The importance of design in the development of new products

When people think of the concept of design, it is often confused with something merely aesthetic. It is not given importance, it is overlooked or it is thought that it is not essential in the initial phases. In short, it is understood as something that is not indispensable for bringing new products to the market. However, the opposite is true. “It must be taken into account from the moment an idea is conceived, through the different phases of design: research, conceptualisation, definition, prototyping and first tests until, finally, the product or service is marketed”, says Cristina Franco, UX Designer at INFINITIA.

Design is about finding the balance between what the business requires, what users need and the requirements and situation of the market in which it is located. “It should not be introduced at late stages because that clashes with the technical requirements, with the real needs of the market and the users. The sooner you design your product taking into account all these points, and the more you iterate taking them into account, the better”, proposes Javier Sanz, CEO of INFINITIA.

Some examples serve to disprove existing beliefs about design and reinforce the relevance of design in product creation, as it is a discipline that directly influences the final stages:

A toy manufacturer designs and markets a product whose main customer is children. However, it includes small parts that can cause choking. The toy ends up being withdrawn from the market because it does not take into account the intended end user. “As designers, the user is the priority,” says Cristina Franco. “They forgot the main focus and it reached the market without taking into account key aspects such as safety or the use of the product by a child.

Design is not just about making an aesthetically pleasing product. This was something that was also realised by a juice brand, which promoted a change of image without taking consumers into account. “When this type of change is made, a prior study of the user’s perception is carried out, together with the values they want to show with the innovation, among other things”, explains Sanz. In this case, it was either not done or it failed. They put it on the market, and just as happened with the toy manufacturer, the juice had to be withdrawn because people stopped buying it. “It sounds silly, but if you don’t test it with users, you don’t know if what you think is going to work”, reinforces Cristina Franco.

“Whenever we have the opportunity to take on a project at the beginning, we recommend starting with Strategic Design tasks,” says our CEO. Before launching something blindly or guided by feelings of success, it is essential to do a minimum study of the user and the market. With that, you define the business model, the product and how it is positioned. “Only then can you move on to the technical part,” says Sanz.

At INFINITIA we have seen cases in which people have invested money, resources and time to launch a product on the market, only to be surprised by some of its behaviour. Although, at first glance, it may seem an unnecessary expense, it is an investment of time. “Design doesn’t have to be complex,” says Cristina Franco. “Invest at the beginning. You’ll save surprises and take better care of your image,” argues Sanz.

From our company we take care of the previous research, but also, as the project progresses, we continue to maintain interactions or small contacts with the user to take solid steps and make good decisions. If you are thinking of launching a product to the market and you want to ensure a suitable design, contact our team. We will be happy to help you.