Idea Reality invention Design Blog

Sketching your idea

Have a great PRODUCT IDEA? Launch your idea with 5 simple steps.

There is often a moment when at work, commuting, or just before bedtime when you come up with a great idea and you dream about the endless possibilities of your new invention. But you don’t know what to do next. Where to start? You just run to your notebook, wake up at night thinking there must be a way for this idea to be a reality. You might drink a few cups of coffee thinking about ways to make it happen and to benefit you and the world. Here are five basic steps that will help you get started in the right direction.

1.Write down your idea. Define what the problem and the solution is.

Sketching ideas

Sketches of ideas

Define the main problem that needs solving. What is the issue? What other problems can you work out from it?

How will you solve it? Start focusing on the most important item first.

Write a long list with all the ideas that come up to solve the equation, let them all come out freely, there are many techniques to help you, like for example brainstorming.

Start doing some basic sketches, no matter how good they look at this point. This can help you visualize and put your ideas on paper.




Market research

Market research product design

2. Do basic market research.

  • Is there something similar? How does it do it?
  • Sometimes you can get inspiration from other products that have solved a similar problem, but before you focus on them try to find your unique way of solving it- this will help you not get fixated on the existing way things are done.
  • Is there a need for my product idea? If it hasn’t been invented, is there a reason why? You want to start focusing on defining your market here.

You can use Google and if you find something similar don’t give up. Is there a way to make it different? How is that particular product selling? What are the reviews of the product like.


3. Do a patent search.

Keeping your idea confidential is essential, but there is no need to rush to patent your idea straight away. In any case until you define your product idea well and add innovation we recommend to not patent an idea that hasn’t taken shape and developed a bit.

To do a basic patent search on your own at home it is sensible to use “Google patent”. This will give you an idea of what product ideas have already been patented and if you are likely to infringe them.

Scooterpeg mock-up prototype

Scooterpeg mock-up prototype

4. Start a Mock-up prototype at home.

You can start creating a mock-up or model in a practical way to test the principle of the idea. This will give you insights on how it works, what things don’t work.

You can start at home even if it doesn’t look as you would like it to yet. Obviously not all products can be prototyped easily but the earlier you start the better understanding of what you are trying to conceive.





Dragekiss product in cake events

Cake product at cake event

5. Define your client.

It is important that you prove that there is a need for your product. You don’t need to give your idea away, but you can explore and chat to potential customers and see what their needs and wants are.

Can you start a survey to find out what they are looking for or could benefit from in relation to your idea?
Is there a way that you haven’t thought about to develop your idea? There are things here that you want them to tell you however you are looking for the unknown.

A good example would be to go to related events – eg. running or cycling events if you were designing a new sports backpack and survey your target customers.





Brainstorming product design

Brainstorming product design

6. Get professional design help.

With the above stages completed it is time to ask for professional design help. Professional product designers can add innovation, style, functionality, and will look in depth at all the variants, market research, worldwide patent search, routes to manufacture and put all this into consideration to make an end product at a reasonable price giving your customer a great experience.

Patenting doesn’t always come first as the new IP will be created after adding professional design. Be aware of companies who push you into doing a patent before you have a developed design. Ensure you sign an NDA (non-disclosure agreement) with the design company and anyone else you discuss the actual idea with.


7. Start asking yourself which way you want to sell it.

  • Do you plan to license the new IP to a manufacturer or distributor?
  • Do you plan to sell the idea yourself, make your own business or crowdfund your idea?

The answer to this questions is important for the business idea in your product development.


Written by Belle Rivas and James Lamb from Idea Reality.

Belle is the Marketing manager at Idea Reality. James Lamb is the Design director at Idea Reality. He has more than thirteen tears of expertise working in different design roles and developing products in the categories of consumer electronics, sports, pet, wellness, as well as industrial and construction products. He created Idea Reality in 2013 to help inventors and small businesses to develop their product ideas. His extensive product development experience has given him an strong understanding of production processes as well as excellent innovative design skills.

Nike-Adapt-BB sports product design

Wellness trends in product design for 2019

Wellness industry and consumer technology continues to expand, wellness now taking a central space in our society, as consumers want to feel better and function better. Companies looking to attract and retain employees are starting to look into healthier working environments, bringing wellness to the office and workplace. Here at Idea Reality we have begun to practice breathing and Tai-chi movement times in the office to reduce stress and create more internal space which reduces stress and increases creativity.

