Product Design Process
When it comes to creating a new product, a well-thought-out and thorough product design process can be pivotal in the success of a project.
Product design put simply is; a process that combines business goals to meet the needs of a particular user in the form of a product.
This process can be quite subjective and therefore there are several documented product design processes adopted by different designers but they all follow a similar route.
Identifying the problem
To begin with, designers will need to identify the problem that needs solving. This means initially determining who is encountering this problem and then what can be done to solve it. Recognising this will then give designers an understanding of the expected user experience and how the product can both fit its end-user and meet their needs.
Research should never be overlooked and is a key stage of the product design process. It’s important to research existing products that resolve a similar problem identified in the first stage and to find areas where these existing products can be improved.
It’s also beneficial to research competitors and industry trends to identify any potential opportunities or threats the product may encounter and to also understand the potential positioning of the new product.
Time also needs to be spent researching the end-user and the target market so that the product is completely tailored towards them, their goals, and their motivations. This will ensure that the final design will be useful for the user.
Ideation is at the very heart of the creative process and this is where ideas and concepts begin to form.
There are many different known techniques when it comes to brainstorming and most designers have their preferred method. This could be something as simple as a mood board or mind map, or it could be something more systematic.
It’s often said that brainstorming should never be limited; it’s where weird, wacky, and wild ideas should be encouraged. Alex Osborn, the father of the brainstorming technique says, “It is easier to tone down a wild idea than to think up a new one.”
Once a designer has completed this stage and idea will have formed into something more visual.
At this stage, it’s important to get the design onto paper. From an initial thought or a rough sketch, the designer will then produce engineering drawings to provide a ‘real life’ view of how the product is going to look. They help in the visualization of the product.
Once you’ve got your drawings, a CAD-designed model is produced. CAD Design is the process of using computer software to design a new product idea in its entirety in a virtual space. This provides opportunities to conceptualize the designs with both dimensional and visual information before creating a physical model. It’s something that we at 3D Folkes specialize in, regardless of the specification.
Using CAD vastly cuts down unnecessary costs and speeds up the process. It’s also a fantastic way to conceptualize the design of the product before actually creating a physical model.
This high-quality CAD model can then be 3D printed and assembled to create your prototype – something physical that you can see, hold and test.
Testing and Results
Often the most important stage of the entire product design process comes post creation. Does the product solve the issue it was set out to fix? It’s always vital to refer back to stage one of the process where a problem was identified; this way you can measure its success and any areas that can be improved upon.