What Is Involved in the Product Design Process?


Quick Answer

The steps of product design include documenting the idea for the product, researching patents and the marketplace, making a prototype of the product and filing a patent. The purpose of a new product is often to solve problems, but a new product must outperform the competition to have a chance of success.

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Full Answer

Once an idea for a new product is conceived, the first step is to write down how the product works, develop product design ideas and who is most likely to benefit from the product. Individuals can create an inventor's journal using a bound notebook that doesn't have removable pages. The inventor's journal should be signed by a witness and kept secure because it shows proof that the inventor came up with a unique product idea. Inventors must do a patent search to see if another inventor owns a patent for a similar product. Inventors can visit uspto.gov to conduct a free patent search.

A "prior art" non-patent search is also necessary to ensure artwork associated with the product design doesn't show up in previous artwork. Market research is the next step, and this entails finding out if the product appeals to a specific consumer market. Investors should not spend lots of time and money on a product invention until market research shows it can sell to consumers. A product prototype with all designs flaws fixed is necessary before filing a patent.

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