Our research and current projects have highlighted several areas of focus:


  1. Home Tech. According to CBI insights, wellness will not only be looked at in the office and outdoors but also at home with smart homes, intelligent kitchens, smart refrigerators, sleep tech, lighting and other features to enhance wellness. Global wellness has started to look at homes that are designed and built to support the health of its residents. For the past two years we have seen an increase of start-ups and individuals focusing on this type of technology at Idea Reality ltd and we will probably see more coming in 2019.


  1. Sports Tech. According to wellness brand Mindbodygreen recovery will get a high tech makeover. From massage therapy gadgets, exercise therapy tools, recovery will become more accessible at home, and you may see this type of products popping up at your local gym soon. Armony ltd is a wireless device developed at Idea Reality ltd that helps coaches communicate with the football team effortlessly.

armony football product invention design

Source: Armony Ltd – football product invention


  1. Mental Health. Physical and mental recovery will continue in 2019. Reflecting the decreasing stigma around mental health diseases more start-ups are popping up to manage stress, etc., from meditation apps to some other products. Meditation app Headspace and Calm have both recently raised 76M and 88M as investors are capitalising on mental health economy. All this investments may look like a bit much for meditation apps, but this highlights that mental health is far from its peak. At Idea Reality we have worked on a number of products related to mental health and they are all currently top secret! So keep your eyes peeled as our new products come out.


Nike-Adapt-BB sports product design

Source: Nike Adapt BB product design

  1. Fashion Tech. According to CBI, wellness and fashion are becoming more intertwined. Nike has created a self-tightening shoe that can record physical activity. Clothes and shoes will highlight performance tracking features bringing them into everyday life. In our office we have seen a resurgence of tracking tech in sport products during the last three years. And a continuous presence of sports product over the last few years. We have developed Motionlab bag, a weightless backpack that takes all the weight from your shoulders.

MotionLab Bags – weightless backpack design motionlab

  1. Pharma Tech. Retailers are also seeing a change on the products at the shelves as beauty, fashion and wellness comes together to supply customers looking for more wellness products at the drugstore. From natural beauty products to women’s health and gut health. Moving forward into 2019 expect to see a wider range of this range in your local shop.



wall mounted cat scratcer product design

Catipilla Limited – Wall mounted scratcher

  1. Pet Pampering is on the high. As CBI puts it “The broader pet tech landscape has skyrocketed, with funding to private pet tech startups at an all-time high in 2018” Corporate activity in the pet care range is thriving with investors in Mars Petcare and dog walking app Wag! At Idea Reality we have been working on a few more products from the UK brand Catipilla. From their premium quality cat climbing frame that is now selling at Pets at Home to a range of new products like the replaceable cat scratcher now on Indiegogo. We are excited to see what other pampering products come to live in 2019.




  1. Anti-aging Tech. Another wellness trend for this calendar year are anti aging therapies. Start-up companies and research are looking further into technology and treatments that can prolong life. From intermittent fasting apps to biohacking, floating tanks and bulletproof 360. Here at Idea Reality ltd we have been working onto a new anti aging product called “My face lift” that combines physiotherapy exercises and adjustable technology to reduce the double chin. This product has been licensed to an US company who plans to sell it worldwide in 2019. With funding in longevity start-ups seeing a huge leap in the last 3 years expect to see much more in this category in 2019.
my face lift chin excrcise product design

My Face Lift –  Chin exercise product design


5 Most Innovative Pet Products

We’re animal people here at Idea Reality - we don’t just love our furry friends, we also love making their lives a little easier. We think happier pets = happier owners! Here is a roundup of our current favourite innovative pet products, and we’re proud to say we have had the pleasure to work on a couple of them!


Catipilla is a high quality, contemporary cat climbing system which can be used both indoors and outdoors around your home. This product appeals to a cat’s natural climbing instincts by pro dividing and exciting and challenging environment - and can be used to help cats get in and out of the house.

