It probably happened to you to have a great idea in mind and to be so exited to develop it but as soon as you think how to start the multidude of options, challenges stops you before you start is leaving you with a huge headache.
To avoid all the distructions that nowaday internet and social media create dayly, Designers use a method called design thinking. Vision it as a big funnel. the large top section is research, then concept generation, prototyping, testing, adjusting and manufacture of final product.
RESEARCH: it starts with a large research of products on the market, competitors, inspirations . When a good amout of research material is collected we use the product spesifications given by us or by the client to cut what does not fit in 100%.
CONCEPT GENERATION: at this point the funnel diameter is still large, we can create several concepts that go in different directions. After reviewing all of them we select only few that combine importat aspects like: feasability, aesthetic, functionality.
PROTOTYPING: we start with mock ups of the winning concepts and then decide to make a realistic prototype of the best of combine different aspects into one. It is important that this process is fast and not too expensive since we already know many things will be changed after testing it.
TESTING: the first test is made by ourself and people that work with us but this is not enough since who create the prototype and people close to him are not objective because of the the emotional attachment. It is very important to asl strangers or focus groups to test the product. Even if it is hard to take it is, the nastiest comment is what allow you improve the most
ADJUSTMENTS: based on people’s feedback go back to the 3D model or prototype and make some changes. Try to filter the comments sometimes what people say the want in a product is not what they really want. Example: people will always tell you that want a larger and more comfortable seat on an airplane but they don’t want to pay more for it. The conclusion is that what they really want is a cheap flight.
MANUFACTURE: even if this aspect is at the end of the funnel need to be considered since the concept generation stage. Infact if your concept is too expensive to produce it will never be successful. Make sure you choose the manufacturing process based on the amout of parts fo are planning to manufacture. The technology that is used to produce 10 copies of a product usually is not appropriate for mass production.
I hope that this article can make your product development more efficient.