Industrial Design Company
Advancement in technology has made it possible for companies to manufacture consumer products on a global scale. In addition, prototyping and automation have made it possible for large quantities of standardized products to be produced while keeping manufacturing costs low.
Every mass-produced product, from your office chairs to electronic gadgets, cars, home appliances, is a product of industrial design.
In this article, you’ll learn about industrial design, the services offered by industrial design companies, when a business needs to employ the service of an industrial design firm, and the benefits of employing the services of an industrial design firm.
What is an Industrial Design Company?
Industrial design, as a process, involves the designing of products that are to be manufactured by mass production. As art or a process, industrial design determines and creates a product’s form and features, which takes place before making a product.
Industrial design firms are companies that specialize in developing the concepts for manufactured products. In addition, to developing the product’s design and specifications that optimize the function, industrial design firms create the appearance and value of products for the mutual benefit of both user and manufacturer.
The industrial design aims to improve the overall lasting value and experience of a product or service for the end-users. As a result, the industrial design process is a combination of art, business, and engineering to make products design that people use every day.
While industrial designers are known to focus on the physical appearance, functionality, and manufacturability of a product, they can also be involved in the entire development cycle of the product.
Understanding the Concept of Industrial Design
Industrial design is not a new concept. Its origin can be traced back to the first industrial revolution of the mid-18th century to about 1830. During this period, products were hand-crafted, even at a commercial scale. As a result, the production process was slower and expensive.
Industrialization came with automation, making companies like Ford produce cars at a level unmatched by companies producing by hand. As industrialization improved, companies were able to produce cheaper, more efficient consumer products. However, companies encountered one major challenge; getting people to replace household items that still worked fine with newer versions?
The concept of industrial design was born in this era. To get the masses to buy newer products, industrial designers began adding features older products lacked, such as improved ergonomics, aesthetics, and functionality.
Services Offered By Industrial Design Firms
An industrial design firm or a product development firm brings a wide range of skillsets to the table. They are usually involved in the whole design and product development cycle, starting from product ideation to visual brand languages to engineering, bringing the idea to life and marketing.
An industrial design company will offer one or more of the following services.
Industrial Design describes the process of designing a product so that it can be manufactured, widely understood, and perform on a large scale. A design agency will apply the design process in creating a product for customers. The process can be summarized as follows;
- Get Feedback from Users: a design agency communicates with the users in one of the earliest stages in creating a product. It gives the producer an idea of the problems being faced by the end-users.
- Define the Problem: By interacting with the consumers, producers can define the challenges the users face with their current devices, appliances, services, or products.
- Analyze the Problems: By analyzing the users’ challenges, a project manager should determine if a new product is necessary or improvements must be made to the current developments.
- Build a Prototype: A prototype should be created with a picture of the problem that should be solved.
- Test Your Solution: After the prototype has been created, the design agency will test the product’s marketability. If the product does not meet the set goals, then the product design process should be repeated. However, if it does, then you can proceed to commercialization.
- Commercialization: This is the final stage of the development process in which the new product will be launched.
With careful design application, industrial design experts can create a product with maximum adoption by making it more attractive to customers both before (look and feel) and after (user experience) purchase.
- Mechanical: Hardware products require a mechanical engineering team to design and construct a prototype and manufacture a working version. An industrial design company would usually have a mechanical design team or product engineers that focuses on creating products from the specifications of clients. Products are usually designed from plastic, wax, ceramic, paper, or even metal.
- Electrical: Many modern products are built with electrical components to make them more useful and powerful. Industrial design firms have an electrical engineering team that designs reliable and sophisticated products design with electrical components including LEDs, Wifi, Bluetooth, and NFC modules, sensors, HD displays, cameras, and more to work together seamlessly.
- Software: Some products require software to ensure that their hardware works just as it should. For those products, software development is necessary. A UI/UX designer is needed to design, develop, maintain, test, and evaluate computer software for the product.
Industrial design firms usually have software development teams who specialize in designing virtual solutions to business problems. They offer both front-end UX designs as well as back-end development to ensure that software solutions work quickly and intuitively.
A UI/UX designer ensures that a system that offers a great experience to its users. User Interface design or UI design involves the visual elements in website development or mobile app development.
Prototyping is a crucial step in turning your idea into a product. It gives you physical proof of your product’s feasibility and makes it easier to spot design flaws. A product development firm offers;
- 3D CAD Services: three-dimensional computer-aided designs, also known as 3D CAD, allow design experts to create functional, virtual prototypes of three-dimensional objects known as 3d models. With 3D CAD, project managers can create 3d models of products design whose every detail can be modified either as a part or assembly.
With the digital product prototype, businesses do not need to create physical prototypes for upgrades. This saves both time and cost required in creating multiple
- Functional Prototypes: unlike a digital product that is computer-based, a functional prototype has both the function and appearance of the intended design. In product testing, functional prototypes are created to determine the user experience.
- Silicone Molding: is used for creating pliable and lightweight prototypes of products. They are used in the production of vacuum-molded plastic parts. As prototypes, they are easier and cheaper to produce.
- Electronic Prototypes
Manufacturing involves the large-scale transformation of raw materials into finished goods. As a result, manufacturing has close connections to the engineering and industrial process design sectors.
