Product Design

Our experts do a lot of thinking. Here's the latest to unlock your potential.
HERO product design best practices
Product Design Best Practices to Follow
What is product design? Do you really know what it means?
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The role of human factors in product design
A primer on what, how and when the discipline of human factors is used in the design and development of products.
CES Web Sustainability
CES 2021: Sustainability gets its moment
In some ways, CES seems like a strange place to talk about sustainability.
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CES never fails to entertain
The Consumer Electronics Show always starts the new year off with a bang. It packs roughly 170,000 extra people from around the world into Las Vegas for a seizure-inducing week of stimulation.
2019 12 30 Article Franchino Year In Review Trends
Dave’s 2019 Year in Review
As 2019 winds to a close it’s time to make my annual appraisal of some of the more noteworthy products and events shaping world of design and Innovation. And the last year certainly saw its fair share of significant steps and missteps. So, let’s wade in with a few things I’ll remember that helped define 2019 for me.
12 Article Dave Juul
When good design goes bad
As a graduate from Stanford, I participate in a fairly active “design” email list originating from the various design programs. The email list allows fellow Stanford alum to post questions or raise topics related to the broader field of innovation and is invariably a fascinating source of trends and introspection.
06 Article Kent Failuremodeschart @2X
Everyone Fails
I recently hosted a discussion on a topic I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about. Failure. Specifically, the role of failure in innovation.
Anthropomorphic feature
How Anthropomorphic Form Shapes Product Design
Humans are drawn to anthropomorphic form in product design. Here's how industrial and interaction designers can use this as a tool.
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Learning to learn quickly
Having a foundational understanding of your problem space is necessary for any design process. You wouldn’t hire someone who has never seen the ocean to design a ship, would you?
Circular enable dd HEADER Circular Econ
How Does Product Design Enable the Circular Economy?
For the circular economy to work, we need system-wide innovation, and that will require rethinking and redefining our products and services.
Military grade HEADER Mil Spec
Designing Military-Grade Products: The What, Why, and How
With the growing demand for rugged design across sectors, product developers need help figuring out when to accommodate military specifications.
Mapping dd HEADER DD Mapping
How to Use “Mapping” To Determine the Design of Your Controls
Good mapping makes products easier and more intuitive to use. Done well, it can create a powerful connection between a product and its users.
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What Does 'Hierarchy of Needs' Mean To Product Designers?
How can product designers apply Maslow's theory of human motivation to their work? A design won't succeed if it doesn't meet users' most basic needs.
12 Article Braunstien Indecentces @2X
What's “indecent” at CES?
Let’s suppose, hypothetically speaking of course, that a product exhibited at this year's Consumer Electronics Show (CES) could be used to cause severe bodily harm with a weapon to another human.
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What’s a ‘Nudge’ in Product Design?
Nudge is a concept rooted in behavioral science that describes how minor changes in product design can markedly affect individual behavior.
12 Article Stairchair Staszak @2X
Research realized: Urgency understood
I am fortunate to be working with a great client in the medical equipment industry within a very meaningful product category.
06 Article Erik Kids Cargo B
Green eggs and electric ham
As far as I can remember cycling has always been a part of my life in some form or another.
06 Article Strahm Make A Wish B
Pushing each other along
Though we work in the service industry for larger corporations on a day-to-day basis, some of my favorite opportunities come in the form of community work.
06 Article Dave Tesla Frontend H1
Front ends, air flow, boats and aesthetics
So I promised our marketing department I’d do a blog on our recent adoption of a telemedicine benefit for our employees.
06 Article Ciari3 H1
Engineering in the fun
Jonathan Spangler feels like he has played “Folsom Prison Blues” to more audiences than anyone in history.
06 Article Dave Fuzzy Start H1
Engineering during the “Fuzzy Front End” of development
The “fuzzy front end” of product development can pose some unique challenges for engineers.
06 Article Michael Dome H1
I say “Dome of Awesome” and you say…
When I’ve said “dome of awesome” to people, they generally respond with something like, “What is it? I want it. I want to be in the dome of awesome!”
06 Article Ami Design Shift H1
The shift to Physical-Digital design teams ... are you ready?
Theresa Emanuel was born in 1877, before electricity and cars. Back then outhouses, horse and buggy, candles, and quill pens were everyday parts of life.
06 Article Tyler Miad H1
Design of the dead
As a design team, we are constantly in search of ways to stay involved with the design community and shine light on upcoming talent
06 Article Ken Life Cycle H1
Life cycle considerations in the age of software-enabled products
Increasingly, physical products leverage software to enable interesting features and deliver compelling differentiation.
