Category: Product Design

RF3 Product Design Derby – Why You Buy an iPad Every Year

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Derby Product Design

Here’s a shocking statistic; if you’re one of the hundreds of thousands of people who bought the highest model of each version of Apple’s iPad on launch (including the Mini varieties), you’ve given the company $5833 –  around £3600. That’s quite a lot for a product that can’t do anything even the most basic modern laptop can do. So – why do you keep buying the new version of the iPad every year? RF3 Product Design Derby are on the case to show you how this blend of design and marketing work to lighten your wallet so effectively.

RF3 Product Design Derby – Why Design and Marketing Go Hand in Hand

product design derbyThe old product design adage is that “if companies spent as much on their products as they did on advertising, they wouldn’t need to advertise”. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Without Apple’s masterful marketing campaigns it wouldn’t be able to even attempt market dominance against Google, Samsung and Amazon. However, by using masterfully selected product placement in TV, movies and music videos, as well as minimalist, humanist advertising, inspired in no small part by founder Steve Job’s famous “reality distortion field” – a mix of laser-like business acumen and Jedi mind trickery – Apple has established itself as a true market leader, able to command retail prices in excess of 150% of its closest competitor.

Brand loyalty plays a big part – by keeping its advertising tone aloof but accessible to the everyman, many people who don’t know much about technology simply bought an iPad because that’s what they saw advertised on the telly, and have staunchly stuck with a brand they know and are comfortable with.

But isn’t the iPad 2 – only 2 years old and still in production – good enough? Why did you buy the iPad Mini, and then the iPad Air when it came out recently?

By increasing the quality of the points on its tech every year – an upgrade from an iSight camera to a FaceTime HD camera, for instance, or the A6 chip to the A7 – makes the increase in spec tantalisingly effective, as well as the fact that, since last year’s tech still commands a decent resale value, you don’t have to put up the whole price of the new gear.

Smallish but technically substantial, regular updates – that’s how you can really milk your market without leaving them feel swindled.

The 7 Steps of Product Design

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Any serious business knows the importance of introducing new products to the market. In this world of business there is a lot of competition which means that in order to succeed in any business you really have to impress your potential customers. A product design is a major part of product branding which usually determines the superiority of your product in the market. You can never go wrong in investing a in a good product design as it is what’s sets your product a part from others in a competitive market.

One of the biggest challenges in launching a new product both in new as well as in already established businesses is the cost of marketing. A successful design will reduce this cost as it makes your product appealing and in the long run creating customer loyalty.

The process is usually broken down into seven main steps namely: problem assessment, research, idea analysis, prototyping, final design, testing and manufacturing.

Product Design
Product Design

Problem assessment

Many businesses thrive in commercialising solutions to problems in a certain community. Solutions may take the form of either improvement to physical products or services or inventing new products or services. Design process starts when an idea is generated in the mind. At this point it is advisable to write the idea on paper and what problem the idea seeks to solve.


This step involves conducting research to find out if there are other similar ideas or products elsewhere. The focus here is to refine the idea and identify the target market. A good product design focuses on customer satisfaction and involves determining the price that the target customer will be willing to pay for the product, usability, safety as well as disposal. It is hence very important to know the specific customer needs and preferences. Some of the important information that this step seeks to find is; size of product, materials needed in the design and the products needs and requirements-whether there are other products that will be needed to use this particular product such as batteries.

Idea analysis 

Based on the findings on the previous stage-research, product sketches are produced through brain storming and other forms of discussions. This stage seeks to come up with as many designs sketches as possible and at the end of this step one or two sketches are selected and moved to the next stage-prototyping.


A design of the chosen sketches or sketches on the previous stage is created in 3D using the material and color that is expected to be used in the final product. The focus here is not the product functionality but the appearance and usability though basic functionality of product is implemented.

Final design

A final design is produces based on the features of the prototype and all the changes that may have been suggested are made. Complete functionality of the product is implemented at this stage. A few samples are produced a waiting testing.


This stage is very import in the design process and should never be overlooked. It is at this stage where the product is taken to a lab for testing by professionals. This will enable it to be certified by the governing body such as the bureau of standards. Testing also involves distributing samples for use by potential customers and getting their feedback.


If the results of the testing stage are satisfactory the product is ready for mass production else part or the whole process of product design is repeated.

It is very important to remember that every stage of the design process should be documented and all the documents complied and kept as the information can be used in future either for other new product designs or for product improvement.










Inspiring Product Design Web Magazines

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As product design is such a fast paced technology, it can sometimes feel impossible to keep on track with the newest innovative products. We’ve rounded up some inspiring web based magazines that feature product design and industrial design, that keep us up to date with the latest breaking technology in the world today.

Product Design
Product Design

Design Boom

Design boom is a a great place for professionals and young amateur designers to come together and learn about the latest news stories from across the world. They’re always on top of the latest headlines when it comes to design, heres one we particularly liked –

Design Boom – solar-powered flat pack refugee shelters by IKEA



Wired is a magazine for all things geeky, and they blog about a variety of different news articles, from entertainment, science and technology. We like their articles about 3D printing, which is a relatively new and emerging technology, which is gaining more and more popularity.

