Every great product goes through countless design iterations before finding the perfect solution. Product developers need to test their product for product/market fit prior to a product launch. During this phase, even small revisions to a design can be the difference between failure and success.
As your engineering service provider, we will work with you to iterate on the design based on your acquired customer feedback or performance requirements. With customer feedback gathered from previous designs we can work to iterate on the product’s performance, cost, features and more to ensure that your product is the best solution on the market.
Through combining our design iterations service and design optimization service, we can work to minimize your product’s cost while maintaining the product’s performance requirements.
The Design Iteration Process
During our introduction meeting, we will discuss your initial product design, performance, features and cost requirements, desired design revisions, and how we will approach the problem. Prior to discussing your product’s design, we can sign nondisclosure agreements (NDAs) to give you peace of mind. After the meeting, we will supply you a design agreement, scope of work (SOW), and contract for your review. Once the design agreement and contract are submitted we will initiate work on the optimization of your design.
Initial Design Revision
With the design agreement and contract submitted along with any relevant materials, we will begin work on the design iteration process. At this time we will use the information supplied on performance, functionality, and cost requirements to guide design changes to better fit market and product requirements.
Design Performance Analysis and Optimization
Once the design has been revised, we analyze it to check that it satisfies performance and functionality requirements. If it passes our analysis we can then put the design through our optimization process to reduce product cost.
Once a design has been reached that best satisfies requirements we then start work on fabricating prototypes for market testing. We will supply quotes from our network of experienced prototyping shops at which point you can select which shop to have fabricate the prototype or decide to find a shop yourself. We will provide engineering documents to the manufacturer of your choice to fabricate a prototype and oversee that the prototype meets quality and performance requirements.
Once the prototype has been fabricated, its time to test product/market fit again. During this phase, it is important to learn how much value customers apply to this product iteration, and check that this iteration’s performance meets requirements.
Iterate or Launch or Abandon
Once you have tested the prototype with potential customers, you’ll have to decide whether you need to iterate on the design further, if it is time to bring the product to market, or if it is time to abandon the product. Many factors come into play when making this decision including manufacturing cost vs customer perceived value, customer requirements for the product, market trends, and more. Once you have reached a design where your potential customers are enthusiastic about the solution your product provides and the price of your product, it is time to launch. Our manufacturing support services are available when you decide to take the leap and launch your product.
During the design iteration process, patience is key.
The model T invented by Henry Ford was called the Model T because he had to iterate on his design 20 times from A through T before he came up with what was the perfect mass-market automobile at that time. It also took Sir James Dyson 5,127 prototypes and 5 years prior to arriving at the design for his “G-Force” cleaner which went on to disrupt the vacuum industry. While your product likely won’t require as many design iterations as Dyson, it is still important to not rush this process and risk launching a product that doesn’t have product/market fit or meet with performance requirements.
In order to accelerate the design iteration process and reduce the number of prototype iterations, we use computer modeling to gain a strong understanding of a design’s performance prior to fabrication of a prototype.
If you’re looking to iterate on a design then contact us today!