommerce Products Will NEVER Sell