Product design engineering offers a creative, collaborative, iterative approach to problem-solving to set you apart from the crowd.
- Design engineering focuses on creating efficient and effective systems, products, or applications for user needs.
- It considers both the functional and aesthetic aspects of a product.
- To develop good engineering designs, businesses must first define the problem they’re trying to solve.
- They must also study how other businesses have approached the problem in the past, what competitors are currently doing, and trends in consumer behavior to discover gaps to be filled.
- Thorough research creates the building blocks for idea generation, while prototyping helps test concept validity, identify flaws early on, and refine designs before delivering the final output.
- Product design engineering is an ongoing process, meaning businesses must continuously collect user feedback and conduct improvements post-delivery.
Today, businesses need to constantly innovate and think differently to stay competitive. After all, innovation is the secret sauce that differentiates successful companies like Uber, Airbnb, and Apple. Creative, user-focused problem-solving leads to better products and services, and ultimately more significant results.
Design engineering is a non-linear, iterative process that helps you better understand end-users and their pain points, challenge assumptions, discover new opportunities, and create innovative solutions. Here’s what you need to know.
What is design engineering?
Design engineering is the process of designing a system, product, or application for a specific purpose. At its core, design engineering is about creating efficient and effective products for user needs. It considers both the aesthetic and functional aspects of products to make them look nicer and be efficient and easier to use.
Generally, there are a few steps that businesses must follow during design engineering to solve customer pain points and optimize the user experience. These include determining objectives; identifying constraints such as resources, time, and cost; prototyping; and testing and evaluation.
These steps are not always sequential, but in most cases they are. For example, it’s common practice to define the problem and brainstorm ideas before prototyping. In contrast, businesses can skip research if they have pre-existing knowledge of trends in consumer behavior, how competitors have attempted to solve the underlying problem, and how they can fill the existing gap.
Regardless of order, the design process is iterative. Steps must sometimes be repeated before moving to the next. Improvements may be required after initial testing. This will vary depending on the product, changes in requirements, feedback from users, or new information about product use.
Skills for design engineering
Product design engineering combines the problem-solving mentality and technical skills of engineering with the application-oriented thinking and creativity of design. It involves dealing with technical data, programming codes, and computer systems to ensure their stability and high-quality processes, and working through client specifications to ensure the design meets all requirements.
Your design engineering team will often be involved in the following tasks:
- Using computer-aided engineering (CAE) and computer-aided design (CAD) software to transform ideas into models and plans
- Creating and testing designs and prototypes and making improvements where necessary
- Ensuring all prototypes, designs, and plans comply with industry guidelines and standards
- Collaborating with the QA team and other engineers on various elements of the project to facilitate smooth execution
- Meeting with R&D teams and project managers to understand the scope of the project and changes in design requests
Shockoe has helped businesses create designs that help, not hinder growth. We can work directly with your stakeholders to deliver a responsive product design for your users’ needs. Schedule a call with our design engineering experts to learn more.
Want to learn more about delivering functional, visually appealing, and efficient designs? Continue reading for more information.
Steps in product design engineering
The goal of design engineering is to develop the best design while accounting for all the constraints and examining trends. Generally, product design engineering involves the following steps:
1. Problem definition
The design engineering process starts with identifying the:
- product’s end-user
- problems requiring solutions
- main pain points the product will address and how
- project’s resource requirements
It’s also crucial to define how success will be measured and to pinpoint the product’s unique value proposition and how it compares to alternatives.
Formulating answers to these questions will establish the foundation for the next step of the design engineering process – research.
This stage involves studying competitors and similar projects to identify successful designs and gaps to fill. Conducting competitive market analyses will help you recognize trends in your industry and consumer behavior and discover opportunities worth exploiting.
The next step is idea generation, done through reverse engineering, brainstorming or even drawing inspiration from nature. The focus should be on devising and comparing ideas to determine the best design features for your product development and marketing strategy.
Creating a final product prototype helps test the concept’s feasibility, determines whether the proposed design will deliver the intended user experience, and highlights areas for improvement. This stage involves using beta testers on design prototypes to identify potential flaws and refine the design based on feedback.
5. Creating the final design
The next step after prototype validation is creating a detailed design – specifying all the final product’s components and features to bring the design idea to life as vividly as possible. With the final design ready, it’s time to test it in the real world.
6. Collecting feedback for product design improvement
User experience feedback provides useful insights to improve the initial design adjustments/improvements and why they are necessary, helping your business create a customized solution for the target market.
Designing with constraints and trends in mind can be challenging, but it’s also an opportunity for creativity and exploration of the bounds of engineering – and to partner with the team that can help you succeed.
Product design engineering with Shockoe
The design process takes time, effort, and expertise to develop groundbreaking internal-facing and consumer-facing product designs but it’s essential. This can be challenging for businesses without full in-house product engineering teams. A seasoned product development expert can assist you with creating innovative designs to help you stay competitive.
Shockoe works as a strategic product engineering partner, helping businesses deliver unique designs with intuitive and seamless user experiences. We combine industry best practices with innovation to set you apart from the crowd and spur that user “wow“ factor.
Schedule a consultation with Shockoe to learn more about how our design engineering services can help you realize your product’s full potential.