The process involves constructing a product based on the desired specification following the stages of production to full implementation to the final finished product. The processes of design manufacturing involve the following, but are not limited to;
1. Identify the notion of utility before production
2. Ensure the product is marketable
3. Ensure the availability of raw materials
4. Develop a prototype that matches the design concept
5. Learned personnel must be involved
While this service is not offered by every industrial design company, there are marketing companies dedicated to helping businesses communicate a sustainable competitive advantage over rival companies.
In creating a marketing strategy, marketing companies engage in market research to create a long-term, forward-looking plan that will give their business or company a competitive advantage against competitors in the market.
A marketing agency creates a game plan to help a business reach its prospective consumers better and turn them into customers of their products or services. A marketing agency may also offer digital marketing services, which involve promoting brands to connect with potential customers using the internet.
Digital marketing is becoming popular among businesses because marketing companies can easily track and monitor your campaigns. In addition, with digital marketing, many marketing agencies are able to achieve a higher return on investment and a higher conversion rate, which means it has a higher revenue.
There is a wide range of product strategy for businesses to adopt. However, a marketing agency would typically conduct user research to determine which strategy is particularly suited to fit a business model at different stages of growth. These are some of the most used marketing strategies today;
1. Business to Business Marketing Strategy
The product strategy involves getting consumer products from a business (usually a small start-up) to a much larger business to increase the market reach. Although the consumer products are marketed along a longer distribution chain, the products are made available to a large market.
2. Business to Customer Marketing Strategy
Here, the business is in a better position to market its products or services directly to consumers. B2C is most times used to refer to online retailers who sell products and services to consumers through the internet.
3. Digital Marketing
A content marketer can be employed to target the sales of a product to customers online based on their interests and previous interaction with the brand. A business may benefit from website development or mobile app development in the transformation of its existing product into a top product.
A content marketer usually works with social media platforms, SEO, emails, sponsored posts, affiliate marketing, pay-per-click, TV advertisements, and guest posts to attract and convert prospects into customers.
4. Co-Branding or Affiliate Marketing
When a business needs to expand its market reach and sales, a content marketer can create a bridge with other companies that complement its products or services. The goal is to increase sales by benefiting from the market shares of an affiliate content marketer.
5. Offline Marketing
It also goes by the name traditional marketing. Here, businesses employ conventional channels for marketing. Some of the main marketing means are TV, radio, print media, billboards, pamphlets, and newspaper ads.
While these are just a few from the wide range of marketing strategies available to businesses, marketing companies will usually conduct user research to determine the best product strategy.
Why Do You Need an Industrial Design Company?
While you know the wide range of services, industrial design companies offer, knowing how they can help your business is critical.
1. Product Update
Change is one constant in the market, and businesses that cannot keep up via market research usually have their products lose relevancy over time. When an existing product loses its relevancy, they lose their place in the market to other newer products that meet customers’ current demand.
By conducting market research of a product’s competition and getting user feedback, these firms are able to design and develop an updated product that meets the current demand of the market.
Design experts are experienced at helping companies recapture lost market shares by coming up with product design and development updates. As a result, products that have lost their market share can benefit from the services of these firms to return as a top product.
2. Designing a Product for the Marketplace
Another time when you need to employ the services of an industrial design company is when the technical design team of your business needs help to design for the marketplace. When a business lacks design experts capable of handling the entire design and product development cycle, it is necessary to call in an industrial design firm.
Product development companies are skilled at conducting user research and creating products design that meets the user’s needs and the marketplace. In addition, they are experienced at creating usable products and market fit.
Some product development companies also conduct market research and come up with a marketing strategy for the product. These marketing strategies will help drive sales up, increase profit, and restore a brand identity.
3. Failing or Difficult to Use Product
When customers of an existing product complain about its difficulty to use, and its market shares are on a decline, then help is needed. Through user research, product engineers have gained experience in developing products around the users of a product.
Evaluating how your product meets the demands of your customers will be essential in determining how an industrial design company can help restore your brand identity.
Picking a top product design company should be based on its rating alone. The services your business requires should be provided by the top design company you are looking to employ. While a good number are based in New York City, San Francisco, and Los Angeles, you are better off with a top product design company around your locality.
Benefits of Working With a Product Development Firm
A product development firm designs the aspects of a product that creates emotional connections with the user. They ensure that the product meets the requirements of the producer and his stakeholders and those of the consumer.
Industrial designers need to work closely with the product engineers and design team throughout the production process to deliver innovative designs that are functional, manufacturable, yet affordable. They do this by integrating all aspects of form, fit, and function, optimizing them to create the best possible user experience.
Industrial designers are also responsible for creating visually appealing designs that can stand the test of time and ensure that the product is ergonomically suited to fit the user, including functionally relating, interface, or living with the product.
They work to balance creativity and freeform design thinking with the practical, industrial constraints of creating a work product. In relating with the consumers, they create visually appealing designs and ensure that the product is ergonomically suited to fit the user.
These industrial design benefits are only achievable when an industrial designer or company is involved in the early stages of production. Then, different prototypes can be tested until the best design language for the product is established.
An industrial design company can play a pivotal role in the company’s product development process and success. They help businesses establish the design language of their products and the corporate brand identity. The services of industrial design companies are not limited to the creation of new products. They can also help transform an existing product into a top product.