With Brilliantly Simple Designs.
Want to design a new product or innovate upon an existing one? MAKO’s product design services go well beyond the functionality and aesthetics of a product. At MAKO, we create brilliantly simple designs – designs with a magnified focus on providing your customers with an extraordinary user experience. Our team listens attentively and research vigorously to develop designs that delight and resonate with your users based on their values and needs. Because to MAKO, great design means one thing, and one thing only: Designing products that your users will love to help your business flourish.
Have a product idea?
What are Product Design Services?
Product design is the process of transforming a physical invention idea into a beautiful, well-functioning, and manufacturable consumer product.
At MAKO, we design products with a strong focus on both world-class design AND ensuring your product is a market success. Not only do we do great design from a team that has won over 25 awards, but we also help ensure that you have all the tools and connections to have a successful product launch. Product design is the first step in the product development process. It is the most important step before going into engineering, prototyping, patenting referrals, manufacturing, and connecting with companies to sell your product, all of the above which MAKO Design completes for you!
Product Design Process
A collaborative and efficient end-to-end product design process that helps ensure the final product is engineered for manufacturability, and ready for market. Just like the inventor, all inventions are unique. So we’ll build out the best custom product success plan with personalized product design steps that work for your product, and for you. It’s why so many of our clients share their testimonials or stay with us to work on version 2.0 or new invention ideas altogether.
1. PRODUCT & BUSINESS STRATEGY
INITIAL MEETINGS / PRODUCT GUIDELINES / NDA
First, a Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA) is signed by all parties to keep all invention information confidential. From there, every design project starts with strong communication and a deep understanding of the inventor’s idea to discuss business objectives, timeline, product requirements, monetization plans, the market, etc. From all of this, a Product Design Document is put together so we can keep accurate track of all design specifications throughout the course of this project. MAKO has developed proprietary systems for this to ensure that everyone is always on the same page and that all changes are tracked in real-time throughout the product design services process!
2. PRODUCT RESEARCH & ANALYSIS
MECHANICS / ELECTRONICS / MATERIALS / MARKET
Starting with the above Product Design Document, we research and compare existing vs new technologies to identify the optimal components for your product efficiently. With every selection, we carefully consider costs, supply chains, manufacturability, and performance. In addition, we’ll work closely with you to define your ideal target users and discover opportunities to capitalize on gaps in the existing market landscape based on your product vision.
3. ROUGH PRODUCT SKETCHES
IDEATE / CONCEPTUALIZE / DRAFT
An iterative and creative design process with the objective of visually communicating each of the inventor’s product features inside their overall visual design of the product as a whole. Together with our design and engineering teams, you and MAKO will evaluate these individual parts and the overall design theme to ensure the user experience, functionality, and aesthetics are aligned with your product vision and business objectives. This sketch phase, although rough, is a very powerful way of bringing together a number of highly intelligent minds to find the best draft solution for your product.
4. REFINED INVENTION SKETCH
EVALUATE / CONSOLIDATE
Based on the rough sketches and ideation prior, the refined product sketch phase puts together all of the pieces and the overall design language into one product sketch. This allows our designers, engineering team, and the inventor time to deeply reflect on the product as a whole and make any final edits or adjustments before going into the next CAD Design phase. Since edits are relatively quick in the sketching phase, it’s best to use these phases to make any adjustments before getting into the heavy lifting work of subsequent CAD design, engineering, and prototyping phases.
5. 3D CONCEPT CAD DESIGN
CAD / RENDERINGS
The CAD Design phase is taking the refined sketch from above and then using state-of-the-art 3D CAD Software to build the initial conceptual CAD design of your product. Even though this is just conceptual at this point, at MAKO, we start the building of these models with full manufacturing-grade top-of-the-line software such as Solidworks Premier or Fusion360. This requires more technical expertise; however, it makes the design and engineering process far smoother, and far easier to jump into product manufacturing (and creates far more product value in the design along the way). Also, we’ve curated a library of components and experience from over 1,000 product designs, all developed in-house, so we’re extremely efficient and effective at 3D CAD Design as it is the key part of the product design services process.
6. 3D CAD RENDERS
CAD / POLISHED RENDERINGS
To truly appreciate the design and to be able to have a detailed review of the overall product, the finished 3D CAD model above is rendered to create incredibly photo-realistic images of your product. MAKO has some incredible software and talent at building these models to be used to internally review, market, raise funding, and/or digitally test your invention product. Lots of clients will use these renderings instead of the actual end-product photos when marketing their product either online or in print! From here, you have a few options for continuing development with MAKO. Keep reading below to learn more!
Production Design Services: MAKO’s Approach
MAKO Design has spent over 20 years creating, testing, refining, and perfecting the product design process required to create global caliber products, specifically for startups, small manufacturers, home inventors, & eCommerce brands. Through our intense focus specifically on product design services for small businesses, we ensure perfect alignment with your product vision and help you succeed in every way. Our product design services are tailored to designing your product to a modern and top-tier caliber while also being able to execute quickly and efficiently, all at small business budgets. We created this product development niche back in 1999, and we’re still leading it today focusing on that same business model over 20 years later.
