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Taking a risk and designing a new product isn’t something that comes naturally to everyone. In this quick guide to new product development, we offer a step-by-step breakdown to help you get started.
Define the Problem
Problem-solving is essential to product development, but you can’t solve a problem until you understand what it is. The problem is the gap between where your customer is and where they want to be. It could be a functional gap, like when an existing feature doesn’t work quite right, or maybe there’s some market opportunity that hasn’t been tapped yet.
The key here is understanding what needs improvement so that you’ll know how your solution should be different.
Look Outside for Inspiration
Look at what other industries are doing in terms of design. Look at how other products are designed, or just look around at the design elements of everyday life. Architecture is full of design principles that you can apply to product design.
Some other great examples include:
- Looking at nature, full of beautiful examples of simple elegance
- Unique cultural patterns, dress, or even foods can inspire innovative new products
Screen Your Ideas
By giving yourself a time limit and defining the project’s scope, you’ll be able to understand what you want to achieve in the time you have. Once you are happy with the idea, run it by a select group of people and collect their feedback. This process may help to identify possible obstacles or roadblocks you can solve in preproduction. This step in the new product development process is one that’s often overlooked, but it’s important to get insight from your audience.
Concept Design and Development
The design phase is your opportunity to test out the effectiveness of different ideas. If an element of your product needs testing, use the design phase as an opportunity to experiment with different ideas until one sticks and most people agree it works well. While it can be tedious, don’t let perfection overtake this stage. Hire professional graphic support to ensure that you have a professional design.
During this stage, you will design a few rounds of mock-ups. Use these prototypes and mock-ups to run focus groups with small audiences that can give you feedback on how well your idea works for them. If the results are positive, you’ve got a winner. You’ll want to create and test packaging that calls attention to the brand and best showcases the product. Mockups can also help to create cost effective packaging that won’t eat away at your production budget. They are cheap to make, easy to change, and you can use them for a variety of purposes, including:
- Testing market demand
- Testing usability with customers
- Testing packaging design
Manifest Your Dreams
Your product needs to solve a problem for the consumer, not just be nice to look at. Your customers will judge it based on how well it helps them in their daily lives. In fact, you need to communicate with your potential customers throughout the development process. Whatever your pattern may be, designing your new product with these guidelines will ensure you get something that people genuinely want and need.