Product Design Myths

Product design is not that hard. That is what some people think until they actually start designing a product. It seems they have bought into the myths surrounding product design. But once they start designing the product, they face mistake after mistake as they try to achieve their dream of launching a successful product on the global markets. If you want to avoid missteps that can delay or even derail your product launch, do not believe these five popular product design myths.

Myth 1 – Simple Designs are Minimalistic

While it is true that simplicity is a good thing, but when it comes to product design, only making a “minimalistic” designs is not. A design that is too simplistic can do more damage than good as it can fail to meet expectations of your consumers. The damage is even greater if you manufacture a prototype from a “minimalistic” design and it fails to make an impression with potential investors – sometimes you only have one chance to wow investors. So do not conflate simplicity with minimalism.

Myth 2 – Product Design is About Aesthetics

Sure, a product design has to look good, but making a product aesthetically-pleasing is just one aspect of product design. Product design is not just about how consumers will see your product but also about how they will use it, meaning functionality is a huge aspect of the process as well. If you focus more on aesthetics and not functionality, something which is essential for maximizing user experience, you can come up with a good looking product that people will not want to use. The product might even be dangerous.

Myth 3 – Options Increase Customer Satisfaction

This myth is the opposite of the first myth. Some people believe that the more features a product has, the more people will be pleased and pay for it. Not only can this make developing a simple prototype a nightmare, it can also make the final product overly complicated for consumers to use. Yes, more options can be a good thing, but only if they fit into the simplistic design of the product and are integrated well. Otherwise, they can increase the number of potential problems that both you and your customers can face with the product.

Myth 4 – Products Become Testable Only in the Prototype Stage

People who think this have never heard of product design analysis, which allows you to determine the performance of a product before it even reaches the prototype stage. Product analysis can answer some very important questions before an expensive product is manufactured. These questions include if the product is costly to manufacture, pleasing to the eyes, made from sturdy components, being constructed using the appropriate method, safe to use and eco-friendly. You can do a product analysis at any stage of the product design process.

Knowing these myths will help you avoid product design mistakes in the process of developing a product. All business owners dream of making a product or service that is a huge success when it hits global markets, but this also leads them to believe anything. Hopefully, you never believe these debunked myths ever again.

Prototype: 5 Things to Know

Want to make your idea seem more like a concrete reality? Then you should create a prototype. When trying to build a business with a physical product as its basis rather than something intangible like a service, having a prototype speaks volumes about the viability of your business. So here are five simple things you need to know on how to make a prototype.

1. Make it Simple

A prototype does not need to have all the bells and whistles included in order to effectively communicate that you have an idea that works. You just need to show people that you have a design that is cohesive, meaning you can certainly do more with less here. Making a simple prototype based on your product design is the first step towards having a fully functional product and the quickest way to enter the local, national and/or global markets.

2. Make a Miniature Version First

By making it simple, we mean you should build a mini prototype first before anything else. Just make a list of the components you need, visit your local hardware store and construct the mini prototype. With that in hand, your startup’s concept should be easier to explain to people.

3. Refine the Prototype

When it comes to prototyping, the reality is that you will probably come up with a few prototypes before you have something that is more in line with what you intended. And the fact is that it will probably not look professional at all since you are just using simple materials from your local hardware store. But this is a necessary step to work out the kinks. Once you get it to function properly, you just need to improve the aesthetics to make it more presentable. Also, do not get bogged down in making it perfect (keep in mind that you are only refining at this stage).

4. Make a Fully Functional Prototype

After you have worked out the kinks and made your prototype more presentable, you can look into building a fully functional prototype. At this stage, you can find companies that can help you build a functional prototype that can further help you win investors and even file for a patent (since you will be the first to demonstrate a workable concept like this). Just keep in mind that your prototype still does not need all the bells and whistles included at this point; it just has to be good enough to show.

5. Show it Off

You should do this the moment you create the mini prototype based on your product design. We know it is hard to show people a product that is incomplete (it can feel as if you are not doing your idea a great service), but do not be afraid. People will understand that the prototype is not fully representative of the final product, so they will judge it based on its own merits. If they judge it harshly, do not take it too hard. Just go back and refine it some more and appreciate that you are getting feedback before the final product is released on the global market you are aiming for.

With these 5 simple things to know, you will have a functional prototype in no time. Once people and investors start seeing your concept take more of a physical form, they will start to have more confidence in your startup. Soon enough, you will have a finished product that is ready for the local, national and even global markets.

Why Focus on Innovation?

Most business owners think that in order to be successful, they need to create a product or service that is completely new. But, In fact, all they need to do to create a successful business that sells their product or service locally, nationally or globally, they just need to innovate. Simply put: to innovate means to come up with a new way of doing something. Innovation is about modifying an existing product or service in order to make it better than its original version.

Innovation is a crucial component of business success. And once you understand what role it plays towards making your business more successful, it will become a no-brainer.

1. Gives You a Competitive Advantage

Whether on local, national or global markets, there is a saturation of businesses selling the same product and service to consumers. This means competition is stiff and the more customers can separate your product from the rest, the better your chances of surviving and becoming profitable are. That is where innovation comes in. You can look at existing products or services on the market and find a way to make them unique so they provide more value to the customer when compared to similar products. By making sure you provide customers with something that your competitors are not, your business will stand out and become more profitable.

2. Provides Access to Global Markets

Whether your business is big or small, due to the advancement of globalization, access to global markets has become easier through the years. If you look at the businesses in your area, you will most likely find Chinese and Indian vendors selling to the very same customers you are trying to sell to. This means you can also sell your product and service on global markets as well; just like the Chinese and Indian businesses in your backyard are doing. But in order for your business to survive and remain profitable in global markets, you need to provide customers with something innovative.

3. Allows You to Constantly Meet Customer Expectations

From the moment you come up with your product design, prototype and all the way to the finished product, the goal is to meet the needs of your consumers. But the problem is that consumers are not static entities, meaning their needs evolve over time. The best way to ensure that you are always meeting these expectations is to be innovative. Your business must be able to predict these ever-changing expectations and improve your product or service. If you sell the same product or service without noticing that the needs of your customer have evolved, your business will be stagnant and will eventually be forgotten.

4. Makes Your Business Grow

When you focus on innovation you are able to grow your business. This means you are able to take on more customers and hire more people to work on your next best product design or prototype. Whether you are a big business or just starting out, by innovating, you can grow beyond your wildest expectations. In fact, according to an innovation survey conducted by Deloitte, 60% of the respondents said innovation is important to business growth. So if you want to scale up your business, be innovative.

As you can see, innovation is not about coming up with a product design or prototype or service from scratch. It is about improving what is already there and making your business more profitable, whether you are targeting local, national or global markets. By looking at the above-mentioned roles that innovation can play towards making your business more successful, every serious business owner should give it some consideration.