An overview of the Industrial Design Process

Industrial design is about creating physical objects that are both functional and aesthetically pleasing. It involves developing designs for a variety of products, from consumer electronics, medical devices, furniture or toys. The industrial design process can be broken down into several stages, each of which is critical to the success of the final product.

The Process

The first stage of the industrial design process is research. This involves understanding the needs and desires of the target audience, as well as analyzing existing products in the market. Designers use a variety of tools, such as surveys and focus groups, to gather information about consumer preferences and behaviors.

Once the researches are complete, designers move on to the ideation phase. This involves brainstorming and generating a variety of design concepts based on the research insights. Designers may create sketches, models, or even digital renderings of potential product designs.

The next step is prototyping. This implies creating physical models of the design concepts to test their functionality and usability. Prototyping can involve a variety of materials, from foam to 3D printed parts.

Then the refinement phase focuses on making adjustments to the design based on feedback from testing and prototyping. Designers may also conduct additional research or testing to ensure that the final design is technically feasible, functional and good looking.

Finally, the last stage of the industrial design process is production. This involves creating the final product based on the refined design. The production process can involve a variety of techniques, from injection molding to CNC machining.

Tips on how to develop a design concept

  • Understand the needs and desires of the target audience. This can be done through research, such as surveys or focus groups.
  • Brainstorm a variety of design concepts based on the research insights. Use sketches, models, or digital renderings to visualize the concepts.
  • Test the design concepts through prototyping. This can involve creating physical models using a variety of materials.
  • Refine the design based on feedback from testing and prototyping. It is about making adjustments to the design or conducting additional research.
  • Finalize the product based on the improved design following a variety of production techniques.

Design Framework : Double Diamond

This is a problem-solving approach that is commonly used in the field of design (industrial or digital). It is a visual representation of the design process that consists of four phases, each of which is represented by a diamond shape. The Double Diamond framework is a helpful tool for designers because it provides a structured approach to problem-solving that can be used to create innovative solutions.

The first diamond represents the discovery phase, where designers seek to understand the problem they are trying to solve. This implies researching the problem, gathering information, and identifying user needs. In this phase, designers try to gain a deep understanding of the problem by talking to users, conducting interviews, and studying data.

The second diamond represents the definition phase, where designers use the insights they have gained during the discovery phase to define the problem they are trying to solve. This is where you synthesize the research findings and developing a clear problem statement that outlines the design challenge.

The third diamond represents the development phase, where designers use creative thinking and ideation techniques to generate a wide range of ideas. This can require brainstorming, sketching, and using other design tools to come up with potential solutions to the problem.

The fourth diamond represents the delivery phase, where designers turn their ideas into tangible solutions. This involves prototyping, testing, and iterating on the ideas until a final solution is reached. In this phase, designers also work on developing a plan for implementing the solution, which may involve working with stakeholders, creating a roadmap, and communicating the solution to others.

Some designers and researchers have expanded the Double Diamond framework to include a fifth and sixth diamond, which represent additional stages in the design process.

The fifth diamond is often referred to as the « implementation » stage, and it involves the actual implementation of the solution that was developed. This is about working with stakeholders, creating a roadmap for implementation, and communicating the solution to others. The implementation stage is important because it ensures that the solution is integrated successfully into the organization or context for which it was designed.

The sixth diamond is often referred to as the « evaluation » or « sustainability » stage, and it’s about assessing the effectiveness of the solution and ensuring that it is sustainable over time. This can focus on monitoring the solution’s performance, gathering feedback from users, and making adjustments as necessary. The evaluation stage is important because it helps designers to understand how their solution is performing in the real world and make any necessary changes to ensure that it remains effective and sustainable over time.

Including the fifth and sixth diamonds in the « Triple » Diamond framework can help designers to think more comprehensively about the design process and ensure that their solutions are not only innovative and effective but also sustainable and well-implemented. However, it’s important to note that the Double Diamond framework is intended to be flexible and adaptable to different contexts, so the number of diamonds and the specific stages they represent can vary depending on the project and the needs of the designer.

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