Product Design: 3 Important Things to know in 2021

The process of visualizing and developing products that solve the customer’s problems is known as product design. It satisfies particular user needs in a market  The idea behind product design is to solve customer problems, visualize their needs, and bring out a solution.

Since now we have a basic idea of what is product design, let us discuss why it is needed.

  1. Beginning of Product Design
  2. Product Design Process
  3. Product Design Examples

1. Beginning of Product Design

The product design concept stemmed from industrial design. The industrial design focuses on designing products for billions of people every day. The industrial designers aim at designing a product that is valuable, aesthetically appealing, and provide a good experience to the end-user.

Over time, the industrial design produced a subset called product design. This is because industrial design applies to only physically viable products like household appliances and furniture. But product design applies to any product, from digital to even virtual products like software applications.

The fields applying product design are tableware, jewelry, medical devices, food preservation appliances, sports and leisure, furniture, IT industry, etc.

2. Product Design Process

Since now we know what is product designing, the next question up is how to design a product. For that we need to understand the product design process which is as follows:

A) Brainstorming

The first phase is quite critical as it involves defining the problems faced by the end-user. Next, the product design team puts in ideas to solve the problem. This stage involves extreme brainstorming. Even the weirdest ideas are shared, and the possibility of converting the idea into a product is discussed. And lastly, the most feasible idea out of the pool of proposed ideas is selected.

B) Product definition

This stage highlights the general requirements for product design and development. This requirement list is quite abstract and generally mentions the directions required for further team activities.

C) User Research

This is the most crucial of all the product design steps. It involves market research to find your competitors, define trends, assessment of product value, longevity, etc. 

D) Sketching

This step gives a face to your product. You sit with your client and start sketching. It narrows down the product design cycle without committing resources to a single idea.   

E) Prototyping

This step designs the skeleton of the future product. It demonstrates product functionality, user interaction ways with the product, and the basic appearance. The idea behind prototyping is to avoid future errors and corrections. This saves time, money, and efforts both for the product designers and the client.

F) Compiling Specifications

This stage involves creating a product design pdf that contains the finished product’s requirement review, detailed possible solutions, delimitation of responsibilities, costs, and deadlines. This document is very helpful at the product development stage.

G) Factory samples production

This step involves producing the pre-product samples to feel the product. It helps in deciding whether the core product idea is viable and attractive to the end-user, or should we move the activity vector to a new product design. It also accesses how the manufacturing industries are ready to manufacture the goods with the desired speed and quality. In the case of software development, this step is called MVP which is a wireframe application containing essential functionality. 

H) Sample Testing

Here, the designed sample is tested to analyze the product flaws or inconsistencies to the specified requirements. This is done before putting all the money into mass production. A sample can be iterated until all the requirements are met and positive feedback from the client is achieved. 

I) Development commencement

Once you are confident if the product sample is according to the specified requirements, it moves into production. Here you already have all the technical specifications, defined requirements, responsibilities, tasks, budget, and deadlines. These major tasks are then divided into smaller sub-tasks and priorities are assigned. 

J) Providing Quality Assurance

Quality assurance covers the complete product development cycle, release, and then maintenance after release as well. Although the main responsibility is to ensure the quality of the final product. 

In software development, pre-release testing is done to ensure software quality. 

3. Product Design Examples

Multiple innovative and infamous product design examples are put to use product design definition in the past. Some quotable examples are:

  • Ballpoint pen: Fountain pens used to bleed ink or sometimes used to dry out. So in 1938, Laszlo Jozsef Biro designed a ballpoint pen. The thicker ink and tiny ball bearing nib are used to control the flow. This became one of the most purchased and innovative products in history.
  • Fitbit: The latest product on the list is the Fitbit. It revolutionized the wearable health technology industry with its release. It acts as an altimeter, pedometer, and sleep tracker just by sitting on your wrist.
  • Coca-Cola Bottle: The well-known shape of the Coca-Cola bottle was invented in 1915. The idea behind the design was to make a distinctive bottle design that could be recognized just by feeling in the dark as well.
  • Oreo cookie: The classic oreo cookie has been the number 1 selling cookie in America for 100 years. The design of this cookie has been replicated multiple times since its birth.
  • Polaroid Camera: It was the first instant camera in the world. Designed 75 years ago, it’s shoot, pull, and shake technique is re-used multiple times.
  • iPhones: These classic phones were first launched in 2007. Yet, the design has been evolved with every facelift. The thing that is kept intact is Apple’s signature minimal, clean, and glossy feel.
  • Tupperware: The most common thing in every household is the Tupperware boxes. It was designed in the 1950s and the airtight seal of these containers was the most intelligent discovery. 
  • Mascara Wand: The first mascara wand was invented in 1958 by the brand, Revlon. Since then the wand design has continuously evolved. Previously small brushes were used to apply mascara. Instead, the present-day mascara allows easy application and lifting and strand separating to create the best look.  


Understanding the product design meaning and its usefulness many big organizations have multiple product design jobs under different names. Some famous job profiles are UX designers, Data Analyst, Prototyper, and Product designers. So if you have those creative skills, you can try and decide on a future in the interesting and innovative product designing field. 

To enhance your Product Management skills and accelerate your career in Product Management, check our 6-month online live instructor-led Product Management Course, in collaboration with IIM Indore.

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