process

Product development is a multidisciplinary process, involving the efforts of marketing & engineering experts and key manufacturing vendors. A plan is needed to successfully integrate industrial design into this process. This is where we start by providing a detailed written proposal which outlines the proposed scope of work, key requirements, specific deliverables and associated costs & timeframe.

While each project is different, typical steps include:

Problem Definition

Problem definition:

Before we can solve a problem, we must fully understand it. Our focus at the outset of any project is to identify both our client & end user’s needs as well as to establish appropriate design objectives. Ideally these project objectives and requirements should be established wthin the initial client meeting so that they can be reflected in our written proposal.


Background Research

Background Research:

We become familiar with the product(s) in question and any competitive products that might exist. We use the product (s) or if that is not possible, observe or query trained professionals who use the product. We identify observed shortcomings and strengths of the product(s), realizing that each observed problem represent an opportunity for innovation. Other areas of concern during this phase include identification of relevant market trends, ergonomic considerations, engineering requirements and appropriate material and manufacturing processes. Often our clients’ internal resources can provide much of this information.


Creative Problem Solving

Creative Problem Solving:

Using what we learn from background research and client input, we employ creative ideation techniques to explore a range of new product concepts. These preliminary product solutions are typically presented in a sketch or rendering format which can be emailed or faxed to the client. We submit these concepts in multiple installments to permit client feedback to be quickly incorporated into subsequent concepts, encouraging an interactive process.


Targeted Concept Development

Targeted Concept Development:

When one or more preliminary design concepts are identified as meriting subsequent development, we refine the selected design concepts using 2-D sketches, renderings and/or 3-D models.


Design Documentation

Design Documentation:

Dimensional documentation is required to transform concepts into reality. We can assist as required to move the final design into the required CAD environment. We typically provide Control Line Drawings in a digital format for use as a reference by the client’s engineering resources while detailing the final design solution. However, through a close working relationship with an Atlanta-based Engineering group with extensive Pro/ENGINEER experience, we can assist in providing final engineering documentation and pre-production prototypes should they be required.


Design Implementation

Design Implementation:

We appreciate the opportunity to serve as “Keepers of the Vision” throughout remaining steps of the development process, making sure that the original design intent is represented in the final product. This phase typically involves ongoing communication with the product development team during the final engineering development and initial manufacturing process, reviewing proposed changes as they occur and providing feedback as required. While this phase does not usually involve a substantial effort on our part, it is nonetheless important to avoid inadvertent compromise of the original design.