FOR HARDWARE STARTUPS
Whether you’re an early-stage startup or getting ready to scale, we’re here to transform your idea into a product design to help you disrupt the existing market, along with the many product market connections you’ll need along the way. MAKO is your one-stop-shop for it all, in addition to connecting our clients with some of the industry’s leading players in the hardware startup space.
FOR SMALL MANUFACTURERS
We are the original product design services firm tailored to small product businesses, so why not work with the best for your next big product? Whether designing something completely new, revitalizing your existing products, or improving something that already exists, MAKO provides world-class design at small business pricing and timelines.
FOR ALL HOME INVENTORS
No ask is too big, no detail is too small. We’re here to collaboratively design your product for success. As a new inventor, MAKO has the most comprehensive set of support services, industry connections, and guidance to help your product be a huge success. We guide you through the entire process, then set you up with direct connections to some of the best product sales brands on earth.
Why Choose MAKO’s Product Design Services?
Global Caliber Design Talent
- Our team is composed of experienced and senior designers from Fortune 500 product design development companies including Dell, Nike, Bose, and Boeing. And not just designers with great titles at these firms, but specifically the best builder designers – those who were doing CAD design all day every day for their whole career. We have no junior designers as all of our client projects have the intention of going all the way to manufacturing.
Agile & Modernized Design Process
- As pioneers in the small business space, we challenged ourselves to rethink how to optimize processes in comparison to product design companies of old – a process stifled by traditional industry inefficiencies Today, our team leverages a unique combination of state-of-the-art software, cloud management tools, and draws from our development library of over 1,000 products to create a streamlined product design process that’s logical, efficient, and produces high-caliber results.
Award-Winning Product Designs
- As one of the best product design firms, we are recipients of the most prestigious product awards in the world, over 25 of them! Awards such as Red Dot (top design award on earth), Inc5000, Growth500, Entrepreneur360, Best Design Firm in North America award, Good Design, Best Places to Work, just to name a few. Time and time again, we’ve proven that startups, small manufacturers, eCommerce brands, and home inventors can compete with the very best in the world when partnering with MAKO Design!
Concept Product Design Tips
When you work with MAKO, you’re working with a team that’s transparent and vocal about what we’re doing, why we’re doing it, and how we’re doing it. We take your investment seriously. Regardless of how big or small your project is, we want you to be confident about every aspect of the product design services process and the product – down to the finest detail.
This helpful approach starts right here on our website, even before your first consultation with us. Below is a list of quick tips to help you start with the product design process; however, we have loads of additional in-depth information on just about everything in the product design services journey at our blog, on our Product Design Resources page, on our podcast, The Product Startup Podcast, with a new industry expert every week, or in the different sections of our website, all which can be found starting on our home page at www.makodesign.com.
Focus on a Niche
- While it’s tempting to pack all the features under the sun in your project, the best invention ideas are simple to understand and solve one or two key pain points and how to integrate efficiency in product design for the end-user, especially if it is your first product or the first launch of a new type of product. By concentrating on the key golden features of the product, you and the designers will naturally focus on ensuring that these few features are designed and engineered at a global standard, and are well thought out. A simple product is also much easier to manufacture and more reliable. That means fewer defects, happier customers, better reviews, less expensive to develop, faster to market – All of which lead to higher profits for you and your product.
Get User Feedback
- Additive manufacturing, also known as 3D printing, allows us to quickly create an MVP, prototypes, and even real units of your product that you can sell to build, measure, and learn how your product looks and functions in the real world with real users. Your CAD design may undergo several iterations based on your feedback and preferences, but nothing is quite as profound as the feedback from real test users of a real physical prototype or a short production run of your product.
Design for Manufacturing (DFM)
- For those interested in larger production runs or selling the product IP to a bigger company one day, keep in mind the manufacturing process of a 3D printed prototype and a final product off a production line is vastly different. These differences may affect the structural and aesthetic requirements of the final product, and ultimately, the manufacturability of the final CAD design. To ensure the final CAD design is manufacturable in an actual production setting, not just for a 3D printed prototype, our team must account for any changes to geometry, material selection, surface finish, wall thickness, dimensional allowances, tolerances, and other facets of your final product that may differ from the CAD design of the prototype. We can’t stress enough how important it is to get the production-ready DFM CAD done well. Once you start production, any changes to the design for manufacturing consumer products, such as redoing parts or mold production, are incredibly intrusive and expensive to make.
Design It Right The First Time
- In hardware, you only launch a new product once, and it needs to be great the first time. There are no software patches or bug updates for a hardware product once it is in your customers’ hands. Arguably the most important part of the product design process is the initial CAD design as this is where you build the foundation of your product. Yes, changes can be made further down the road in product prototyping; however, changes are very difficult to do if you don’t have a sound CAD model foundation to build from and refine. The product design services part is also usually the relatively lower cost part of product development, so why not design it right from the start, especially when you have the MAKO Design team to do it for you!
