Product development process

The Common Pitfalls of Designing New Products

Product development is often an ongoing search for perfection. Designing new products can be a continuous cycle of design, test, improve. Whilst it is commonly accepted that there is not always a “right” answer to design, there is, in our experience, “best” answers that we strive to find through our development tools and design process.

When engaging a design consultancy, freelancer or developing products in-house, you should be aware of a few common pitfalls:

Not Doing The Research.

Remember the saying “Measure twice, cut once.”? Product development, like every other task, is all about the preparation. The more educated and researched you (and we) are on a project, the better the outcome will be. This is nearly an exponential relationship, that’s how crucial the research is.

So before pencil goes to paper (or stylus to screen as we do these days), we always start a project with a research stage. This helps us to evaluate the idea, market place feasibility and allows us to set a targeted brief for the project. Without this preparation, we would be flying blind, and your money might be better spent at the blackjack tables. Do the research.

Giving Up After the First Product Development cycle.

The product development cycle usually doesn’t yield the best answer the first time. Whilst we always aim for the best solution first time, during new product development we are exploring the unknown and the results are never certain. Depending on the complexity and unknowns of a project, the designs, prototypes and simulations can take a number of iterations to perfect. 

This is all part of the exploratory learning process. You’ll of course be part of the entire process, and your feedback and that of your stakeholders will influence the direction a project can take.

Failing to prototype.

Prototype, prototype, prototype. And just once more for reinforcement, prototype! Whether digital simulations or functional hard prototypes, testing and validating a design before production is crucial to ensure the product performs in the field and to mitigate your commercial risks. Producing several rounds of prototypes now is much cheaper than making changes to production tools further down the track.

If you need help navigating these common mistakes when designing new products, why not give us a call?