We worked with Catipilla to develop this system - it was designed using a variety of materials and innovative production process selection. The climbing system combines many types of plastic injection and expanded foam mouldings, along with quality aluminium extrusions and other metal fabrication processes.

Catipilla is designed to hold the weight of cats, but collapse under the weight of a person if one should attempt the climb! (This is strongly inadvisable).

Catipilla is manufactured in the UK and helps cats have fun indoors; and should they wish to venture out, you don’t need to worry about your cat being stuck outside as they can use the frame to climb back in to the house!


We worked together with Hing Designs to create the Hing Dome Bowl for pets - known for their stylish accessories and innovative solutions, Hing Designs collaborated with Idea Reality to develop the design reducing the number of parts for a cost effective design which maximised style and quality.

The Dome Bowl features a titled bowl which provides an ergonomic feeding position for cats, dogs, and is suitable for other small animals like rabbits. The bowl product design features a 2 part injection moulded construction with a removable stainless steel bowl and non-slip feet.

This product is in full production and available to purchase in a range of contemporary colours from retailers like Pets at Home, Amazon, and Waitrose.


We love our furry friends but ask every pet owner what their biggest ‘pet peeve’ is and we can guarantee most of the troubles will be associated with pet hair. It’s everywhere. Which is why we love Dyson Groom - an add on tool which is compatible with most Dyson vacuum cleaners that works hard to remove hair which is about to be shed from your pets.

It captures dead skin cells and can even get to their undercoat before it all starts settling all over your home, clothes, car… well, everywhere!


If you didn’t know this, we’re here to tell you that subscription boxes exist for your pawsome pals! If you have a canine friend who you would like to spoil with treats once a month then read on.

You fill our your dogs profile so the team at Pawsome can select their perfect products, then choose a subscription plan for the number of months you want to receive the box, and the box of puppy goodies will arrive on your doorstep.

Best Product Design company

How To Launch Your Product On Social Media

Why launch your product on social media? Well, we see it like this: you had a brilliant idea. You've gone through the design process to develop this idea into a product. We tested, refined, and perfected this product - and now it's ready to go into crowdfunding. Crowdfunding is a very important stage of the process - this is when you can start telling the world your idea, and ask your loyal fans to support you by investing into your product and you brand; and help you kickstart your new business venture. One of the ways you can help tell the world you're here and your product is great is by using social media - we wanted to share our top tips on how to launch your product on social media.

  1. Pick the right social media platforms. When it comes to launching your product on social media, it's important you know where your audience and your fans live: is it Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or LinkedIn? These are the more popular social media platforms, but there are also country-specific and community-specific platforms. Do you research and find out where your ideal customer lives - then focus on those platforms.
  2. Start early. When it comes to promoting your crowdfunding campaign, you want to think about using social media as early in the process as possible - do it as soon as you can talk about your product and even before the campaign is live! This will help your campaign as you will already have an existing following to inform on launch day.
  3. Make sure your posts include a link back to your crowdfunding campaign. It sounds very basic, but we've all seen it before - a brilliant post which encourages fans to go and support your campaign - but there's no URL back to the website. Make it super easy for your fans to be able to go and fund you, and share the news!
  4. Have a clear call to action. You're on social media because you want your supporters to do something: is it to visit your website and find out more about a product? Then include a link and ask them to visit your website in order to find out more about the product. Is it to share your crowdfunding campaign with their friends? Then ask them to share the post on their feeds. Is it to support your campaign? Then ask them. Being transparent on social media with what you want your audience to do will help you achieve your goals!
  5. Keep your posts engaging. Use images of your product, how to and crowdfunding videos, behind the scenes of your journey - all of this will help your posts get noticed in social media feeds and will create shareable content.

We're here to help you not only make your product a reality, but help you launch as well - contact us on 03330 119940 or e-mail [email protected] to chat to us about your plans!





5 Tips To Help Inventors Stay Motivated

It happens to the best of us: you’re on a roll and nearly finished planning your idea when all of a sudden the motivation runs out and you’re left with countless cups of coffee staring at the computer screen at 2AM trying to make sense of your brilliant idea. We wanted to share with you 5 tips on staying motivated for inventors – whenever you feel like you’re in a slump, use this as a motivational checklist to get your creativity back and on track!