Wired – Is this 3D printed cast the future of healing broken bones?



Core77 really has it all, and is a fantastic place to find all you may need for industrial design. From news articles to job listings and discussion forums.



Monkee Design

Monkee Design is the place for inspiration and congregates industrial and product designers together, to help each other look for gorgeous designs. In such a fast paced environment when it comes to products, it’s important to keep designs fresh and interesting and not get lost amongst the crowd. We particularly like their inspiration page.

Check it out here – Monkee Design – Inspiration


Sustainable Product Design News

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In a world where there is an increasing concern with environmental impact, it’s important to keep in mind the sustainability of new product design. When new products are made, there is a growing number of waste that can sometimes be produced. We’ve rounded up some fun and interesting concepts for sustainable product design.

Product Design
Product Design

Self-repair washing machine and ‘bee-friendly neighbourhoods’ among RSA student design winners

A group of students were asked to respond to a project set for them which challenged social matters. Some of the projects, which included recycling rain water, were designed with a mind to help us to be more aware of saving our environment, and reducing the negative impact.

Read the full story here: Self repair washing machine and bee friendly neighbourhoods among RSA student design winners.


15 year old Ann Makosinski invents body heat powered flashlight

This 15 year old student is one of 15 finalists in the 2013 Google science fair competition, and has invented an LED flashlight powered only by the heat of your hands. Made from simple materials, that she bought at her local store.

Read the full story here: 15 year old Ann Makosinski invents body heat powered flashlight


Material ecology: additive technology and biological forms

3D printing is getting more advanced as time goes on, and in this case, is helping people with medical conditions. This team in particular has managed to produce a glove to help with the symptoms of carpel tunnel syndrome, and pays particular focus and attention on creating products that avoid as much waste as possible.

Read the full story here: Material ecology: additive technology and biological forms


Nutrima Analyzes Your Food for Nutrition, Freshness and Toxicity

This new product helps identify how fresh your food is, and in turn will help eliminate the amount of food that we waste on a regular basis. It can also inform you of any toxins that may be present in the food.

Read the full story here: Nutrima analyses your food for nutrition, freshness and toxicity

Industrial & Product Design News Round Up

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Industrial and product design is ever growing, as gadgets and products become more advanced, we are seeing designs becoming weirder and quirkier. Industrial design is a big part of our every life, even though we may not know it. We’ve rounded up some great stories for you in this fascinating field.


Product Design
Product Design

The Stayhold: Simple Industrial Design to Secure Items in your Car Trunk

A new design has been invented for those all important shopping journeys, and securing it all in your car. If you’ve ever had the problem of shifting shopping bags in the boot of your car, then this product is most definitely for you.

Read the full story here: The Stayhold: Simple Industrial Design to Secure Items in your Car Trunk


3D printing explained: what’s all the fuss about?

Quite a new process in industrial design which has recently gained in popularity is 3D printing. 3D printing can be a massive help in gaining a good insight into the way a product may look, and can act as a great, simple prototype.

Read the full story here: 3D printing explained: whats all the fuss about?

Niels Diffrient, Industrial Designer Who Blended Form and Function, Dies at 84

Niels Diffrient was an industrial designer who was perhaps most famous for his office chairs which adjusted accordingly to who ever sat in them, reducing the need for so many levers. Earlier on in his life, he designed everyday objects such as telephones and cameras.

Read the full story here: Niels Diffrient, Industrial Designer Who Blended Form and Function, Dies at 84

Factorydesign develops new Sellotape product

A new Sellotape product is said to be released onto the market. The new product allows you to strap the tape dispenser to your hand, giving you the freedom to use both hands to Sellotape whatever you need, getting rid of the hassle of trying to hold down paper using just one hand!

Read more here: FactoryDesign develops new Sellotape product

How Product Design Has Changed The Way You Live

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With product design constantly evolving to adapt, it’s no wonder we sometimes forget how much it benefits our everyday life. From something as simple as a water bottle, to products designed to aid disabilities, it’s all important and it all has a great impact on the way we live. We’ve collected some resources on some of the most inspiring designs that you may not necessarily think will have had an impact on your life.


Product Design
Product Design

35 Revolutionary Design Products That Will Change the Way You Live

Combining both form and function to create some beautiful designs that overcome obstacles. There’s even a device which kills germs that may lay on you phone.

Read More


To See How Our Society Has Changed, Look at Your Kitchen

According to an exhibit at MOMA, you only have to look at your kitchen to see how design has evolved. Whether that be the kitchen itself, or the products we place in it, it has all adapted to changes to flow with the way we live, combining ease of use to make life easier. as well as good, attractive design.

Read more here: To see how our society has changed, look at your kitchen


How Design Strategy Has Changed In Recent Years

Design is something that has to evolve with people, and evolve with what consumers want. A company that showcases this brilliantly is Apple, their designs are so on point with what their customers want that when a new product of theirs is launched, there is huge hype around it, and people even camp out to be one of the first to get their hands on it.

