The word ‘product’ can mean any goods or services delivered to satisfy the needs of a consumer. For any new product, some design and conceptualization are required. However, we live in an era where design concepts have flourished and developed to a degree that Product Design & Development has become a specialized discipline in itself.
Product design starts with identifying a need or an opportunity in the market. If it triggers a strong product design idea, it could be turned into a product with a definite form, structure, and functionality. In today’s multidisciplinary scenario, ideas are drawn from various sources, analyzed, and tested to come up with the best solution. It is an iterative process. If the project is large, a prototype is built, with the prototype review involving further iterations. The entire design is done by keeping the target user as well as the best form-function combination in mind. For this, market studies and surveys may be carried out.
Product development involves all processes that transform the product design idea into a real product. It involves many technical processes and the employment of innovative tools. The developed product needs to be given socio-cultural, geographical, and economical considerations in the process of its design and customization. User considerations such as ergonomics are also important. Marketing based on solid and enduring strategies is a prime factor that will decide the fate of the product in the market. In the production/manufacturing phase, employing integrated solutions will increase the chances for the product’s success.
Digital Product Design
Digital product design essentially involves the design of digital products like computers, portable digital devices, software, etc. However, today the term is mostly used to denote front-end technology design. It is mainly concerned with the UI/UX (User Interface/ User Experience) niche of work. A digital product designer’s work is thus mostly related to developing the design for user interfaces and setting up the user-friendly interaction of the programs installed.
Product Design and Development Software
The discipline of Product Design & Development is well-developed today with its own specialized, advanced tools and technologies. Such software kits as CAD (Computer-Aided Design) with 2D/3D versions and CAM (Computer-Aided Manufacturing) are widely used in the production/manufacturing industries. There are companies like Autodesk specializing in dedicated software based on the above technologies for use in the fields of Design, Manufacturing, Architecture, etc. Here is a list of some of them:
- Autodesk inventor. A 3D Product Design and Simulator solution capable of following the entire product lifecycle in a single data model. It fosters state-of-the-art integration including cloud computing.
- PTC Creo. This product design and development suite supported with real-time 3D simulation and cloud-based Augmented Reality (AR). It specializes in design for Additive manufacturing related to 3D printing.
- Autocad. It’s the most favorite software of architectural designers. Created by Autodesk based on CAD, AutoCAD is capable of 2D and 3D designing and editing of solids and surfaces.
- CorelDraw is one of the best packages for 2D designs. It works with Windows and Mac.
Product Design Engineering:
Engineering is no more just being good at math. Today, it has to collaborate with almost any conceivable discipline. Product Design Engineering is a strictly collaborative field borrowing from computer-aided technologies such as CAD and CAM with 2D/3D features and state-of-the-art simulation tools like Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR). It works with innovative product design and development concepts such as Generative Design. Engineering looks to all sources, explores different resources, and improves designs based on it.
The discipline of Product Design & Development has transformed radically with advancements in technology and the changing needs of the time. It is still fast-evolving and is sure to pass through many more advanced phases in the years to come.