As you design new products, you will find yourself facing countless possibilities. Your choices can very well affect the success chances of your product, which is why the design phase is such an important part of the production process. Below, you will find a few tips that are worth taking into account when designing a new product:
1. Create interdisciplinary product development teams. Talent is of course important, but various educational backgrounds will mean more perspectives when designing the product, which leads to a better devised product.
2. Find the perfect balance between functional and aesthetic. Depending on their background, some team members will focus on the materials and reliability of the product, on its size, and on increasing the efficiency of the production processes; others will focus on the features, customer needs and/or interface, and so on. It’s vital that the entire team works together in order to come up with the best product idea.
3. Don’t complicate things. If you look at the most successful designs on the market, you will find that they are mostly simple, functional, and easy to use. Don’t try to make your product look eccentric; you’ll greatly narrow your targeted market.
4. Learn from the competition. Competition is not necessarily a bad thing – there’s a great deal to learn from their products. Analyze successful products and see what makes them so. Analyze products which don’t sell that well and see why. Implement features that sell, and avoid those that didn’t catch on. Avoid major design changes – deep down, people don’t like change, and will not like major changes to products they are familiar with.
5. Test your product. Testing your products before giving the ‘go ahead’ will save you money and increase sales. Create prototypes of your product, either in plastic or foam, or functional. Get the opinion of experts in the field, but also those of potential customers – through interviews, focus groups or surveys. This gives you access to a pool of innovative ideas which you can use to further perfect your design before starting production.
We hope these tips will help you create better products – better suited for the needs of your clients, and better adapted to an ever evolving market.