Our Approach to Product Development.


As product development is not a simple process it is important to have a full understanding of the customer and project requirements before suggesting a particular route to develop the idea. Product development varies from project to project depending on numerous variables such as scope of work, time and budget. There is no generic approach to take- this is part of our challenge.

Our approach to product development has been developed over years of experience and experimenting with various methods, both internally born and international methodologies. We have adopted a fairly simple strategy which has 2 essential components, reducing unknowns and risk in an incremental stepped approach and the other is measuring the progress and adjusting the project according to learnings.

We follow the product development process from start through to manufacture, helping our customer determine their product needs and how best to address possible challenges. Each phase has a few goals it needs to achieve to elevate the project to the next phase. In the early phases, we help brainstorm new solutions that guide the development towards robust product solutions. Later, we execute and validate the product, bringing the design from the idea to a tangible, fully-functional product.

Discovery Phase

This phase sets up the requirements for the development. In conjunction with our clients we establish the products Decisive Competitive Edge (also known as Unique Selling Point or Unfair Advantage) which grows into feature sets and subsequently a product requirement build.

The requirements are not limited to the customer’s requirements but also include the context of the product. Therefore we develop the product in a lightweight feasibility study, doing our due diligence, including a risk assessment of the technology and market.

This phase typically involves things such as intellectual property scope and infringement searches, features and price analysis of competitive products as well as significant amounts of research into relevant technology, materials and processes.

 

Experimental Prototype

 

The experimental prototype phase, also known as prototype zero, is  where we experiment with various items to configure the hardware and establish the physics of the product. The main objective is to understand the quality of the various software and hardware parts, to understand what is achievable and to assess the limitations of the product.

This is where we address the technical risks of the project and eliminate majority of the unknowns of the product. Innovation products that require varying levels of experiments and testing would be completed in this phase. The outcome of this phase would consist of a fully functional prototype, also known as a proof of concept.

Alpha Prototype

This is predominantly an Industrial Design phase of the process where the main focus is the styling and cosmetics of the product. The outcome of this phase would be an aesthetically pleasing and functional prototype.

This phase revolves around turning the basic workings generated in the experimental prototype phase into a product with no real technical challenges with the emphasis on a complete product that is styled and designed for the target audience. A parallel portion in this phase is to design the system for manufacture.

The final portion of work for this phase is an extensive test regime of the prototype to ensure reliability and safety as well as cover the required certification demands. It is not necessarily required to certify the product but we see this process as our due diligence to the project.

 

Beta Prototype

 

The goal of this phase is to build multiple prototypes and place them in the intended environment for consumer testing. The intention is to learn how the user interacts with the product, to do experiments with the user experience and the enrollment process and finally to gather statistical and in-field information about the product operationally.

Once customer testing is complete the product can be updated based on the feedback from users. 

Manufacture

Following the success of the field trials the project can move on to placement of order for volume  manufacture. The product is finalized and prepared for short run- or mass- manufacture.

Find out more about our manufacturing capabilities here.