Our Austin Industrial Design Specialist Explains Design Considerations

What the Mako Design Team Consider When Designing a Product

MAKO Design + Invent – September 29, 2020

When you work with Mako Design, you can rest assured that our qualified and world-class team is ready to bring your ideas to life! The team at Mako Design all carry different ways and tips to approach design in order to make the most innovative and freshest designs and introduce them into the market. No matter the project, we make sure that each outcome is of high-quality, high performance and is suitable to our clients’ needs in the most cost-effective manner as possible. We receive a lot of questions about how the team at Mako Design like to work and approach design, which is why we dedicated this blog to explain some of the factors our Austin industrial design specialist at Mako Design considers when approaching a project or throughout their design process journey!

Consideration Number One: Having Detailed Design Constraints

Our Austin industrial design specialist explains that design constraints are an especially important factor to take in when beginning the design approach and process to your project. Detailed design constraints can help give the designer a clearer image of what factors they must continuously consider when creating the design of a project and what they should remember throughout the design process. We always ask our clients to be as specific and detailed as possible when describing what they would like their product to have to make sure that what we deliver is above and beyond expectations. Describing detailed design constraints may include letting us know the details of the material that the product can be made from and other functional details such as what the product should do, cost limitations, and quality standards.

Another way that our Austin industrial design specialist approaches design constraints is by following the ‘Total Design Model’ by Prof. Stuart Pugh. This model lets each design know all the factors that might influence the design of the product and what factors must be given attention throughout the whole design process. Having all of these factors down helps out designers know how to balance each one of them and which will influence a design the most. This approach ensures that factors such as cost, ergonomics, and environment of the product are not given dominance over another and that every factor is equal.

Texas industrial design specialist

This image best represents the total design approach. Each plate represents a different factor. You can imagine the design like a circus performer balance each plate ensuring that everything stays balanced. At certain times, some plates/factors will require more attention than others depending on the design stage, but overall, each plate is balanced and does not have more emphasis than another.

Consideration Number Two: The Above and Below the Line Criteria

Simply put, our Austin industrial design specialist explains the above and below the line criteria as detailed specifications of what each client expects from their design. The above line criteria explain the characteristics and detail of the qualities, looks, image, and visual interface between the user and product, materials, ergonomics, and function. Essentially, the above line is all about the physical and visual. Whereas the below the line criteria focuses on the performance, operation, manufacturing, material, components, assembly, and build quality of the product. Therefore, the below the line criteria is all about how the product is made and how it will work.

Texas industrial design specialist

Consideration Number Three: Qualitative and Quantitative Testing

During the design process, our Austin industrial design specialist shares that it’s a smart practice to test your product out in a couple of different ways in order to make sure that your design is headed in the right direction. There are a couple of different ways that one can test their product but two important and well-used tests that the Mako Design team likes to integrate into the design process are qualitative and quantitative testing. The importance of qualitative and quantitative testing is due to the fact that designers must consider both tests when selecting materials and processes for the design and manufacturing of the product for its design specifications.

Quantitative testing looks at the objective, measurable criteria of the project. This helps assess against specific performances and measurable objectives such as the maximum and minimum desired weight of the product, the hardness, ductility, and malleability of the product.

Qualitative testing reflects the intended quality of a defined aspect of the material specification. This form of testing is more subjective to the specific design details of the projects. Examples of qualitative testing look at how aesthetically pleasing the material of the product will be, whether it will be recyclable, a certain color, and other considerations for its debut within the market.

Texas industrial design specialist

Consideration Number Four: Specification Criteria’s

No matter how simple or difficult a project is at Mako Design, our Austin industrial design specialist wants to get as much details as possible about what our clients expects for their product. The specification criteria are important in order to document a list of goals that the final design must achieve. The best way to approach the specification criteria is to provide a checklist to which our designers can refer to and review while they are working on the project.

Your specification criteria should be something that helps evaluate your ideas and the finished product against, it should include a list of statements that reflect your findings from the research you conducted for your product and what your design should achieve. It’s important to remember that while you create your specifications criteria that you are not too specific about what you want your design to achieve in order to not restrict yourself form innovative ideas but to also not be simple when describing your ideas. Essentially, the point is to create a clear list of things of what your product should be able to do.

Texas industrial design specialist

If you have a great new invention and you’d like to learn more about this process, get in touch with MAKO here and visit our website to find out more. Feel free to give us a call at 1-888-MAKO and we can set you up on a call with our product analyst!

MAKO Design + Invent is the original firm providing world-class consumer product development services tailored to small businesses, startups, and inventors. Simply put, we are the leading one-stop-shop for developing your physical product from idea to store shelves, all in a high-quality, cost-effective, and timely manner. We operate as one powerhouse 30-person product design team spread across 4 offices to serve you (Austin, Miami, San Francisco, & Toronto). We have full-stack in-house industrial design, mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, patent referral, prototyping, and manufacturing services. To assist our startup and inventor clients, in addition to above, we help with business strategy, product strategy, marketing, and sales/distribution for all consumer product categories. Also, our founder Kevin Mako hosts The Product Startup Podcast, the industry’s leading hardware podcast. Check it out for tips, interviews, and best practices for hardware startups, inventors, and product developers. Feel free to Contact Us anytime for help with your project.

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