Product design consultancy

What is Product Design and why is it strategic for a company

The product design embraces very broad categories of objects and services, all united by the need to be designed according to mass production and by a constant search for aesthetic value combined with maximum functionality . The professional figure of reference for this discipline is the industrial designer who, as the term suggests, takes care of the conception and design of these products . Today the designer plays a strategic role in the design and development of all products.

consulenza product design

In recent decades, the contribution of design has also influenced extremely technical or niche sectors, intended for mainly professional users, as has happened, for example, to the agricultural machinery sector, to that of tools and construction equipment or even to appliances. medical first aid and not, objects once oriented to guarantee only maximum functionality and adequate reliability and today also bearers of an aesthetic value, obviously not an end in itself, but aimed at optimizing the user experience .

Also in these cases, as has already happened in more traditional sectors, design has influenced the user’s choice in a decisive way, losing the preconception based only on the aesthetic benefit and instead transmitting the values ​​of brand through the perceived quality of the product .

This trend has been accentuated even more by the globalization of markets, which has sanctioned the role of design as an element of diversification in the business proposal, putting all players focused on the price factor in serious difficulty.

Today, companies increasingly require designers to employ creativity and skills to create product innovation and anticipate market needs. This process can result in the re-design of an existing product, as well as in the development of a completely new product, but the goal is always one: to remain competitive on the market.

The figure of the product designer: skills and background

The product designer’s areas of intervention cover everything that can be mass-produced: fashion items and accessories, furniture and accessories, medical and sports equipment (In Tensa we know something about this), household appliances …

This makes the product designer first of all a researcher, an experimenter, because his background must include a series of transversal disciplines, from art to engineering, from marketing to ergonomics, that is, everything that can influence and regulate the relationship between man and product.

The goal of the Product Designer is to create useful and innovative objects.

The designer’s path can start from the recognition of functional problems, to which he will try to give a solution, or from the need to improve the production aspects of the product, or from the need to give a new shape to the same, but always within a context of industrial production.

In order to achieve the objectives set together with the client, the designer must know how to investigate the market, anticipating its needs and requirements, translating them into guidelines for the new project. The activity of the product designer is complex and multidisciplinary, because it requires technical knowledge, a strong sense of aesthetics and a polyvalent culture.

Being a product designer means working at all stages of product creation, from the analysis of target, competitor and reference market, to the definition of the concept, from initial feasibility, to design and then to the engineering that will lead to production.

Creative process and tools: how we do product design at Tensa

In Tensa we operate starting from the needs and expectations expressed by the customer, identified and deepened in the initial brief. This is where the creative process (design thinking) begins.

And this happens not only when it comes to developing a new product but also when it happens, and it happens more and more often, that the project brief is linked to the need to renew an existing product (restyling) or even to review only the process to make it faster, more efficient and / or cheaper. Also for these scenarios, in which the constraints to the project are even more stringent, the figure of the Product Designer is the most suitable for identifying innovative solutions, precisely because of his creative attitude and the ability to abstract concepts and transfer them, adapting them, from a sector / context to another. We work with a user-centric approach, that is, starting from defining the characteristics of the user-target, his needs and desires to identify the elements useful for defining a successful project.

We can divide the development process of a project into 4 macro phases:

    In this moment, the state of affairs is analyzed and studied: company, products, market and above all target audience.
    Current trends and technological and production innovations that could influence the project are identified.

    The data collected is processed in order to find solutions to the problems posed by the brief. Sometimes the complexity of the project requires the use of techniques, such as the use of brainstorming and concept maps, aimed at identifying highly creative and innovative solutions for that particular product / sector / market.
    It is the phase of conception and ideation of the product in which we try to translate the possible solution or in any case the elements that will build it into a visual form. Using graphic software or sketches, we will begin to translate into 3D shapes what were previously only abstract concepts or thoughts.

    The choice of materials and production technologies is the most important node that allows (remove “our Product Designer“) to evaluate the feasibility of the project and adopt any corrections before presenting the solutions to the customer.
    In Tensa we always try to propose different design solutions, in order to better develop the key elements that emerged in the creative study and to be able to present to the customer different scenarios, elaborated in terms of design, technical solutions, production implications and costs, in a way that can face a considered choice and identify the solution that best suits your needs.

    Once the design has been stabilized, detailed design and industrialization are developed. It is evident that the more the design phase is able to investigate and deepen the various issues in detail (and the Product Designer experience plays a fundamental role in this), the more the development phase will be streamlined and linear with obvious advantages for the client company, both in terms of costs and times, and in terms of project success.

In all these phases the Product Designer is the protagonist.

It is therefore difficult to think that this is a simple job: being able to always be creative, imaginative, innovative, but also concrete and finalizers can sometimes be complex.

But luckily for us we are a dynamic and well-knit team, not at all homogeneous (in terms of age, training, background, experiences and attitudes) and this is our strength: we know how to combine our strengths and our skills to always guarantee our customers a timely, concrete and effective response to their needs.

Do you want to tell us about your projects? Contact us