How to integrate industrial design in early-stage product development

Very often hardware start-ups fail to compete with established businesses because their products are not user friendly and not attractive enough. The science is great, the functionality is innovative, but the product lacks professionalism.

While your startup probably has the engineering talent in-house, their knowledge might not fully cover what is needed to create a successful product. Designers find ways to integrate everything that makes a device remarkable and embody it into one product, while engineers drive the product through execution to make the vision a reality. The collaboration of these disciplines is essential from the start of the product development; this is how world-changing innovations can live up to their full potential.

Here are some of the reasons why science-based hardware start-up founders should consider integrating industrial design early in their product development process.

Better user experience

Integrating industrial design early in the development process can help ensure that the final product will be aesthetically pleasing, intuitive and easy to use. This can lead to increased customer satisfaction and improve the overall user experience.

Improved functionality

By integrating industrial design early in the process, designers can work with engineers to ensure that the product's appearance, ergonomics and functionality complement each other. This can result in a more functional, efficient and effective product that meets the needs of both the users and the company.

Faster time to market

Early integration of industrial design can help reduce the time to market for a product. By working closely with engineers and other stakeholders, industrial designers can help identify and resolve potential design and manufacturing issues early on, reducing the risk of costly delays down the line.

Reduced costs

Once you reach the engineering phase of product development, parts and services tend to get costly–especially if you need to change the design. Having design lead the charge ensures fewer revisions and a reduction of costs.

Competitive advantage

gain a competitive advantage by creating devices that are not only functional, but also visually appealing and user-friendly. This can help attract and retain customers, as well as differentiate the company from its competitors.

De-risk manufacturing

The sooner you can integrate design and engineering in the front-end, the better it will be in terms of cost savings on the back-end.

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