What’s Next After Product Design is Done?
Completing the initial product design of your invention is the most important step in product development. It is critical to have it done very well the first time, as this is the foundation of your product, and the first big step in the overall product development process. Noted below is a quick overview; however, we have complete information on all parts of development here. When you’re done with our product design services step, you have three main options:
The way most new inventions become successful products is to get to manufacturing and selling products. Once product design is done, MAKO Design can complete the engineering, prototyping, and manufacturing of your invention for you. We are a one-stop-shop from sketch to production then to sales. Half of our products are physical inventions, the other half are electronics products. Either way, we’re a full-stack in-house development firm. Below is a full list of all steps to get your product to production and then get your product out to market buyers!
LICENSE YOUR PRODUCT
TO A BRAND
Some inventors just want to get their product designed to a point where they can then license their invention idea to an existing product brand. Either way you go, completing world-class product design is a critical first step. If looking to license directly after design, MAKO would then set you up with a patent attorney so you can protect your IP before pitching your idea to licensors. Keep in mind that the further you develop your product, the higher the probability of licensing, so you may want to have MAKO engineer and/or prototype your design before you start pitching to get a licensing deal.
RAISE INVESTMENT TO
Raising money is a very normal part of getting a hardware product off the ground, and with MAKO’s help, anyone can do it! In fact, half of MAKO’s clients don’t start with enough funds to complete development and manufacturing. First and foremost, before raising any money, even from friends and family, it is essential that you complete at least the product design portion yourself. Even then, the further you push into engineering and especially prototyping, the better you look to investors, the more money you can raise, and the less equity you will have to give away.
How Consumer Product Design Fits Into MAKO’s Overall Product Process
1. PRODUCT DESIGN
This includes industrial design services. That is where we are here on this page, and is the first and most important step in the product development process. This is the foundation of all product development to come, so is critically important to have done it right.
Mechanical engineering services and electrical engineering services (for those products with electronics) are the detailed work on the CAD to ensure that all components of the product design work cohesively, reliably, and predictably.
Before the product reaches the market, it’s important to test the form and functionality with a prototype. Prototypes are also a great way to generate traction for marketing, pre-sales, crowdfunding, and financing initiatives.
We have preferred connections and pricing with a network of patent attorneys to help our clients with all things related to IP (Intellectual Property) protection. Our clients get quality patenting work, affordably through our network of US and Canadian patent attorneys.
Once the prototyping and engineering are complete, tested, and refined, the product is ready to move to production. This may happen after preselling through crowdfunding, or before selling if you choose to sell direct to buyers once you have inventory in stock.
MAKO Design has many connections to help our clients launch and sell products. There are three main options: Pre-selling through crowdfunding, bulk order sales directly to wholesalers, distributors, retailers, and/or direct to the end-customer.
Product Design Services: Frequently Asked Questions
Here are a few of the most frequently asked questions about MAKO’s product design services. Don’t see an answer to your question here? Feel free to contact us anytime with your inquiries, read our blog for hundreds of articles related to product design services, learn about the entire end-to-end process with MAKO’s free invention kit, or check out the industry’s largest podcast: The Product Startup Podcast.
It covers the entire end-to-end conceptual design of the idea. That includes industrial design and the prototyping phase as we may have to update the design, specifically the 3D CAD, to ensure that it’s optimized for manufacturability.
Because it will determine the outcome of the end result. It affects the final aesthetics, how well your product will function, how easy it is to manufacture. A well-designed product will result in a higher quality product that delivers real value to your end-users.
Every project is different and the costs will depend on the services required to create your product. Together, we’ll plan the best course of action and provide a quote based on your specific needs and objectives. It could be a few thousand dollars up to tens of thousands, it all depends entirely on both the complexity of the project and how much experimentation is required. A project that is relatively easy to design, and uses a combination of pre-existing technologies is going to be far easier than designing a new hoverboard!
We work on almost every kind of hardware product you can think of! We’ve designed everything from automated and remote-controlled robot pet companion, a custom cooler designed for Tesla vehicles, and even a tennis bag that picks up tennis balls and functions as a ball hopper! Check out our work to learn more about these and other amazing projects.
The design portion of product development generally takes between a month to 3 months, depending entirely on the complexity of the project. MAKO’s product design services teams are working on the design every week, and it’s very efficient as all of our product design work is in-house, so rarely are we the bottleneck in the design. As we move along the product design process, there is lots of collaboration, so the quicker that a client gets back to our calls and emails, the exponentially faster a project moves through the design phase.
Yes! You own the product, the business, and all the profits that come with it. We handle the hard part, the hardcore product design, engineering, prototyping, manufacturing, etc.
Use the form below to let us know how we can help.
We’ll get back to you within one business day.