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.