Bringing your concept to life is easier said than done. The product design stage is difficult to get right, but it’s crucial that you do – too many brilliant ideas have fallen at this stage, so don’t let yours be another.
A clearly defined process in place can help to guide the journey from concept to market-ready product. What steps should you take?
Start with a vision
Every great product starts with a clear vision in mind. This could be a certain aesthetic, the way you want to make your customer feel, or a value you want to convey. Bring your design team together and amalgamate ideas until you have a clearly defined vision to move forward with.
Make it ambitious from the beginning, you can always simplify your product down the line. Narrow your focus on your target market because this will allow you to design with the customer in mind.
Market and Product Research
Next, you need to determine what is and isn’t already available to your target consumer. Conduct thorough market research to identify opportunities and threats to your new product. Above all, you have to recognize how your product has a unique place in the market and how it meets the requirements of the users. You have to know users’ opinions regarding your product.
This step should also help you define your unique selling point (USP) to set you apart from the competition. Look for areas where competitors have excelled and outline what you can do better to help you along the design process.
Bringing your product into the real world starts with prototyping. Translating your blueprints from 3D design software to physical manifestations takes time and practice. Experiment with manufacturing techniques and see which allows you to get the finish you want at the right cost. It is important to give designers the freedom to call up a wide range of solutions.
Prototypes can help to start the bid for extra funding and may help to attract early consumer attention. Interacting with a product is a different experience from looking at designs, so get your prototypes in the right hands to spark some interest.
As prototypes become more advanced, testing will ensure that the product due to be released will deliver everything it needs to. Depending on the type of product, this could be strain analysis, UX trials, concept testing or any other type of evaluation. Testing and validation of product design is the last but most important step before launching your product. In this stage, you can first learn about the users’ response to your product.
The last thing you want to do is release your product before it’s ready. This could result in negative reviews from customers and critics, and a potential PR disaster if something goes wrong. Once your product is in the market, you should try to find out areas of improvement.
Taking your concept from the design stage to your customer takes patience and all these fundamental steps. Don’t leave anything to chance because you may fall at one of the product design hurdles.