Product design as a verb is to create a new product to be sold by a business to its customers. A very broad concept, it is essentially the efficient and effective generation and development of ideas through a process that leads to new products.
Due to the absence of an accepted definition that reflects the breadth of the topic sufficiently, two discrete, yet interdependent, definitions are needed: one that explicitly defines the product design in reference to the artifact, the other that defines the product design process in relation to this artifact.
Product design as a noun: the set of properties of an artifact, consisting of the discrete properties of the form (i.e., the aesthetics of the tangible good and/or service) and the function (i.e., its capabilities) together with the holistic properties of the integrated form and function.
Product design process: the set of strategic and tactical activities, from idea generation to commercialization, used to create a product design. In a systematic approach, product designers conceptualize and evaluate ideas, turning them into tangible inventions and products. The product designer’s role is to combine art, science, and technology to create new products that people can use. Their evolving role has been facilitated by digital tools that now allow designers to communicate, visualize, analyze and actually produce tangible ideas in a way that would have taken greater manpower in the past.
If you are interested in product design and the overall design process, you are probably already aware that there is far more to the process than simply creating an object. This process involves a great deal of creativity as well as the ability to look at a problem from a non-linear perspective.
The first thing to keep in mind is to know objectives of product design. The essence of product design is to satisfy customer and maximizes the value for the customer at minimum cost. The product or service should also be able to meet primary needs and desire of the customer. This may not require development of new product, but an enhancement to existing product or service.
Why Are You Designing This Product?
Asking this question is the first vital step in the design process. You need to fully understand why you are creating the desired product, the problem for consumers that you hope to address by creating it, and how specifically it will solve that said problem.
The next important step in the design process is defining your product in a very specific way. You need to have a clear picture in your mind regarding what the product is going to be used for and who is going to be using it. Also, you need to consider what specific design features are necessary in order to make the product a complete success.
Product design is a labor-intensive process that requires the contribution of highly trained specialists. By using teams of specialists, communications are enhanced, wait time between decisions is reduced, and productivity is improved. Participants in this team-based process make better decisions faster because they are building a shared knowledge base that enhances learning and eases decision-making. By sharing development activities, design decisions that involve interdependency between functional specialists can be made more quickly and more effectively. This reorganized process creates a timely response to customer needs, a more cost-effective product design process, and higher-quality products at an affordable price.