Five most common product design mistakes

Any lengthy process is likely to provide scope for numerous mistakes to be made. This is particularly true for product design, where complicated procedures and technologies leave ample room for error.

 

So, what are the top five product design mistakes – and how can you avoid them?

 

1. Rushing into the process

 

When inspiration strikes, it can be hard to sit down and go through the more boring details. Getting carried away is easy to do, especially in the first stages of the process, leading you to forget to focus on the core principals.

 

Each product needs to be thought through carefully which means you need to have an objective in mind. Is there a market for the product? Does the product make it easy for users to reach the objective in a minimal number of steps? All these questions should be answered in the affirmative and if you haven’t even asked them then you’re putting yourself at an immediate disadvantage.

 

2. Forgoing strategy

 

Time and budget constraints sometimes make it tempting to skip past the strategy phase altogether and make a beeline for development. However, strategy is absolutely crucial. It identifies the needs of the target market, defines products specifications and generates product concept thus providing the foundations for the development phase.

 

3. Misunderstanding the target market

 

You may know roughly what your target market want – but a rough estimation isn’t going to cut it. You need to know exactly what your target market needs and want, which means identifying gaps in the market and communicating directly with your potential customers.

 

In order to make informed decisions you should base all choices on facts. Tools like Google Insights can help you gauge what people in your market are searching for; if there is a growing trend associated with your product idea, this is a good sign.

 

4. Unnecessary features

 

When it comes to product design, the more features the better does not apply to everything. If your customers don’t perceive a particular feature as a valuable addition then it is a waste of your money and time – both of which are essential resources.

 

This makes research and development critical to the design process. Social media tools offer a creative and low cost way to put the question to your customers and build your product around their feedback.

5. Squeezing too much out of one prototype

Prototypes are used by engineers to check a design meets its goals and specifications and to gauge design faults. While these are incredibly useful tools, it can be tempting to get as much as you can out of one prototype; especially if you are under time constraints.

Since they emulate the production design very closely, a number of prototypes should be built and tested during the development phase. Alternatively, you could invest in software that tests and verifies your designs quickly, reducing the need for expensive physical prototypes. This is something esteemed Solidworks elite reseller ntcadcam can offer, giving you an easy way to assess and evaluate your designs without spending more cash than is necessary to do so.

Advance planning is the best way to avoid expensive mistakes which could send your business ten steps back instead of helping it to take a huge – and lucrative – leap forwards!

photo by: laverrue

1 comment for “Five most common product design mistakes

  1. July 3, 2013 at 8:13 pm

    great article! I totally agree with all your points. Another thing to add is I find organisations tend to involve too many people with product design leading to what seems like a never ending debate and every one of the issues you mentioned magnified.

Leave a Reply