Given the complexity of the current market and its saturation in number of products, manufacturers and design teams must increasingly rely on industrial design to provide target markets with value beyond the basic use and functionality of their products. Increased value could mean additional features, a focus on ergonomics, cost reduction, spare part consideration, procurement or reverse engineering, brand awareness and also packaging. Integrating industrial design into product development is an important factor in achieving commercial success and ensuring long-term product viability.
What is industrial design?
Industrial design is a proactive and iterative process that aligns product development with a company’s values. In addition to considering the emotional relationship between the user and the product, industrial design focuses on multidisciplinary synergy throughout the design process, considering fields such as comfort design, aesthetics, material selection, production processes, and structural engineering.
Benefits of Industrial Design
Successful products share a common characteristic: their attributes are aligned with their company’s DNA, and industrial designers approach each project with this mindset. The resulting product will be appealing to your customers, easy to use and considers manufacturing and production costs. Here are few points that outline how a thoughtful design adds value to products.
1. Brand Recognition
Building an inspiring, engaging and attractive brand is important in a competitive global market. A company’s products truly make or break a brand. For example, Porsche would not have become a leading brand if its products were dull, broke down, or were unable to attract their target market. Industrial designers decipher the essence of a brand and make sure that their products carry it. Without industrial design, a manufacturer could not build the visionary and useful products of tomorrow.
Ease of use is at the heart of a good product. Ergonomics connects users and their products, ensuring that using the product is a flawless and enjoyable experience. Good ergonomics fits the product to the widest possible market. Considering ergonomics is also important when developing products for a specific use. By learning about a company and its customers, industrial designers focus on developing ergonomic solutions that facilitate product use.
3. Cost Reduction
When developing a product, cost reduction should avoid removing features that make a brand unique. Thanks to their knowledge of manufacturing processes and materials, industrial designers give products the exact quality, finish, feel, reliability and durability that companies are looking for, without unnecessary production costs.
4. Design Language
Expanding a family of products is synonymous with a thriving business. It also indicates that companies are targeting an untapped market segment or different customer needs. Consistency is key when developing product lines; a new product must retain the traits that make the brand unique. Car grill design is a good example of this because they are emblematic of the brand and often remain consistent throughout the evolution of the vehicle. Industrial designers focus on design language, and for reason: it is where the brand, product and user experience meet.
Well-designed packaging is the extension of a product as it conveys the same values and distinctive traits. It is the first step in the user experience and a last chance to communicate with potential customers. Packaging encourages people to explore a company’s brand beyond the product. Industrial designers select effective and affordable materials that facilitate shipping, protect the product, minimize its footprint, all the while attracting customers in a store and reinforcing the brand experience.
In the end, having an idea for a new product is a good starting point. Being able to merge a multitude of requirements while ensuring a successful product development in addition to being consistent with the brand can be challenging. Industrial design ensures that all aspects of product development are considered and positions the product for a successful launch to market.
Start integrating industrial design in your product development process now to ensure the long-term viability of your product. Contact our experts to get started!