Product design is where engineering and art intersect—combining vision with creativity to develop a product that is both functional and aesthetically pleasing. Designing a product is one thing, but designing a successful product is quite another. A designer must consider both the functional aspects of the product while keeping the consumer’s interest at the forefront—and these two concepts may not always coincide. While the product design process is rife with challenges, having an experienced team in place will help you navigate these obstacles. Before you dive into the product design process, here are five questions to ask yourself.
What real-world problem is my product solving?
Products find success because they solve an existing real-world problem experienced by many. Offering people a solution to a problem that consumers are already aware of is key. (If you have to convince your target market that they have a problem, you will face an uphill battle when it comes time to market and sell your product.) After you have identified the real-world problem you are aiming to solve, expand from there with the goal of addressing it.
What is the primary function of my product?
Asking yourself this question will help layout your priorities early in the design process. In essence, it is a mission statement for your design team. All engineering and design decisions should keep this function in mind and make it a priority throughout the entire product development process.
Is every aspect of the design useful?
Too many features will get in the way and take away from your product’s intended functionality. If you focus on features over functionality it will be easy to get bogged down with too many bells and whistles. This will undoubtedly slow down product development while diminishing your product’s focus. It is best to start with the basics from the onset and then add components as the design progresses.
Is the design of my product intuitive?
Consumers crave simplicity—products with sleek designs, clean lines and that are easy to navigate. If your product proves to be too complicated or frustrating, consumers will quickly switch to your competitor. When you are working on the design, always approach it from an “outsider’s” perspective to determine if the design is becoming too cumbersome.
What is my competitive edge over the competition?
Be innovative. Truly innovative products revolutionize industries and quickly surpass the competition. As with any business, you have to know your competitive advantage and be able to articulate it quickly and concisely. Think of this as your “elevator pitch” and intertwine it into all facets of your design and product marketing.
Having the answers to these questions will not only keep your design on track but will also help clarify the product for your entire team.
3D Innovations is a Product Development Company – from the 3D Design to a fully functional 3D Prototype & Product.
Startup Connector is a Manufacturing Accelerator helping companies commercialize—turning ideas into products.