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Product design 101: How to build a product

To move into the realm of existence, a novel idea is ought to undergo the creative process of design – a broad term that can be, purposefully vaguely, defined as "taking something from its existing state and moving it to a preferred state". Here is a brief rundown of how it takes place at CoolWares Lab.

It all starts fairly simply, with the client providing us a brief on her product idea. The brief ideally contains essential requirements and constraints but if anything is missing, we talk to the client and document information ourselves.

Then comes the all-important research step which fuels initial brainstorming sessions. First and foremost, we make use of our prior experience if relevant. We then gather user sociodemographic as well as industry based external data.

Ideation sketching is next up. These drawings are rough representations of what the product might look like, without much detail. However, they build ground for the creation of a conceptual design in 2D – one that gets presented to the client. At this concept stage, the future product attains its own character and essence.

Once reviewed and approved by the client, the conceptual drawings are refined in a CAD software and become embodied in 3D. CAD files produced during this stage can be used to create high-quality product images and animations for presentations and marketing materials. However, in view of the product development timeline, production drawings – i.e., those required for prototyping or full-scale manufacturing with accompanying technical documentation – are next in line.

Up till now, it may have sounded all too familiar. But here is where CoolWares Lab is different:

Our value-add comes from the fact that we bring to the table business analytics, with better understanding of business than most other more creatively inclined small design agencies.

When starting a new job, we suggest to the client multiple solutions to the given problem or offer strategic refinements to the conceptual idea at hand. (This, of course, is provided that the client is open to such proposals.)

Later, after the product obtains form – either in digital format or as a prototype – we help the client market. We build effective pitch decks aimed at generating buyer and investor leads as well as other promotional material. If the client wants validation, we launch and manage on her behalf a crowdfunding campaign on a popular site.


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