A good design is the culmination of a creative process. Working with a company looking to develop a new product that is going to be manufactured in large quantities comes with responsibilities. You need to find a solution that’s a perfect match for the brand, distinctive in the marketplace, sustainable and – most importantly – has meaning for the end-user. It’s only possible to achieve this through a well-defined, phased approach focused on working towards a clear goal.
LOOK – TO SEE WHAT’S NEEDED
Before designing a new product, you first need to know what’s already available and, even more importantly, where there’s a gap. To identify the possibilities and opportunities I carry out a wide-ranging analysis of the client, market, user and context. Then, together with the client, I define the point of departure and directions that look to be worthwhile developing.
THINK – TO DEFINE THE DIRECTION
The most important phase in my designing process is the period of reflection on what product I want to design, and why it needs to be made. So I ask myself these questions: Who is it for? Why would someone want to have and use it? How can I ensure it’s got something special? What qualities does the product need to make it distinctive?
A clear vision of the product and description of the desired solution sets a well-defined framework for the final design that’s understood by everyone concerned. Because ultimately, if there’s no reason for the product to exist, I can’t design it.
CREATE – THE RIGHT SOLUTION
Once the direction has been chosen, the time has come to start on the ‘real’ job of translating the product vision, charac- teristics and specifications into a feasible design that seamlessly incorporates technology, function and form. You need to pay attention to detailing, construction, finishing, colour, price and production, without ever losing sight of the ultimate goal: a product that brings people joy.
This can only be achieved in close partnership with clients, engineers, producers, suppliers, marketeers and salespeople, because completing a product and bringing it to market means teamwork.