Step by Step Guide for Finding the Best Industrial Design Firm

Industrial design firms have become indispensable for product development and project management in the industrial product manufacturing process. With their research resources and insight-driven approach, these firms can bring many benefits to the table. Rather than trying to undertake the industrial production of your product on your own, you will find it makes more practical sense to outsource the work to an industrial design firm.

When you hire an industrial design firm, it will handle everything from project research to concept development to concept refinement. It will undertake engineering development and production detailing. It will be responsible too for prototyping and testing, project documentation, and product liaison.

So, are you ready to hire the best industrial design firm for your project? Here are some of the things to look for:

The firm should have a well-trained and experienced team

Many of the top industrial design firms have a range of well-trained and qualified personnel to handle their clients’ projects. Aside from industrial product designers, the firm will employ researchers, mechanical engineers, mechanical designers, and creative directors. These professionals will have a sound understanding of the design for manufacturing (DFM) process.

The team may likely have previous industrial experience in designing and producing products similar to yours and in using similar manufacturing processes. It will use that experience to benefit your project. It will discuss your product requirements with you and work in coordination with one another to transform your idea into a practically viable product.

The firm must be willing to consider your vision and concepts

During the initial consultation with you, the industrial design firm will take notes about the kind of product you want, the product features that you require, and the intended market for the product. The firm will then assign a team to handle your project. Based on your requirements, the team may make suggestions to improve the product design and capabilities. It will also inform you if any of your product requirements are untenable and what might be more practical instead. Once the team begins working on your project, it will send you regular progress updates and consider your inputs.

The team will make sure that you are involved in every phase of the project, from the product planning stage to the design and production stages to the testing and marketing of the product. Even if you prefer to sit back and let the industrial design firm handle everything, you must receive detailed information about how the project is progressing. Then, in case something is not happening exactly as per your specifications, you can immediately inform the industrial design team and save on the expenses of making major changes later down the road.

Consider it to be a red flag if the industrial design firm is dismissive of your ideas and concerns, adamant about following its established product development methodology, and is not willing to provide you with regular and timely project updates.

The firm must focus on the practical aspects of industrial design

Aesthetic industrial design is not sufficient to create a successful product. There are various other aspects that industrial design firms must take into consideration, such as selecting the right materials for the product and estimating the production costs. They must also consider the usability, functionality, and practicality of the product. Additionally, they must think about how the end-users might misuse it and finds ways to eliminate or minimize the safety issues that could arise from such product misuse.

The firm must create prototypes and conducts tests

By creating product prototypes, industrial design firms can show you how the finished product will look like and how it will work. Prototypes also allow the industrial design team to conduct tests for anticipated and unanticipated flaws in product design and usage. The team will then find appropriate ways to address and resolve these concerns.

Along with eliminating the issues they identify, the industrial design team will make sure that the prototype meets the stringent quality standards stipulated by the FDA. The team will give the green signal for the mass manufacturing of the product only after it has ironed out all the practical issues related to its usability, safety, and compliance with quality standards.

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