At product council we ascribe to “principles over process” when it comes to our approach to developing products, services, and digital experiences. Because every challenge is unique, it requires an open and empathetic approach to problem-solving that ultimately addresses the client's, end-user's, and marketplace needs.
We continually frame, re-frame, and shape ideas, iterating toward solutions by prioritizing progress over process, as opposed to using a formulated, step, by step, process. We look for the “white space” to fuel innovation, exploring the behaviors and unmet needs of consumers through a combination of ethnographic research and quantitative analysis. The results; meaningful and engaging solutions that empower end-users and bring business success.
“Design is the intermediary between information and understanding.” Hans Hofmann
We begin every program by scouting; gathering information relative to the problem statement, immersing ourselves in the end-user’s world to observe and learn from their behaviors, actions, and point of views. We distill and re-frame data, continually challenging the hypothesis to help uncover unmet needs that present opportunities for innovation.
Research Toolbox: User Profiles, Field Trips, Interviews, Surveys + Questionnaires, Competitive Audits, Observation + Shadowing, Scenario + Lifestyle Boards, Trend + Activity Analysis, Empathy Tools, Experience Prototyping
"Good design is making something intelligible and memorable. Great design is making something memorable and meaningful." Dieter Rams
What drives consumers to purchase a particular product? Is it the design, brand, technology, price, or just the latest fad? What attributes of a design speak to us? What embodies the DNA of a successful product? What creates that emotional connection with consumers? At product council "form follows emotion”. We obsess over designs iterating toward solutions that will create emotional and market impact.
During the “Detail’ phase, product council develops ideas that build on the research findings, creating a framework in which to explore, observe, and identify opportunities. Framing complex problems give structure to work allowing for a systematic approach to help gain end-user and stakeholder feedback. Through a series of iterations of re-framing and refining, ideas are generated and evaluated, leading to a culling process that filter the best ideas for further development. We continually test scenarios that replicate real-world-ingress, iterating toward superior solutions that address the business goals.
Design Toolbox: Collaboration + Brainstorming, Industrial Design, UX + UI Design, Visual Brand Language, Communication Design, User Profiles, Ergonomic Analysis, Error Analysis, Feasibility Studies, Experience Prototyping, Brand Development
"Eventually everything connects – people, ideas, objects. The quality of the connections is the key to quality per se." Charles Eames
During the “Ratify” phase we take the selected designs from the “Detail” review and validate them by creating 3D CAD parametric files. This data allows for a 3D printed, or CNC model to be fabricated that will prove-out the design and gain stakeholder’s feedback. Models help evaluate the design's form, function, scale, interface, and human factors.
There are a number of options open for the types of models that can be made and range from SLS, SLA, FDM, SLM, DMLS, FFF, to LOM. The list continually grows and most provide complex details, material options, and durable results. Product council advises clients on the best type of model to be made based on need and pricing. Accompanying these prepared 3D files are 2D control drawings that provide vendors enough information to acquire preliminary tooling quotations.
“There are three responses to a design – yes, no, and WOW! Wow is the one to aim for.” Milton Glaser
The devil is in the details, and we obsess over each one. During the “Reveal” phase, we incorporate any changes / refinements into final 3D engineering data files prepared for manufacturing purposes. We engineer a mass-producible product that puts into operation the new design. During this phase, each part is identified and engineered incorporating the proper specifications of tolerances, fits, materials, and finishes.
Sketches and or CAD work may be employed to ascertain the trade offs between simplicity of tooling against more complex tooling arrangements, which may be required to engineer the product without violating the design.
Engineering Toolbox: Mechanical Engineering, Electrical Engineering, IP Opportunities, Material Selection, Tool Ready 3D CAD, Finite Element Analysis, Thermal Analysis, Prototyping, Product Testing Protocol, High + Low Volume Manufacturing Support
"Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works". Steve Jobs
Once the engineering data files are complete, prototypes are made to prove-out and test the designs. Initial prototypes are considered pre-production that help validate the performance requirements and uncover any design shortfalls before full-blown production begins. They provide valuable feed back from in-field use and testing, as well as gain stakeholder’s feedback and interest.
Product council is available to assist clients with vendor liaisons and consultation as it relates to the execution of intellectual property protection, manufacturing support, and all other activities that support the successful launch of the product.
Follow-up Support: Source Manufacturers, Manage + Upload Data Files, Manufacturing Liaison, Production Feasibility, First Article Review, Packaging, Marketing Brochures, Instruction Manual, Assembly Diagrams, Logo Designs, IP Support