Any great design solution is built upon a solid foundation of research. It helps guide the product development process as information is revealed. Design research covers a multitude of areas depending on the project, from science and technology, economic and and social through to compliance and legal. It is also an onging process that runs integrally with the product design process.
Some of the areas that may be covered during the research stage include:
- Market and Trend analysis
- Competitor product analysis
- Material technologies
- Manufacturing technologies
- Ergonomic analysis
- Compliance/ standards
During the research stage there are often unexpected findings, from similar products and new compeditors through to changes in markets and new opportunities. Knowledge is a powerful tool and one that allows perceived weaknesses to become strengths. This is the reason why it is an integrated tool used throughout the product development process.