  1. Walk away from the computer or drawing board. The first thing to do is to remove yourself from the screen of your PC or put down the pencil and take a break. If you’re staying in an office, try a completely different activity or go and make everyone a cup of tea; if you can leave your office then go for a walk, grab a coffee, or even go home for the day. You can’t push creativity and sometimes all you need to make a strong comeback is just a simple break.
  2. Get inspired. Read a book, watch a film, listen to music, or visit a gallery/museum – inspiration comes from the strangest places! It’s easy to get stuck in our own minds, but by keeping up with your interests you are giving your brain new information all the time – this will help keep you motivated and creative throughout the process.
  3. Talk to someone. Catch up with friends or family and ask their opinions on your project – you may be stuck on a detail which you can’t see a solution for, but someone else will! Or maybe you just need a cheerleader in your life – someone who will tell you how brilliant your idea is and how you CAN make it happen!
  4. Get physical. Exercise is proven to boost brain performance so grab a pair of trainers or a yoga mat and indulge in your favourite physical exercise – one of our fun tips to help inventors stay motivated!
  5. Get help with your design project. It’s not easy working alone, especially if you’re struggling with a particular stage of the project. Ask for help – that’s what we’re here for. We help companies, start ups, and solopreneurs turn their idea into reality at different stages of the process – from the very beginning like brainstorming ideas, to the end when your product needs to launch. Call us on 03330 119940 or e-mail [email protected] to start the conversation!



Versatile 3D Printing: Medical And Commercial Use

3D printing is a process during which materials are joined or solidified under the control of a computer, producing a three-dimensional object. Digital models are created, data is added, and a 3D object comes out of the printer – it’s actually pretty amazing. It’s even more amazing that 3D printing can not only produce prototypes of objects, additional parts for existing objects, but also helps scientific and medical development. 3D printers are currently used to produce a range of medical devices – especially those which have complex features that match an individual’s unique anatomy. Objects like implants (hip joints and cranial plates) and external prosthesis (hands, legs) can be printed and are commercially available.

3D bioprinters can print human organs. Yes, seriously. The principle is similar to 3D printing with a computer program which makes digital representations of the organ you would like to create, this then gets sent to the 3D printer which builds it slice by slice. You then get a finished three-dimensional object!

In the early stages the objects which can be printed include skin and cartilages, but the big idea is that in time 3D bioprinters will eventually be able to produce complex organs like hearts and livers which could be used in human transplants.

From medical development, to commercial use of 3D printing – we were excited to hear that MINI has taken its owner customisation to a completely new level with the ability to 3D print bespoke parts for its cars! From March 2018 you will be able to design and replace your MINI dashboard panels, door sills, indicator inlays and even puddle lights. This ability comes from using the latest 3D printing and laser etching technology which allows those lucky enough to have a MINI to personalise their names, patterns and even logos on their cars – all in a range of exciting colours and textures.

3D printing is developing quickly, and has become the key product design system in many industries from medical research to mobile, jewellery to comics. We have worked on some very exciting 3D printing projects – email us on [email protected] to talk about your idea!




Importance of Product Design and Why Consumers Buy Into Products

Successful products which sell on the market are defined by clever product design – especially now that consumers have even more power when it comes to recommending a product and being advocates (or haters) on social media. We have worked on many product design and development projects in different markets all over the globe, and have seen how product design is evolving and what makes the consumers buy in. We wanted to share these insights with you and let you in on our thoughts about why consumers buy into products.

Create For Convenience.

Think about why you personally use the products that you use – the likely answer will be that these products make your life easier and they work quickly. The key to capturing customer attention is to create a product which won’t keep them waiting or confuse them with complex processes – you can lose attention in a matter of seconds, so it really has to work! When designing a product you have to think: “If I’m the end user and my convenience is important, what does this product have to do for me, and how can it be better?”

Think About The ‘WOW’ Moment.

The ‘WOW’ moment is the moment when a customer really falls in love with your product and doesn’t ever come back from it – for example how the magnetic charger in a MacBook simply jumps from your fingertips to the plug portal and connects; or that moment when all the kids scooters in the hallway are nicely tucked into their Scooterpegs and you walk without tripping up. These are the moments you stop and think ‘Wow, this really is cool – and useful!’.

