From An Idea To Reality: Product Design How To
What is product development and what goes into creating and designing a product that consumers can get excited about?
“Product development is the overall process of strategy, organization, concept generation, product and marketing plan creation and evaluation, and commercialization of a new product.” –entrepreneur.com
Where to Begin
If you want to produce your best work and make a product that has the biggest impact on the market, you must first be able to understand and follow the process of product design and development. This will give you a guide to keep yourself on track with your plan and gives you an organized resource to refer to as you adjust and develop your product.
Development Process Steps
Generally speaking, there are seven steps to the product development process.
- First, you need a product. A design team and the inventor will sit down and brainstorm ideas with you. These can be implemented into a plan that will solve the consumers’ problem.
- Secondly, those ideas need to be evaluated. The ones that are not feasible should be discarded as the idea is narrowed down.
- Thirdly, the idea or product created must have a market. By doing market research, you can figure out who your product will benefit the most. Gear its features toward them.
- The fourth step in product development is to analyze the competitive situation. This lets you see what kind of similar products are out in your market. Your product should be innovative and not a knock-off of one of your competitors’ merchandise or service.
- Fifth in the seven steps of product development, prototype and marketing, handles this issue. Through marketing, you can find out what improvements over other products your prototype can potentially offer. You can then adjust your product to offer them.
- Sixth, you must do some market testing. By doing this, you can get a good idea as to how the general population will receive your new product.
- Finally, you have been able to navigate the other six steps. You now need to prepare for your official product roll-out and launch. You’ve done the hard work in researching, following your plan and developing your product. It is time to watch the impact your product makes on the market that you chose!
There are a few things to consider when thinking about starting a new project or design. What is the goal that you are trying to achieve? Is the market that your product is in growing with new competition? Are you not gaining new customers, or is your growth slowed? If you’re competing with people you have never heard of, they may have found a new trick in your industry. You must be progressive to stay relevant in the product design market. If your product or service is not innovative, copycats will emerge and undercut your prices, especially if they can basically duplicate whatever your product or service offers. Another sign that you need to create a new product would be your customers asking for design changes. Your customers want to be ahead of the competition and want the newest and most efficient products to do so. Your product needs to deliver what they want in order to keep your sales volume up by having new ideas ready.
Do Your Homework!
What do you look for when you are considering hiring a product designer and developer? There are many product design and development companies that you can choose from as you begin your journey toward a new product. With that being said, it is very important to first weed out the companies that do not fit your specific needs and desires. Since there are so many different kinds of design firms, you must have an idea of what direction you want to take your product before choosing. After you know your direction and goals, you will then find the process much easier. Not all design companies and firms are created equal, and not all of them will be capable of bringing your thoughts to life in the form of your new product.
What to Look For
Some of the characteristics you should look for in design firms are universal, but some stand out above the rest of the competition. One important characteristic you should look for is a product design plan. A lot of companies will have examples of the plans and templates that they follow, to keep the process uniform and transparent for you. This will allow you to be able to clearly understand what is going on and why. When differentiating between the top design firms, you have to look at their past portfolio as well.
Some companies have good marketing and can “talk a big game”. If they have not demonstrated the ability to produce the goods that you are developing, they may not be a good fit for you. Some companies are just starting up and may not have an extensive portfolio. They should have at least some solid data supporting their claims, or an example that is tangible and measurable. If they cannot produce the data for you, then you may not want to use them either.
Resources available to the company that you are contracting to help with your product is extremely important. A perfect example of a resource that not all companies have, but is definitely a distinct advantage, would be a 3D printer. By having one of these available, you are able to build a tangible prototype that you can analyze in just a short amount of time. 3D printers are very expensive and not every company will have one, but you must also be aware that those with 3D printers are likely to be more expensive than those without. In some cases, you may not want a 3D printer for your product or service. You may not want to pay for such an expensive tool, so you can always find alternatives. If you can find a design firm that has one and offers a good price, you will have an advantage over your competition.