The product design and product manufacturing process can sometimes be confusing and is not without many obstacles and roadblocks.

Product Development Mistakes

To make things a bit easier on the road from product development to market, be sure to avoid these four classic mistakes.

1. Lack of communication between industrial designers and engineers

In order for a product to be highly functional, aesthetically pleasing, and easy to use, your industrial designers and engineers need to be able to effectively work together, and that means effectively communicating. When these two parties are in sync, you have the best shot of meeting your time to market goal and cost objectives.

How do you get these two groups on the same page? The engineering team needs to communicate the product architecture constraints, and the product design team needs to communicate the design constraints. The two teams then need to evaluate the other’s constraints and develop a plan accordingly. Please keep in mind that an unbiased program manager should be brought in to mediate any conflicting constraints by using the established program priorities list (and on another note, if you don’t have program priorities list, you need to make one!).

2. Creativity without restraint

There’s nothing wrong with creativity. Without it, James Joyce probably would have written Ulysses, and Van Gogh probably wouldn’t have painted Starry Nights. With that being said, however, let’s all pause for a moment and remember that creativity also led Van Gogh to infamously cut off his own ear. Creativity is good, but creativity excess isn’t so good, especially when it isn’t balanced with practicality and restraint. You don’t necessarily want to become the Van Gogh of product design, so before you let your imagination run wild, it is absolutely essential to consider practical constraints, including timeline and budget.

3. Disregarding design for manufacturing

Design for Manufacturing, or DFM, is a method of preparing product design for manufacturing by utilizing the specific rules and requirements for each of the fabrication technologies to be used. DFM is highly advantageous, and yields higher-quality products at a lower cost. However, in order to effectively execute a DFM plan, you need to prepare accordingly. That means integrating manufacturing engineers with the development team, discussing DFM throughout the design process, and implementing DFM into the initial design review discussion.

4. Getting emotionally attached to a product

No matter how much you might love your product idea, remember, it is a business. If a business isn’t working, it is necessary to A) make changes, or B) abandon the idea. It’s good to be passionate about what you are creating, but when people get too emotionally invested in their product, it trends to cloud their judgment. You should always be able to take a few steps back and objectively analyze the situation — it’s critical to your success.

Pivot International is a product design, development, and manufacturing firm with extensive experience in the medtech industry. If you are interested in engineering a new product or updating an existing product, contact us at 1-877-206-5001 or request your free consultation today.