Prototyping is a key stage of getting this ‘WOW’ moment right – it could be a feature you as a creator overlooked, but it’s the feature that will hook in your customers and make them fall in love with the product. It could even be something that is an unnecessary feature, but makes your product stand out in the crowd.

Make It Simple.

You’re allowing your customers one opportunity to feel a little silly in using your product – the reality is if they come back and still can’t figure out how to work a product for the second time, they’re gone. You need to make the process of engagement simple at every single step of the customer journey, and ensure you provide easy to digest details of how the product works. One way to discover pain points in a consumer journey is to test the product on different groups of people and figure out the common culprits in creating blockages within this journey.

With these thoughts in mind, Idea Reality helps creators (big and small!) to design products which grab the attention of consumers and encourage more people to buy in. If you would like to talk to us about your product idea and get a free idea review by one of our lead designers, please email us on: [email protected]




5 Principles of Great Product Design

The mind of a product designer thrives on questioning convention and creating solutions to problems. But there is even more to great product design and the principles it focusses on. We have outlined our beliefs of what great design should do below:

Great Product Design Is Relatable And Understandable.

The power of great product design is to make the complex simple and transparent for users to be able to understand what it is and what it does immediately. The last thing you want to do as a product developer is to overwhelm your audience and create a complex set of instructions for your product.

Great Product Design Thinks Further Than The Now.

Whilst typically design will focus on the immediate user needs, great product design will consider the impact it has on social, cultural, environmental and economic factors and how these can change over time.

Great Product Design Is Trusting.

We believe that great product design doesn’t make promises it cannot keep – products simply show what they can do for their users and the value they bring to their lives without manipulation of truth.

Great Product Design Is Varied.

Research shows that customers prefer brands and products which show multiple traits (like humour, beauty, usefulness, and motivation) to those who focus on just one trait. Product design must create varied personalities and qualities to connect with people on an emotional level.

Great Design Takes Risks – And Is Confident About It.

Challenging the norm, taking risks, and doing so freely is a concoction for a successful product – and an even better product launch. People are attracted to confidence so believe in your design and others will too!

If you have a product idea and would like to talk to us about your journey, we would love to hear from you! Email us on [email protected]


Idea Reality Product Design

How To Turn My Idea Into A Product?

We understand that thinking ‘How do I turn my idea into a product?’ can be an overwhelming thought process, especially if you don’t know what you’re doing. So we wanted to share with you how we help our clients turn their ideas into physical products, and what steps you should expect along the way.

First of all you need to understand that no design process is identical because no ideas are identical – all design formats are tailored to you and your idea. You need to speak to a professional, like one of our product design managers, who will be able to tell you more about your tailored journey and discuss costs involved. You can get your FREE confidential idea review with Idea Reality by clicking here!

That’s another thing to note before you start: you should expect a cost estimate based on the type, size, and complexity – but you also need to be prepared for potential changes in the cost depending on the options you choose and how the design develops during the process. Several prototypes may need to be created before the design is working perfectly and ready for production.

Following the initial conversation we’ll need to work together closely. Often you (our client) are the expert in your industry and you have a vision of how you need this product to be; and we have the knowledge and technical expertise to make it happen.

Your project will then move to the concept design stage – during this stage your design will get its initial form and function, but keeping manufacturing methods and costs in mind. We recommend a minimum of 3 concept ideas to allow our designers to present a range of possibilities to you; but it can consist of a single concept if the brief is very clear and precise. Once the concept has been agreed, you will then move on to concept development – this involves engineering and debugging the chosen concept so it can be prototyped.

Prototype construction is the next step in your idea journey. At this stage, your design will be constructed using 3D printing or other quick prototyping techniques – all created with materials such as plastic, rubber, metals, and ceramics. At this stage your design will begin to look and feel real – it’s very exciting! This is also the time to fine-tune and identify any areas for development – often this helps to identify areas where the design can be improved. Further prototypes may be required before the eventual outcome is perfectly functioning prototype ready to take to manufacturing!

