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What is Product Design? How to determine a Good Product Design?

What is Product Design?

Product Design is the act of creating a new product, after carrying out research about a market opportunity, shipping the product to the market and getting feedback from users of the product.

It is an all-encompassing process that includes all the processes from the time of market research down to when a product is being used by a user. Those involved in creating products are known as product designers.

The term designing the product refers to the determination of shape, standard and pattern of the product. It includes:

  • Specification
  • Experimental and development work for the production of desired product,
  • Calculation of estimates and drafting estimates of contracts for new inquiries,
  • Issuing necessary instructions to the production department for production.
working in a group
Photo by Kaboompics .com on

Why is Product Design important?

A successful product quickly acquires new users and customers and delivers consistent value. It’s not surprising that companies with successful products grow their customer base, increase their revenues, and outperform competitors.

android smartphone
A smart phone of LG. Photo by Zain Ali on

Companies like Apple, Samsung, LG, and many others have built multi-billion dollar brands with successful product design.

And, while you might not have a Product Design budget that rivals those companies, you shouldn’t lose hope. When planning your next product, the less you leave to chance, the better.

How to determine a Good Product Design?

A good Product Design should posses the following characteristics:

1. Function

A product can be sold if it meets the needs of the consumer so that it must be designed based on their demands. For example, a customer expects a gas lighter to be convenient (i.e., to instantly light the gas stove). If the gas lighter cannot achieve that, then the purpose is lost as the basic function is not met.

2. Reliability

It is the probability that there will not be any major failure of the product during its use. For example, if certain components of a product are put into use very often, the reliability of each component need staggeringly high.

Reliability helps prolong the life of the product. Photo by Nexxis.

3. Maintainability

The lubrication points and other areas for servicing of the product to be designed, ought to be easily accessible even though the physical form may have to be altered a bit. The alternative is to make a trouble free product with expensive design.

The trade off between being trouble-free and maintainability is an important decision at the design stage and it mainly depends on the nature of the product. The after sales feedback from customers is quite valuable in improving upon the maintainability of a product.

4. Minimum Cost

Design influences manufacturing cost. A good product design must ensure minimum manufacturing cost. Some of the areas in which savings can be effected at the design stage have been discussed already.

5. Procducibility

A product should be designed in such a manner that it can be produced easily at a reasonable cost. Least number of operations are required to produce a product quickly and cheaply.

This may be possible with change in technology. For example, instead of machining an intricate part such as gear, it can be molded, without affecting its function.

6. Simplification

Simplification and producibility go hand in hand. The simpler the design of the product, the easier it is to produce, the lesser it costs and more reliable it is.

Simple interface of defibrillator – CardiAid AED.Photo by Vanstraatenbhv.

7. Quality

A good quality product design ensures that the quality of a final product is obtained through its individual components. The tolerance specified at every stage ensures a end product with the desired quality.

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