Product Design: Guide to developing a new product idea 

Idea Reality is an award winning Product Design company. Here we discuss the processes and considerations you and your company should take to develop your Product design idea.

Product design is the process of creating a product that meets the needs of the user and the market. It is a complex and iterative process that involves a variety of disciplines, from research and analysis to concept generation, CAD and development, prototyping, DFM, branding and marketing, packaging, and route to market. 

These days product design can refer to digital products as well as physical products. Interestingly many tech products will be both physical and digital. For example, an electronic device can also have a mobile app that is required to control or monitor the product. As our product design team focus on physical products this guide will stick to these rather than digital products like eBooks or art. 

Product Research and Analysis

product design research

The first step in the product design process is to conduct research and analysis to understand the target audience, the product environment, and the competitive landscape. This research will help to identify pain points and opportunities for improvement.

Target Audience 

The target audience is the group of people who are most likely to use the product. It is important to understand their needs, wants, and pain points in order to create a product that they will love. 

Product Environment 

The product environment is the context in which the product will be used. It is important to understand the physical, social, and cultural factors that will affect how the product is used. 

Competitive Landscape 

The competitive landscape is the set of other products that are similar to the one you are designing. It is important to understand the strengths and weaknesses of the competition in order to create a product that is competitive. 

Concept Design and Development 

Concept product design Idea WorkshopOnce the research and analysis is complete, the next step is to generate concepts for potential solutions. This can be done through brainstorming workshops, sketching, and rough prototyping. 

A brainstorming workshop is a group activity where our design team and you can share ideas without judgment. This is a great way to generate many ideas quickly. Our workshop process goes into specific details and subjects to draw out the best ideas and inspiration. These sessions can really help shape the project and product idea. Sketching is a great way to quickly visualize your ideas. It is not necessary to be an artist to sketch effectively.

The key outcome from the concept design stage is to get a narrowed down range of designs in 3D CAD and professionally visualised to fully communicate the advantages and disadvantages of each.

CAD Product Development 

Product design CAD developmentOnce a concept has been selected, it is time to develop and refine concept CAD model of the product. This model will be used to create prototypes, test the functionality of the product, and prepare for manufacturing. Therefore, the production processes need to be considered and designed for within the concept CAD model. 

 

Product Prototyping 

Product design prototypingPrototyping a product is an essential stage in the product design process. Prototyping is a method of creating a physical model of your product idea. This can be done using a variety of materials, including simple cardboard and foam or more sophisticated processes such as plastic 3d printing or metal fabrication. Prototyping allows designers to test and refine the design before it goes into production, validate unique mechanisms and get feedback from potential users. The stage can often be iterative which means that further prototypes will be produced to validate the learning from previous versions until the team are satisfied that the design is ready. 

DFM (Design for Manufacture) 

Product Design for manufactureOnce the prototype is finalized, it is time to prepare for manufacturing. This involves creating a DFM (Design for Manufacture) plan. The DFM plan will document the manufacturing process and ensure that the product can be produced efficiently and cost-effectively. Collaboration with manufacturers and suppliers occurs at this stage and can mean some design refinements to suit the chosen factory’s set up. 


Product Branding and Marketing
 

Product design branding and marketingBranding is the process of creating a unique identity for your product. This includes developing a brand name, logo, and tagline. Branding is important because it helps to create a connection between your product and your target audience.  

Once the product is ready to be manufactured it’s time to start marketing it. This involves developing marketing materials and launching a marketing campaign to raise awareness and communicating the value of your product to your target audience. This can be done through a variety of channels, including paid advertising, public relations, and social media to generate sales and grow your customer base+. 

 

Product Packaging Design

The packaging for a product is an important part of the user experience. It should be visually appealing, easy to use, and protect the product during shipping and storage. It may also be the only think the customer sees in a retail environment so should sell the product and brand effectively. 

Route to Market 

The route to market for a product is the business process of getting it from the manufacturer to the end user. This can involve selling it through retail stores and distributers, online retailers like Amazon, or direct to consumers perhaps via your own e-commerce website or using social platforms. Licencing is another route to market and this time you are not actually involved in the sales and often not involved in the mass manufacture either. 

Conclusion 

The product design process is a complex and iterative process that requires a variety of skills and disciplines. By following these steps, you can increase your chances of success in bringing your product to market. If you are looking for a product design company to help you develop your product idea then have a look at this helpful guide to choosing a product design company.

Here are some additional tips for successful product design: 

  • Start with a clear understanding of the problem you are solving. What is the pain point that your product will address? 
  • Create a prototype as soon as possible. This will help you to test your ideas and get feedback from users. 
  • Be flexible and willing to iterate. The product design process is not linear. You will need to be willing to make changes as you learn more about your users and the market. 
  • Get feedback from users throughout the process. This will help you to ensure that your product meets the needs of your target audience. 

 

Important Product Design Considerations 

In addition to the steps outlined above, there are a few other considerations that should be considered when designing a product. These include: 

  • The user experience. The user experience (UX) is critical to the success of any product. It is important to design a product that is easy to use, intuitive, and enjoyable to interact with. 
  • The competitive landscape. It is important to understand the competitive landscape when designing a product. This will help you to identify opportunities to differentiate your product from the competition. 
  • The target market. Understanding the target market when designing a product is key. This will help you to create a product that meets the needs of your target audience. 
  • The budget. It is important to set a budget for the product design process. This will help you to stay on track and avoid overspending. Idea Reality always map out the tailored product design process in a detailed proposal for each project. This will include estimated costs so that our clients understand the scope of the project and likely required budget before committing. 

By taking all of these factors into account, you can increase your chances of designing a successful product. Here is a video of one of our product design success stories:


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