In their quest for competitive advantage, business leaders are now moving towards design as a viable source. The reason is simple – design gives businesses of all kinds the ability to merge traditional problem-solving techniques with modern drivers of innovation. Companies that invest in product design tend to fare better than their more-conservative counterparts, going by statistics acquired from various parts of the world.
What’s more, managers who instil the principles into their innovative processes also reap greater rewards when compared to others who don’t take design so seriously. Still, design is far from being a straight forward process; it takes lots of trials to come up with the perfect product.
Following the completion of the design process, a branding campaign must then be implemented to win the hearts of consumers. From start to finish, the typical design process entails:
Exploration: Having identified a problem, a company will usually undertake a research exercise, analyse the gathered facts and identify an effective solution.
Conceptualisation: A product is only as good as its ability to fulfil the needs of consumers, in addition to meeting laid-down standards. This calls for a closer inspection of the identified solution.
Development: It takes lots of brainstorming to come up with a pre-production model of the final product. Also known as a prototype, this is usually tested extensively by many different people to gauge its effectiveness.
As you can see, product design is a rather lengthy process that requires plenty in the way of resources. So, how can you embrace design without sacrificing too much of your capital?
Think of freelancers as a widely-available source of innovative ideas. By working with one, you’re assured of having someone working on the design process as you focus on wooing consumers. Depending on their competencies, a freelancer could take on a handful of tasks, from logo creation to the conceptualisation of ideas in the second design phase.
The arrangement will not require much of your input (at least not upfront). In fact, a good freelancer could be your best weapon in the intensely-competitive marketplace of today. And if you’re lucky, you might even land one who’d be more than happy to join your in-house team.
Focus On Getting Things Done
Upon identifying a niche for your product, you might want to hire a creative expert, preferably on a full-time basis. This will help you avoid the risk of getting stuck in the initial phases of product development. Having a creative expert around means your entire team will always have the bigger picture in mind when making any key decisions. For the most part, a good creative lead should have a good attention to detail without losing their overall perspective. This is crucial in ensuring your firm keeps churning out products.
Besides working with freelancers, you also have the option of partnering with design agencies. You might prefer the latter if you need more flexibility, as long as you’ve already pinpointed your target market and figured out how you’re going to succeed. And while results might be guaranteed, you’ll have to pay for the cost of retaining them.
Agencies tend to have superior creative abilities, which could come in handy whenever you face steep challenges. You will, however, need to put some effort into finding an agency who will fit right into your company’s model. Your iterative processes will also need to be speedy since good designs don’t offer much unless they’re built.
Overall, good design requires an excellent problem-solving approach. A designer is only as good as their ability to figure out the needs of the audience and, from there, employ any number of techniques to come up with an effective solution. No matter what business you run or your current situation, it’s very important that you fully embrace a design mindset.