How do you choose the best product design firm?

It is really exciting to start a new product design project. And a great challenge to look for good partners that can help create the best innovative results.

hire a culture

Don’t hire a product design agency. Hire a mindset or a culture. Because that is what is really going to help your team. The values of a design firm tell you something about the relationship you are going to have with them.

Give preference to agencies that love to work together, that are innovative and proactive. Their office and website often reflects their culture and energy.

look for innovation

Design studio’s that are brave, diverse and committed to innovation create better, more forward-thinking products.

Don’t always search for the exactly category or type of products in their portfolio as the products you want to develop. Instead, look for real innovative solutions they have made and the experience they have with going really new roads.

don't restrict your search

Location doesn’t matter much. With email, Skype and phone you can keep in touch from anywhere. Don’t prejudge. Sometimes if you want fresh thinking, look for an outsider perspective.

avoid too many alternatives

Considering 30, 20 or even 10 agencies is not a smart thing to do. If you do your homework, your initial long list could be relatively short and focused. This will help you compare the design firms better. You can take enough time for each agency to call a number of times, understand their culture, proposal and way of working.

don't choose by price

Price matters. But trying to negotiate the price unreasonably might be counterproductive. It could result in downgrading the quality and dilute the service.

You are hiring a design firm for the quality of its output, so avoid letting cost be leading.

set expectations

Agree on your needs and expectations before you start. Make sure that your objectives are strategic and fit your culture. Decide on how you would like to work together with the product design studio, and the level of risk you are ready to take.

Decide who is going to make decisions during the design process. Taking part in a design process is exciting and fun, however, fewer people make for a better decision making.

Favor design agencies that will help you make decisions over design firms that offer you just more choice.

don't choose by brand

Design firm brands are important. They provide a sense of the agency’s history and its values.

However, the agency brand will not be as important to you as the design team, the people that will be dedicated to your project. These people’s dedication and passion for your project will determine how successful it will be.

the right perspective

Hire a design agency based on its vision and future. Do not only look at its history. Understand how it thinks about design, innovation, risk management and sustainability.

Try to understand how they work, how they will guide you in the product development process and how they will help you make really important decisions about risk, investments, production and market entry.

Like to talk?

Let’s work together. Give us a call or drop us an email to discuss your project or questions.

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