Tips and Tricks

Massive trade fairs and sore feet

Posted by on 1 Aug 2013

Massive trade fairs and sore feet

I recently visited the Guangzhou LED lighting exhibition in South East China – and apart from being an amazing experience, it got me thinking about the merits and benefits of visiting trade-fairs, and why anyone in product development should make it a priority. The show I visited took place at the Canton exhibition centre, located on the south-side of the Pearl River in Guangzhou. The venue spans approximately 190,000 square metres (yes, that’s nearly 50 acres!), and around 110,000 people visit this particular show each year. It was a fantastic experience to be able to travel...

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Write a great design brief

Posted by on 13 Jul 2012

Design briefs can be very short (open) or very detailed (closed). Your preference for providing open and closed design briefs will depend on the amount of knowledge you have about the product you need designed, and how much rope you want to give your designer to swing (or strangle themselves) on. Either way, preparation is the key. The amount of detail you provide is up to you, but here are some questions you might consider whilst preparing your design brief: 1. What is your Vision? Ahead of all else, your Vision is the guiding principle or ultimate outcome of your project....

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6 traps for young players

Posted by on 9 Feb 2011

6 traps for young players

As consulting designers, we are constantly looking for the best possible outcomes for our  clients. We always aim to provide a comprehensive and thorough development process,typically starting with a series of loose ideas and concepts, and gradually and iteratively progressing towards the final solution. We use a range of tools and techniques to identify, investigate and resolve problems – including sketches, illustrations, 3D computer-aided design, physical mockups and prototypes. These approaches help us to devise, revise and decide on the best solutions as well as communicate...

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Top 10 prototyping tips (+ comparisons)

Posted by on 12 Jul 2010

As product developers, there is no better way of learning how well your concept will work is to build a physical prototype. Depending on your specific requirements, your prototype doesn’t need to be super elaborate or complicated. In essence, your prototype should be designed to answer questions you still have about your design. You may need to verify functionality, performance, assembly fitment, ergonomics or other crucial attributes that may have been too difficult to assess through sketches, 3D CAD or other “desk-based” tools and evaluations. In this respect, you can...

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The one-page NPD Plan

Posted by on 20 Apr 2010

The one-page NPD Plan

I discussed some tips in the previous post to help you in the development of your New Product Development plans for the coming financial year. I thought it might also be a good idea to give you a practical way of refining and summarising the output for your NPD planning, brainstorming and research activities. It comes in the form of a single-page document. A one-page document (be it a business plan, proposal, marketing strategy or other important business communication) works incredibly well for our increasingly time-poor business community. It’s important to note that a one-page plan...

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NPD planning

Posted by on 20 Apr 2010

As we move well into the final quarter of this 2009-10 financial year, the business community begins to ramp up it’s planning, strategizing and forecasting activities. So it got me thinking: how about developing a formal New Product Development (NPD) plan just as you would a cashflow, marketing and overall business plan? To develop a decent NPD plan, you would need to consider the following goals as essential: Deliver new products and services that are relevant to your customers real needs and desires (regardless of whether your customers are aware of them or not!) Help your business...

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