Product Design Characteristics,Objectives and Types of Product Design

Meaning and Definition of Product Design

Product Design can be defined as the translation of intellectual wisdom, requirements of the entrepreneurs, or needs of the consumers, etc. Into a specific product.

According to C.S.Deverell___”product design in its broadest sense includes the whole development of the product through all the preliminary stages until actual manufacturing begins”.

From the production manager’s point of view, the key output of the product design activity is the product specification. These specifications provide basis for a host of decisions he must make, including the purchase of material,s selection of equipment, assignment of workers, and often even the size and layout of the productive facility product specification’s while commonly thought of a blueprint or engineering drawings, may take a variety of other forms ranging from highly precise quantitative statements to rather fluid guidelines.

Characteristics of a Good Product Design

  • Functionality: The product must function properly for intended purpose.
  • Reliability: The product must perform properly for the designated period of time.
  • Productivity: The product must be produced with a required quantity and quality at a defined and feasible cost
  • Quality: The product must satisfy customer’s stated and unstated needs.
  • Standardization: The product should be designed in such a fashion so that most of the components are standardized and easily available in the market.
  • Maintainability: The product must perform for a designated period with a minimum and defined maintenance. Adequate provision for maintenance should be kept in the product.
  • Safety: The product must be safe to the user and should not cause any accident while using or should not cause any health hazard to the user. Safety in storage,handling and usage must be ensured by the designer.
  • Cost Effectiveness: The product must be cost effective. The must be manufactured in the most cost effective environment.

Objectives of Product Design

The objectives of designing the product may be summarized as follows:

  • The first objective of designing is to create attention in product for increasing the sale potentials.
  • To enlarge the importance of product from customers’ point of view.
  • To make the product more effective and create more utility in the product for the consumer.
  • To produce better quality at the lowest possible price.

Types of Product Design

  • Functional Design:  Functional design involves developing an idea into a tough model of the proposed products. This necessitates first making a rough sketch of the proposed products to give some ideas of its shape and of the parts necessary to accomplish its purpose. Then, the designer makes drafting room sketches of the individual parts in correct dimensions and then a full sketch of proposed products. After this experimental models are prepared. Before moving on to a product design, the models of the proposed products should be thoroughly tested to make sure that they will function properly for a certain period and under varying conditions.
  • Aesthetic Design: Before production on a commercial scale is undertaken, another type of design must be integrated with the functional design and it is aesthetic design or style or fashion design for market acceptability. The emphasis on styling has become the functional design during recent years. It is not enough to be sure that functional design of the proposed is good and economical,but it should be appealing to the customers eyes and inducing them to buy the product.
  • Production Design: Generally the functional design is translated to production design to make it easy to manufacture. Production design means a design which may result in affecting the economics without affecting its functional efficiency. As soon as the product has been taken fully tested to determine whether it is functioning correctly, it must be checked to see if any design changes can be made that will affect economies when the item is produced but will not affect its functional efficiency. In carrying out production design, any special tools, jigs or fixtures needed in production should be noted and their designing should be carried out by the tool department.
  • Parking Design: Parking design should also be appealing to the consumers depending upon the size and the nature of the product. Different packing materials can be used to suit the consumers needs and to maintain the chemical properties of the product. The product designer should use as far as possible standard parts or assemblies to reduce the cost of production because standard parts in some cases may be purchased cheaper from outside firms specializing their manufacture.The product designer should also know the possibility of simplification and diversification of product.

Importance of Product Design

The importance of product design is explained through the following points:

  • Product design is a critical factor in organizational success because it sets the characteristics, features, and performance of the service or good that consumers demand.
  • Product design plays a vital role in lowering the cost of manufacture for competitive advantage.
  • Product design is important in making more profits by attracting more customers through its design and packaging.
  • To enter into new prospective business through related diversification, product design is essential.
  • Product design can also be an important mechanism for coordinating the activities of key supply chain participants.
  • Product design is an essential activity for firms competing in a global environment.
  • Product design shapes the product’s quality. It defines the way that and service functions.