The design strategy is ready. It is time for concept design. Through rapid cycles of sketching and mockup building, a number of our designers investigate many possible solutions.
Our design team recognizes the right design directions from all the possible solutions. And always make choices based on testing, experience and strategy.
During the concept design phase, we hold a ‘look-in-the-kitchen’ session with your team. We present directions in sketch-form, functional and technical solutions, manufacturability solutions and mockups.
Together with you we discuss focus, risk, level of ambition and make a decision which concept design to develop further.
Unlike the more traditional product design firms, we offer our clients only one developed concept. We have a good reason for doing so. By involving you deeply in the strategy phase and with ‘look-in-the-kitchen’ sessions, we choose the best direction together, based on mockups, testing, and a solid design strategy document.
We show the path we took, the reasons for the decisions we made and will show you the road we plan to take with you. Instead of fully developing three or more concepts, from which you will choose one concept design, we use our resources effectively to develop only the best direction towards a concept.
Our clients do not want to make choices all the time, they want us to give them the best.
We are used to build multiple mockups during concept design. In some cases these mockups are made of foam, sometimes from wood, 3D printed plastics, or other materials. These quickly made mockups help us to evaluate shapes, understand proportions in more realistic environment then with sketches, and helps us to run ergonomic testing.
In other cases we want to test solutions in a very early stage with users. Then we have some parts made that are rough but functional and good enough to evaluate multiple variations with users.
Running human factors research is very insightfull: observing users, running surveys, experiencing products ourselves for some time, roll-plays or any other methods.
We make video’s, preferable when the user does not know that he or she is filmed, so that behaviour is as natural as could be. We study the behaviour and while we create the concept design, we use the principles of mental model, affordances, feedback, flow, sequence of events and other appropriate principles.
Testing the use with mockups helps to observe if users understand the product and its intended use.
When this is not the case, then we make small changes in the concept design and give new design hints about how the product will work best.
Ergonomic conditions are considered and tested, like service engineers working in extreme conditions in the oil industry, on high platforms, cold weather and with heavy gloves on.
After we presented the final concept both in a presentation and with mockups, we might make some minor optimizations in the concept design, based on input from your team.
When these minor iterations have been finished in the 3D CAD model, we are ready for product development with 3D CAD engineering, prototyping and testing.
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