OUR CONCEPT DESIGN PROCESS
By Grace Fetzer | April 4, 2023
Concept Design is a critical and in-depth part of the product design process. This post outlines the steps that our design team takes to fully understand, research, create and collaborate, in order to kickoff development of the ideal product for our clients.
The initial portion of the design process is all about learning new information. First, our designer familiarizes themselves with the given brief. Information in the brief includes: who the client is, what product category we will be developing for, the client’s initial ideas for their product, and what the problem is that they are hoping to solve.
With this information, our designer researches further to investigate the problem. This research includes: Who the problem affects, how the problem is currently being solved, and what products are offered to consumers to solve the problem. Within the research of existing products, the designer also notes: what features customers like and dislike, the cost of the product, and desirable aesthetic trends. All of these information bullets are included into the process of designing a new product for our clients.
The third part of the initial brief is communicating with the clients and determining any requirements for the new product. These are essential to a productive ideation phase, and allow for the clients and designer to be on the same page. These requirements can be anything from: manufacturing method, materials, dimensions, integrated technology, mobility, compactability, assembly, and other features.
With research in hand, our designer begins the ideation process. In the ideation process, our designer uses the research and requirements as a guide for developing and drafting new product ideas. After some ideas have been shaped, the designer collaborates with our head engineer to discuss the product ideas. Through this process they are able to determine the ideal directions to proceed. After the selection process, the designer refines the sketches, and makes any necessary corrections.
The next phase is to present the concepts to the clients. In the first “Concept Review”, our designer explains the concepts, highlighting the features and requirements met. With each concept presented, it is critical that the client’s thoughts and ideas are discussed and fully understood. Client feedback is a crucial portion of the design process, and the initial concept review is the best place to take a deep dive into every viable product idea. Having thorough discussions early on allows for the client to work with the designer in developing their product. And ultimately results in a product that everyone can be proud of.
Guided by the research, the product requirements, and the feedback from the previous meeting, our designer can now return to concept development. After previous concepts are edited, or new concepts are developed, the designer consults with the head engineer again. After the concepts are ready, they’re presented again to the clients. This process will continue to repeat until the clients are satisfied with the product.
Once a product is finalized in the design phase, it is passed onto engineering. Thanks to the detailed research, product requirements, client feedback and multiple ideation phases, the product is ready to be brought further into reality by our skilled engineering team.
A creative product designer, Grace is driven to use her ideation and concept art skills to improve the way humans experience and interact with the world.
B.A. in Industrial and Product Design, Kendall College of Art and Design