Defining meaning and direction for the product and translating this meaning into design, interaction and functionality is done by preparing a solid design strategy.
Design ToolsThis solid design strategy is based on many tools and results in a 60 to 80 page visual document that helps us to define strategic direction to the styling, interaction and functionality of the new product. Both for direct end users and also for secondary users, like people that assemble, install, service or dismantle the product. A number of the tools that we use are:
- company vision analyses
- company strategic value's analyses
- brand promise & communication analyses
- product related consumer trends analyses
- sustainability check
- competition analyses
- use configurations & interaction analyses
- product placement analyses
- user research
- user environment analyses
- ad hoc persona’s analyses
- core meaning analyses
- styling direction tool
Core Meaning, a powerful design strategy toolWe use a powerful tool of 15 culture independent core meanings during the design strategy. These meanings appear to be universal among people’s values. While the relative importance of these meaningful experiences might vary and their interpretation could differ slightly, all cultures seem to recognize their significance. This means that there is a certain consistency among human needs that transcends the distinctions of culture and language.
In team discussions we select one or two core meanings that best fit the product. We use these generally accepted meanings to describe the relationship between the user and the product: which meaning will the product fulfill in the user’s life. After selecting the core meanings, we translate them into shapes, materials, colors and textures.
Styling: not a matter of taste, but a strategyWe believe that the future styling of a product is not a matter of taste, but a strategic direction, that we already nail down with this Design Strategy. Based on core meanings, user observations and our styling tool we serve your team a styling direction that communicates both your company values and ambitions as well as the meaning a user will give to the product.
User observations and interpretations as part of our design strategyObserving, studying and interviewing users is a crucial part of the design strategy to understand the good and bad qualities of competitive or own products, in order to understand the mental model of users and from there achieve improvements.
User observation and research is not about market data, but about observations and experiences of a small user group, in order to get their idea’s, irritations and reactions, as the basis for the new product. During the project we keep testing with mockups and prototypes on users and in our team, so that we get the best interaction and ergonomics solutions.
Fundamentals and design strategy presentationPart of the Design Strategy is research into patents, teardown of competitive products, analyses of working principles, materials and other subjects that are fundamental for the design project.
In a meeting we present the Design Strategy Document. During this meeting we discuss together with your team the direction for the styling, interaction and functionality.