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Industrial Design - The Process

If you’ve never worked with a designer before the process of commissioning  a project can be a bit of a mystery. This can lead to confusion and misunderstandings and quite often.

I always try to be as clear as possible with clients when we discuss the brief and the quote – breaking the job down into sections and making sure they understand exactly what will happen when – what they can expect from me and what I need from them. Although every project is unique, overall they tend to follow the same structure.


I have looked to the British Design Council as a basis to eplain the design process to the uninitiated. The 4 Key steps in the process have been developed to produce product innovation and more satisfying customer experiences. We adapt the process to each client's requirements. Our process is designed to promote: Flexibility, Parallel work, Constant and clear communication, Efficiency, Synergy, Multiple iterations, Rapid prototyping, Smart, human centered solutions, Risk management, Predictability.



The initial idea and inspiration


1   Program review & objectives
2   Budgeting and planning
3   Design research
4   Analysis of market opportunities
5   Risk analysis
6   User needs
7   User profile
8   Design Strategy
9   Brainstorming
10 Cultural probes



Alignment of needs to business objectives

1   Draft proposal and estimate
2   Assemble a multidisciplinary team to
     ensure complete expertise
3   Develop usability goals and objectives
4   Conduct field studies
5   Look at competitive products
6   Create user profiles
7   Briefing
8   Define design goals
9   Define constraints
10 Initiate project



Full steam ahead

1  Design Concepts origination 3D or 2D
2  Design Refinement - color, finish
3  Focus groups
4  Preliminary intellectual property
5  Preliminary engineering


Does it work? One or more of the following:


1  Create rough prototypes
2  Conduct usability testing
3  Create detailed prototypes
5  Functional models (working)
6  Prototypes (to test mechanics)
7  Focus Groups
8  Design review



Make it happen

1   Define Branding with product identity
2   Design finalization
3   User Validation testing
4   Packaging design
5   Literature design
6   Vendor sourcing, manufacturers, etc
7   Production coordination
8   Review first production samples
9   Marketing, ads, websites, photo shoots
10 Launch


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