Creating new, successful products is no easy task. It requires collaboration, knowledge and creativity in order to come up with something amazing, and product designers have to be experts in balancing these skills appropriately.

As with anything, mistakes will happen along the way when creating a something new, but what is important is that you learn from these mistakes and your end product is even better for it. Today, we are sharing our top 5 things to avoid when designing a new product, so your next project can go off without a hitch.

These are some of the most common and frustrating mistakes we have learnt from along our product design journey:

‘I don’t need to do much research’

You could go on researching forever, and at some point, you need to take action to move your project forward or put a line through it and move onto the next thing. But as a minimum you should be satisfied that there is a real market and need for your idea before you start designing. We recommend answering these questions to determine if your idea is a real starter:

  • What do total strangers think?
  • How is the problem currently solved?
  • How many people are experiencing the problem?
  • Is my idea better or cheaper or faster than current solutions?
  • How would I pitch this idea as really useful to a potential user in just a few sentences?

‘I need to file a patent right away’

We would advise people to explore the best method of protecting their product idea in parallel to discussing it with a professional designer under confidentiality. If they are good, they will challenge your ideas, improve on them, and bring exciting new ideas to the table which can add commercial value to the product.

When you have the best solution to the problem, you can protect it in the most suitable way. Patents, design rights, registered designs, registered trade names / logos and copyright are all to be considered.

If you do this without optimising the design, you risk protecting an idea that isn’t as good as it could be, and allowing competitors to easily improve on your offering.

‘I know what I want, I don’t need to pay for professional designers’

As previously mentioned, good product design companies should pay for themselves many times over when the product goes to market. How so? By optimising the product, reducing its build and set-up costs, making it more attractive to the end user, and therefore securing more sales.

If you are serious about getting your product off the ground, a professional designer is a necessary investment.

‘I don’t need to spend money on prototyping’

Too often people see prototyping as an expense that they would prefer to avoid. In reality it is the best opportunity you will get to learn about and improve your product prior to costly manufacturing set up and production runs.

An efficient designer will present a range of prototyping options which are most suitable to you at the time. Don’t spend thousands on vacuum castings just to see how big something looks on the desk, you can find that out with a block model made from foam board. In reality, prototyping doesn’t need to cost the world, but it is an essential step in the process.

‘My product will be great, it will sell itself!’

Consumers today have lots of choice and limited budgets. They also tend towards the familiar, buying things that have suited their purposes previously. In order to sell your new product, you need to get it in front of potential buyers and very quickly communicate why they should choose your product over someone else’s.

This often comes down to clearly demonstrated benefits to a business or end user, and an acceptable price.

For example, an e-commerce site can be great, it could be the best in the industry. But at the end of the day, it means nothing if you can’t drive traffic to it.

Whatever route you choose, you will need to get the marketing message right, and make the buying process as hassle and risk free as possible for our customers.

If you aren’t a seasoned salesperson or marketer, consider if someone else should be handling this for you. You might want to think about selling or licensing your idea to an existing business with established routes to market.

For more information and advice on new product development, contact our team of experts at 4D Products today.