How Many Stages Does The Product Design Process Comprise Of?
For anyone who is sitting in an office right now, they will discover that almost everything object surrounding them went through the process of product design. At some point, most of the nearby equipment, whether it is the mug that holds their coffee or the telephone they use to make calls or just about any other product, all started out as a concept. Before any company introduces a product, firs they flesh it out via research, then they draw up designs, then they test prototypes for functionality. Eventually, they launch their product onto the market through a campaign, regardless of how big or small it may be.
As complex and involved as the process known as product design may be, it comprises of the following four key stages:
After conceiving an idea, the customer has to be identified by the team behind the product. This includes determine who may be want the product, who may be interested in using the product, and whether similar products already available in the market. Similar items and systems, along with their design, materials, manufacturing process, and targeted customer are analyzed through market research. Although market research is essential required before product designs are drawn, but additionally, it also helps inform and guide any efforts involving marketing, selling and launching a product.
Designing, Engineering, & Prototyping
Once market research provides a concept with a firmer foundation, then a design is developed by the engineers as a part of the second stage of product design. First, they use drawings and 3D computerized models to produce this design and eventually, they produce it physically as well. The physical design that is produced as a result is known as the prototype, which is precisely almost similar to the end product. Although they may not use identical materials, they make sure that the performance of the prototype is as close to that of the end product as possible. In the past, it would take a lot of time to create an initial model and prototype. However, process has become far more efficient and moves along a lot quicker because of 3D design software and printing, and plastic injection molding techniques.
When it comes to product design, one of the eventual goals is to reproduce the end product in mass. In the previous decades, when manufacturers did not pay much attention to design for manufacturability, as a result, they could not reproduce a product or system that was developed by engineers. As a result, not only a lot of time, but a considerable amount of money was wasted. This is why documentation is an integral stage in the process and is an essential step towards manufacturing. This ensures that all the drawings and files needed to manufacture the item are compiled and organised.
In any product design effort, successfully making a product available in the market, on time, is the ultimate goal and the final stage of the process. However, there may be a variation in who is marketing the product. For instance, contract manufacturers adopt the product design model because are serve as a producer for an external client, while most of the funds and time are put into marketing and sales by the client. Similarly, the full process can be executed by a designer or manufacturer, from the beginning with a simple concept and conducting market research through marketing and selling the product.
It can be quite daunting to develop a product, but it can be far easier for those who know the basic steps and are aware of the key stages of product design.