12 Article Franchino Trend Review2017
From rockets to fidget spinning: 2017 year in review
The end of a culturally and socially tumultuous 2017 and this year’s Consumer Electronics Show provides a great reason to take stock of the previous year in the world of design.
06 Article Ami Verhalen Human Centered H1
Human-centered design ... but even more human.
Now more than ever, society is hungry for simplicity and human connection.
06 Article Amy No Pain H1
No pain, no gain?
As a design researcher and strategist, I am always looking for ways to help users have more meaningful experiences with products and services.
06 Article Jesse Were The H1
Were the Wright Brothers wrong?
Many of our clients, from startups to multi-national medical device manufacturers, pursue patents on the products and services we help them design.
06 Article Kent Kallsen Seal H1
Cyber security is a new spin on an old problem
When I read the headline that the FDA announced a voluntary recall of 465,000 pacemakers over safety concerns related to security vulnerabilities and the possibility of a device being hacked my first thought was, “I wonder if my Dad's pacemaker is part of this recall?”
12 Article Marlisa Bilingual C H1
You say sketch, I say scenario ...
When I began the first year of my MBA program at a well-known business school, a Facebook was still a real book, printed on paper.
12 Article Bettman Blog Receiver H1
Just one touch and I knew ...
I have this distinct memory from my childhood: I’m lying on my stomach, propped up on my elbows, cozied up in yellow and orange-ish shag carpet. Dust floats lazily through a sunbeam that peeks through the heavy velour curtains. A clock ticks steadily but softly from the other side of the room. My right hand is rotating the large machined aluminum tuning knob on my grandfather’s hi-fi tuner – back and forth, back and forth.
12 Article Verhalen So What H1
The power of “So what?”
I remember the first time my business partner, design strategist Stefanie Norvaisas, was critiquing a meeting presentation and challenged the presenter with “So what?” on an important slide.
06 Article Kallsen Do The Math H1
Do the math!
In a world where we can go from a CAD model to a 3D printed part well within a typical working day, it’s easy to get excited about just how fast one can iterate and explore design alternatives.
06 Article Dorr Aesthetic Trends
Understanding and using emerging aesthetic design trends
While there are many different types of trends you can and should reference throughout the new product design and development process including macro, consumer and industry, aesthetic design trends may be some of the harder nuts to crack.
12 Article Lee Sxsw
How to give Design a seat at the Lean Startup table
My colleague Roshelle Ritzenthaler and I recently presented at South by Southwest on “How to Give Design a Seat at the Lean Startup Table.” There was a line around the corner for our talk, which tells me this is a topic on a lot of designers' minds.
12 Article Verhalen Healthcare Design V2 Empathy
Designing for healthcare part 4: Empathy is the diagnosis
You can probably point to a medical device or healthcare service that left you feeling dissatisfied or, even worse, disrespected.
12 Article Verhalen Healthcare Design Simplicity
Designing for healthcare part 3: The complexity of simplicity
You can probably point to a medical device or healthcare service that left you feeling dissatisfied or, even worse, disrespected.
12 Article Verhalen Healthcare Design V2 Seamless Map
Designing for healthcare part 2: Mapping the way to seamless integration
You can probably point to a medical device or healthcare service that left you feeling dissatisfied or, even worse, disrespected.
12 Article Darley Viability H1
The Viability Crevasse
Have you noticed how many crowdsourcing hits fail to bridge the chasm between viral video and sellable product?
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Using the 5Ds of IoT for medical devices
I’m a fan of frameworks or techniques that help people understand our complex environment and reduce risk.
06 Work Case Study Pro Nova Jarod Steve H1
Models and Prototypes 101
Product design is an iterative process. Models are a critical part of that process.
12 Article Poster Everyday Genius H1
Everyday Genius: Toothbrushes
Many of us go through our day using things like a toothbrush, kitchen utensils and other simple items.
12 Article Darley Pre Mold H1
The role of virtual prototyping in product development
When you have to make a bunch of something or something where failure isn’t an option (a parachute, for instance), you better make sure that you’re making the right thing and that you’re sure it will work.
12 Article Franchino Mgb H1
Of MGBs and multidisciplinary machines
I was given a personal example of the power of a multidisciplinary approach to innovation a few weekends back when I found myself coincidentally working on very similar parts of cars built in two very different eras.
12 Article Aacc H1
Have you hugged your laboratory professional today?
After attending the 68th American Association for Clinical Chemistry (AACC) Annual Scientific Meeting & Clinical Lab Expo in Philadelphia last week, I’ve come to a realization – laboratory professionals deserve more love.
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Captain Contrarian: Innovation by competitive attack
Crafting a product, department or corporate strategy never happens in a bubble. It’s an ever-moving target because of trends in the marketplace, shifts in consumer behavior, and competitive actions.
