There can be many instances where businesses need to innovate and invent a solution to a problem; this might be focused on creating a more efficient product or manufacturing process or it can involve having to create an improved version of a consumer product. Innovating and inventing solutions to these problems represents a significant research and development charges, and it’s worth working with companies like Applied Product Design to break down workflow and individual challenges.
If you have a rough idea for a new product, it’s important to first develop a concept that can then be visualized through the use of CAD and other computer software; this can also involve drawing up prototypes and working out what its basic applications will be. Applied product design specialists can help to guide you through this process if you have only have a very basic brief for the kind of new project or solution that you require.
Market Research & Testing
The only way to really know whether a product will be profitable is to research and test out your target market; this means finding out whether there are any potential gaps in a market that your product can deal with, and what level of pricing is needed to be competitive. Going through this process can make it easier to narrow down what kinds of products can be classed as innovative.
Regular product testing is similarly crucial to ensuring that your solution is user friendly; going back over the same stages of testing to see how small changes to a prototype will be received by users is particularly important. It’s also worth considering how your manufacturing and distribution of a product will be budgeted for, and whether or not you’re following ethical rules in terms of materials and labour.
Protecting an Invention
Once you’ve developed a viable prototype or design idea, it’s crucial to patent it so that your work can’t be stolen. Patenting will cover the basic features and uniqueness of a product design; you can also apply for a design registration, which will cover the external appearance of your design. It’s worth checking with patent databases like Espacenet to see whether similar products are already available, and if you’re at risk of infringing on an already patented design.
Working with an applied design specialist throughout these stages is recommended if you want advice on how an idea can be turned into a practical reality, from visualization through to product manufacturing. Being able to take advantage of prototyping tools like CAD is also important, as is investigating low cost manufacturing options in countries like China. When working on a new idea, you should also remember to follow the manufacturing standards set out by ISO9001: 2008.
Photo Credit: Flickr/Mace Ojala