We pride ourselves on being skilled in multiple manufacturing processes – at Idea Reality we know how to create a design which will be high quality yet budget friendly! We work with our long term manufacturing partners to get you competitive production costs and have your product mass produced. Alternatively we can work with your preferred manufacturers, to ensure smooth sailing through the production stage of the process. We also help you pre-sell the product through crowdfunding in order to raise manufacture startup funds.

Drumroll – your product is here! No longer are you left wondering ‘how do I turn my idea into a product?’ but you’re staring at the finished product! But you’re not quite done yet… Your product will need packaging. This packaging needs to reflect your brand, be eye catching, and unique. Don’t worry, if you’re in the dark about design and have no clue how to go about producing packaging for your new product we’re here to help. From branding design to help you create a recognisable logo and graphics, to product launch websites and crowd funding campaigns, we won’t leave you in the dark after your product has been created and manufactured.

This is a basic and simple outline of how to go about turning your idea into a product, and as we mentioned at the beginning of the post each journey is individual – submit your idea to us for a FREE confidential review by clicking this link!



The Rise of Mumpreneurs

Hands up those of us who have wondered around a shop in search of a gift, then suddenly stumbled upon something that is very practical, makes sense, and looks good too. The likelihood is this product was created because there was a need for it, and it’s helping making the lives of people better and easier. It’s also likely this product was made by a woman who got fed up of a daily task, but saw a solution for it and took this solution to market – mumpreneurs.

In this blog post we want to look at the rise of the mumpreneurs and some of the successful women out there:

Laura Tenison, founder of JoJo Maman Bebe

JoJo Maman Bebe is a baby clothing retailer which Laura started shortly before giving birth to her first child in 1993. The company now has 46 stores spanning across the UK, and selling to 37 countries – and there are no signs of stopping yet. In 2010, when Laura won Veuve Clicquot’s Business Woman of the Year trophy, her business had a turnover of a whopping £20m. And this was all created on the start-up budget of £50,000 and a plan hatched whilst in a hospital bed.

Danielle & Becca, founders of Scooterpeg

Scooterpeg was created after one of the creators ended up at A&E for a badly sprained wrist, as a result of tripping over a kids scooter in the hall. Quickly realising that most parents share the frustrations and are fed up of the daily obstacle course across the not only scooters but also shoes, bags, balls, bikes and helmets. Danielle and Becca wanted to find a scooter storage solution to keep the clutter out of the way. It’s a simple but brilliant solution to keeping scooters off the floor and out of the way – and we’re incredibly proud to tell you Idea Reality helped make Scooterpeg a reality!

Lucy Burnford, co-founder of AA Automyze

Lucy Burnford came up with the idea after an incident with her second-hand Porsche which had a major fault – and came with a £3,500 bill to settle. She drafted a business plan and teamed up with automotive technology expert Olli Astley and launched the AA Automyze website in 2014. AA Automyze is a free digital management system for drivers which lets them manage and maintain all aspects of their vehicles – from alerts for service, to MOT checks, dating back up to 10 years. All of this whilst 8 months pregnant! The company first started as Motoriety, but since has partnered with the AA to create AA Automyze.

Sian Ellingworth, founder of Buddies

Sian developed her own fluoride toothpaste Buddies after finding out her first child hated mint toothpaste with a passion, and so did the children of 15% adults who were surveyed. Sian created two flavours to help tackle this issue: Hint of Mint with a slightly minty flavour; and Apple Fresh.

She then carried on to design a toothbrush system which assists children with a portioned amount of toothpaste (because who has time to clean up toothpaste from the floor before a school run every morning?) and a more gentle electric toothbrush which has a timer for 2 minutes to make it easy for kids.


If you have an idea or see an opportunity for an idea, we’re here to help you. It’s up to you to create new products which will make not only your life, but the lives of others easier – and that’s the goal for most inventors and creators.

It can be intimidating to think about developing or launching a product especially when your background is in something completely different – but we’re here to encourage you to go ahead and do it! Feel confident in your ideas and we’ll help guide you through the process, from start to finish – from idea development to funding opportunities. Click here to confidentially submit your idea for a FREE review with one of our lead designers!



About Idea Reality

Bring your invention design ideas and product development projects successfully to market with Idea Reality Ltd.
Our experienced Hampshire based product design team will guide you from concept design through to prototype and manufacture drawings.
We even help with crowdfunding grants and investment.

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