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The role of user experience in product design
User Experience (UX) design in its most encompassing definition involves all aspects of the end-user interaction with a company, its products and services.
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Favorite Things: Diptyque Philosykos Solid Perfume
As product designers, Design Concepts staff are always looking at the things that surround them with an eye for the exceptional.
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The Core Principles for Creating an MVP
If you’re developing a product, you’ve probably come across the Minimum Viable Product (MVP) approach.
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Find the right people to inspire your new product design
Design Thinking is deeply rooted in building understanding and empathy as a foundation for the design process.
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Innovate by spotting and applying trends
Have you ever read an article about design trends and wondered, “Where on earth did THAT come from?”
12-Article Darley SuckUpTearDown-H1
Suck up ... tear down
A neighbor of mine left this stunning post-war (~1950) Electrolux XXX at their curb. I snatched it, immediately hoping to convert it to a table lamp. I was blown away by the industrial design and the workmanship.
12-Article Conner BikeThatWorksForAllKids-H1
Creating a bike that works for all kids
In late 2014, Design Concepts worked with No Limits Kids Fitness to launch an Indiegogo campaign to help us build a prototype of an adjustable hand cycle that grows with kids with physical disabilities.
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Interaction design beyond the screen
Connected devices blur some of the boundaries between hardware and software.
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Finding simplicity in the complexity of the Internet of Things
The Solid Conference – Hardware, Software & the Internet of Things (solidcon.com), recently held in San Francisco, is touted as a revolutionary conference that goes beyond the Internet of Things.
Designing a Family Internet of Things (FIoT)
I recently attended the O’Reilly Solid Conference in San Francisco, a fascinating few days examining hardware, software and the Internet of Things (IoT).
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Empathy is key to new product success
I love the energy in the new product development space.
12-Article-Verhalen-Blindspots-H1
Connect with success by knowing your blind spots
Designing and delivering connected products and the transition to the Internet of Things (IoT) is today’s product development frontier.
12-Article-Franchino-BetterIsntGoodEnough-H1
When better isn’t good enough
I’ve spent the week breaking in a spiffy new Samsung Galaxy S6 smartphone. Meh. It’s … fine.
Target practice
I’ve played squash since I was a teenager.
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Combine, separate or connect?
A camera phone walks into a bar. The bartender says, “What is this, a joke?”
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What's in a name?
“A rose by any other name would smell as sweet.”
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What does Spiderman have to do with user experience design?
I was recently at the Interaction15 conference put on by the Interaction Design Association (IxDA) in San Francisco with my colleagues Ken Soliva and Curt Irwin.
12-Article-Franchino-MedTech-H1
Six things to consider as the Internet of Things intersects medical devices
We’re on the verge of a fascinating intersection—perhaps collision—as the world of Internet of Things (IoT) technology begins to deeply encroach into the world of medical device development.
Embracing the Old School
I love to BBQ! I’m not talking a Sunday afternoon burgers on the grill. I’m talking pork shoulder, ribs and brisket. The kind of food you have to cook low and slow for hours over smoke-infused fire.
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Details, details, details ...
Living in Wisconsin I find that I need to have a certain mindset to embrace the change of seasons and prepare for the inevitable cold and snow that will eventually blanket the Midwest. Typical annual rituals for me involve putting snow tires on the car, winterizing the lawn mower and digging the snow blower out of the shed.
12-Article-Kopenski Girls-H1
What eight little girls re-taught me about design thinking
My six-year-old daughter wants to be a fashion designer when she grows up. Given the way she can rock a Sophia the First t-shirt and disco ball silver leggings, she may have an actual shot.
12-Article Gennrich Dave-Introversion Brainstorming-Hero-1186x667
Developing an introvert’s superpower
Do you know someone who can absorb a vast amount of complex information about a problem and combine it into a cohesive, elegant solution?
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Experience design and healthcare: Wicked problem and inspiring challenge
Medical diagnostics is where the often unwieldy, slow-moving beast of healthcare collides with mind-blowing, quickly changing advances in technology. It is the behind-the-scenes intersection where healthcare workers interact with equipment, day in and day out, in hospitals, clinics, laboratories and universities. This is where fast and accurate results may mean the difference between someone getting the correct diagnosis and treatment in time and, well, not.
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Designing for the Apocalypse
Here at Design Concepts, you’ll sometimes hear the term “co-creation” used on a project. Typically it’s used to refer to a kind of brainstorming activity we undertake with design research participants where we brainstorm together with them, our “users,” to co-create solutions for their needs.
12-Article Harris-MMoCA Hero 1
Introducing HACME Corporation: Solving problems you didn't know you had
“Dori-toes snack foot!” design strategist Dan Sarbacker announced proudly holding a half-sheet sharpie sketch.