Industrial Design & Product Design

A Fully Integrated Solution for Industrial Design and Product Design

While it’s all too common that a great idea not become a successful product, the fully integrated approach at Speck Design will move those odds in your favor. In addition to great product design, the integrated approach ensures functionality, manufacturability, and a practical eye on cost.

INDUSTRIAL DESIGN AND ENGINEERING FROM CONCEPT TO PRODUCTION

Speck Design offers a start-to-finish design experience. Experts in product design, digital design, packaging design and brand design, as well as logistics and supply chain management (SCM) comprise your company’s team. Our team will work closely with you to solve your product’s unique technological, electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, and design challenges. For example:

Your Speck Design team will adeptly move you through each area of the process, including design finalization, engineering, branding, packaging, but doesn’t stop there. Unlike most design firms, Speck Design uniquely transports the product all the way to logistics and supply-chain—providing virtually every aspect of getting you and your product to market. 

Speck Design is also unique in that it is the only full-service firm of its size and longevity where engineering never takes a back seat. At Speck Design CEO Michael Sprauve, an engineer with a long history of product development and management, maintains a hands-on approach, overseeing the product’s journey through each engineering discipline.

Speck Design offers an integrated approach to successfully design and develop your products, move your product expertly through the process to get to market faster.
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The team will start with research and create of a preliminary roadmap to establish technical and user interface requirements
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Electrical and mechanical engineering and design teams work in a collaborative environment to create product design, industrial design and engineering-based feasibility 
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As the product moves through design, a thorough technical review identifies gaps to be filled
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Expert industrial designers take a useful product and add greater convenience, functionality, value and manufacturability at each and every step
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RESEARCH

Understanding your target customer is essential. At this point our team of researchers work with our Industrial Designers and Engineers to figure out the key questions: If there are already competing products out there, how do you differentiate? What is your value proposition? If you have funds and time to invest in this stage you can have a professional conduct user research using a variety of tools, including online surveys, one-on-one interviews, ethnographic observations, etc.

DESIGN CONCEPTS

Your engineering and design team will be working in tandem to create both the industrial design as well as early engineering feasibility. By working as an integrated team, the design can move through the steps faster than doing things sequentially.Once your design team understands your product vision, your brand attributes, and your users, they will create Experience Principles that will guide your design. Once the design principles are established, the team will come up with a range of concepts looking at user interaction and technical requirements to create the look and feel of your product.Depending on the technical challenge, there may be some early engineering needed as well. The engineering team may build a number of prototypes to validate various technical challenges using a variety of materials to rapidly build what are called Proof of Concept (POC). These models prove that the product will work. These prototypes are mostly mechanical with limited software and are made out of a variety of off-the-shelf and rapid prototype parts. The purpose is to rapidly validate the concepts and focus on a limited feature set.

CONCEPT REFINEMENT

This is where the concepts generated will be refined. Besides the form (and engineering validation if needed) this is when Color, Material, and Finish (CMF) is applied to the design. The final output may be only renderings to show potential investors. At this point you may opt to build an Appearance Model - this will look like a real product but is non-functional. Appearance models can be used for a variety of reasons; for your marketing campaign, to show potential investors, or to do design verification with potential users. These models, while not functional, can be extremely useful; products look very different on a screen than they do in your hand. These models can also be used to validate the design with user feedback. This is a good place to pause and use the models to get funding. You can now show investors that work has been done to define and prove that the product is viable, and that you have put in sufficient work to understand your users, test out the technical viability, and produced a design that responds to the users’ needs.

ENGINEERING PROTOTYPES

This is the first stage where you will have a Functioning Prototype. The engineering team will work out enough of the technical details to create a Minimum Viable Product (MVP). You don’t want to refine the design too much quite yet - not until it functions in the way the engineering team has anticipated. During this phase the team will build a P0 Prototype. This prototype is used to make sure the design is ready to move into Product Commercialization and can also be used for limited field testing.  Usually these prototypes will be made using rapid prototype methods combined with readily available technology to create a functional prototype. The design is now at a phase where both the engineering, user interaction, and the industrial design are solidified and is now ready to move through the stages needed to get it into production. This is also a valid stopping point to attain funding. The next phases are the often the most expensive and need the most business support in terms of Go-to-Market strategy.

ENGINEERING REFINEMENT

Your engineering team will move into refining the engineering and working out the bugs. There will be a number of rounds of prototype builds and refinements before the product is ready for production. Depending on the number of initial products being built, this is when the design would move into tooling.

TRANSFER TO MANUFACTURING AND FIRST CUSTOMER SHIP

The product is now ready to move into manufacturing. However, this is not as simple as dropping it at the door. Ideally our team of NPI and Product Fulfillment Managers  and your team has picked a manufacturing partner and have been working with them to conduct Design for Manufacturing (DFM) reviews. If not, this will need to happen now, and there may need to be another round of engineering. If you need to do compliance testing, this may be done now, or if your products have been refined enough, you may have completed it before you get to this stage. Depending on how complex your design is, manufacturing may be as big a part of the process in terms of time and budget as the product development steps. Depending on the size of your First Customer Ship (FCS), your Contract Manufacturer (CM) will refine the assembly and production methods to streamline the production. At this point, your design team will step back and be available as need arises, but they have now completed their work.
Featured Industrial Design / Product Design Projects