So, you finally have your startup business’s coolest new product in the works. Whether your product is solving a particular problem or it’s just a labour of love, you’ll want to make sure you consider various design elements along the way.
What exactly is design and why is it important? Well, design is the process of developing a well-intentioned plan surrounding the creation of an object. It includes many elements relating to not only the form (aesthetic) and function (use), but to a variety of other considerations which can be iterative. This generally includes the use of research, sketches, models, and prototypes.
Many entrepreneurs feel confident in their ability to tackle even the toughest product design challenges, but you can also seek professional help from product and industrial designers. If you decide to move forward on your own, here are a few critical questions to assist you in designing the perfect product!
- Does the product perform its intended function and do what it’s supposed to do?
- Is it easy to use?
- In what ways could it be misused?
- Does the product look visually appealing to your target market?
- In what ways can it be improved?
- Does the design stand out from the competition?
- What other sensory responses does your product evoke?
- Is the product designed with the user in mind?
- Is it universally designed?
- Does it look at reducing discomfort and preventing injury?
- What materials will the product be made from?
- Can the product be made using existing processes and components?
- Will the product be made local or foreign?
- How and where will the product be assembled?
- How long will production take?
Intellectual Property and Legal
- Is there something innovative about the design that warrants protection?
- Would a patent, industrial design or trade secret be beneficial?
- Do you require product liability insurance?
- What type of packaging will be used?
- What will the packaging be made from?
- What information needs to be communicated on the packaging?
- Are instructions, disclaimers or other details needed?
- Will you need a barcode?
Distribution & Shipping
- How will the product be distributed?
- Where will the product be bought and sold?
- In what ways can the shape, dimensions, and weight be maximized to reduce costs?
- Does the design incorporate principals of waste reduction?
- Does the design use any recycled components?
- Where does the product go at the end of its life cycle and can it be recycled?
- Are there any social or ethical considerations to consider?
As you can see, there are a variety of factors to consider as you move towards developing your final product. Taking the time to ask these important and tough questions now will better prepare you down the road, saving you time, money, and resources.