Product Design is the conceptualisation, development and manufacture of the products that humans interact with. These products can include simple tools through to complicated devices. To perform this service, Product Designers use a series of activities that focus on solving specific problems presented by a client or user.
Who Designs and Develops Products
In a professional setting, the design of a product is never the responsibility of one person, it is the collaboration on many different people with a collection of interdisciplinary skills and knowledge. The realisation of any product is usually the result of three sucessful functions of a business or a project team; these typically include marketing, design and manufacturing.
Marketing, or the process of analysing and promoting solutions to economic wants, needs or trends, will often identify the opportunity for a new product or an improvement to an existing product. Marketing can also provides opportunities for a business to communicate with its customers to understand market pricing and trends, evaluate existing products and promote new products prior to release.
Design aims to meet the needs of the client, customer and/or user. Design, or the process of giving form to a product, is the collaboration of a board range of professionals including Engineering (mechanical, electrical, software etc.) and Industrial Design (aesthics, ergonomics, user interfaces).
Responsible for overseeing the production of a product, manufacturing aims to solve how a product can be produced, assembled, packed, delivered and installed. This also includes the purchasing and processing of materials, production planning, out-sourcing and assembly of minor and major parts.
Ulrich, K. T. & Eppinger, S. D., 1995. Product Design and Development. Singapore: McGraw-Hill Book Co.