Read more here: How design strategy has changed in recent years


How have Product Design Tools Changed and Developed

With software programs such as CAD, it has become much easier for product designers to create realistic drawings and models of what the end product will look like, this means it is much easier to create effective products that meet the needs of consumers. We wonder what will be next in the world of product design tools.

Read the full story here: How have product design tools changed and developed


The Best Product Designs of 2013

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Product design is everywhere and designers are always coming up with new and exciting products to showcase, some excel, and of course some fail. Have a look at some of these product designs of 2013.



Product Design
Product Design

The 22 Best Product Designs of the Year

The design museum has just released the contenders for this award. The products designed include products such as a magic arms which help young children with muscle weakness the use of full functionality of their arms.

Read the full story here: The 22 best product designs of the year



See some of the best gadget designers out there, from the creators of the iPhone to the creator of the Dyson Vacuum. Without some of these designers, the amazing products we have today may not even exist.
Read more:


25 beautiful and inspiring examples of industrial design

No matter what the product is, it requires deep thought,blending fantastic design with functionality. View some of these designs here over at creative bloq.

Read more here: 25 Beautiful and inspiring examples of industrial design

Cool And Innovative Product Design Examples

Designers are constantly coming up with new and effective designs that are constantly adapting and evolving with the times. Gadgets have been a constant occurrence throughout modern times and seems to be something that is always going to be adapting.

Read more here: Cool and innovative product design examples

Categories: Product Design

Disability Product Design News Round Up

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Disability products can make a huge difference to somebody’s life, and it’s great news that this is becoming more of an important matter. Product design plays a vital role in this process, and without it, we wouldn’t be able to see some of the innovative designs we see today. Read the latest news on disability products to see whats new.



Product Design
Product Design

Disability Living Allowance changes begin

A new system for disability allowance is starting to take effect in the UK. Instead of the usual disability  allowance, a personal independence payment will be introduced and will target resources more effectively.

Read more here: Disability living allowance changes begin


Access all areas: The disability-friendly rock festival

Many families have said that they don’t see festivals as an option, as they are too noisy and crowded. But one couple have created a disability friendly music festival, which includes more space, more accessible toilets, and facilities to cater for everyones needs.

Read the story here: Access all areas: The disability friendly rock festival


Disability project makes music using invisible beams

A new system has enabled people with disabilities to play music. The new system launched in Birmingham allows people to play music through the movement of their body.

Read the full story here: Disability project makes music using invisible beams


Robots Offer Alternative For Homebound Students

New technology has enabled students to study from their homes if they are unable to make it into school. The technology allows students  to receive the teaching that they need effectively.

Read the full story here: Robots offer alternative for homebound students

Categories: Product Design

The Process of Product Design

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Product design isn’t as simple and straightforward as you may think. The process of product design involves various steps before reaching the final goal and before reaching a finished and finalised product. Read this guide on product design here to a few of the processes needed.


Product Design
Product Design

1. Design Brief – This typically will involve many factors. This is where you will begin to research the market for your product and find out what the competitors are doing. Of course there is also a technical aspect. You will need to identify tools and components that will be needed, and see if it fits within your budget. The commercial aspect of the brief will typically involve market research and reports, along with targets and forecasts for the future.

2. Idea Generation – This is where initial sketches and layouts of ideas will be drawn up. From pencil 2D sketches to 3D CAD drawings involving particular attention to details.

3. Concept – Initials ideas will be looked into, and a stronger emphasis will be laid on narrowing it down to one idea. More of a development on CAD designs will be brought in at this stage, to get a clearer idea of the product.

4. Design Development – This is where intent to design the final product will be introduced. Sturdier prototypes will be made and each part of the product will be more detailed and focused.

5. Further development will then take place to actually create the intended product.


Ultimately product design is an important part of the process of designing a new product, it can help determine whether a product will succeed or fail, and this will help avoid any unnecessary costs.


Product Design Glossary

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Product design can seem confusing if you’ve never had interaction with it before, with many phrases used by product designers regarding the design stages and process, it can seem overwhelming. Here is a simple and basic glossary of just some of the terms used in product design to help gain a better understanding of the terminology.


Product Design
Product Design

Aerodynamic – Designed to be optimised for air flow

Aesthetic – Describing the look of something

Branding – Marketing techniques used for a particular product, to create it into a brand

CAD – Computer aided design software, enables you to create detailed drawings of potential products

Composition – Putting together different parts to form something complete

Concept – An early idea of a product, more often still in sketch or drawing form

Design – To invent, sketch, plan, draw or make something

Design brief – A statement outlining goals to be met within the design

Eco – Design – Design that considers the environment and nature at the forefront of it’s idea.

GUI – Graphic user interface

Industrial Design – Where aesthetics and usability come together for products which may be improved through marketing and production

Mockup – Essentially a draft of a design whether full scale or not, it allows the user to evaluate and demonstrate the design

Prototype – Functional model of the design

Product strategy – Determining the market, context and money needed to invest in such a product

Rendering – A 2D image of the design, often put into CAD software to also create a more realistic version of the design.

Sustainable design – A design using products that have little or no impact on the environment or the future social environment.

Typography – The art of text, involving point size, typefaces and line spacing

Usability – Determining how usable the product will be for users