Olivier Roux, designer at Altyor, gives you 8 tips for designing your smart product.
#1 – The product environment: the basis for initiating a design
Smart building, medical devices, sports environment – as you can well imagine, different products will have different prerequisites and requirements in terms of materials, colors and even touch sensation. It is therefore essential to take the environment into account in order to create a suitable design.
#2 – Smart products: designs to be adapted
At Altyor, most of our products are smart, and this has an impact on the product’s graphic design. The design becomes more than merely pretty packaging, but must be thought through to take into account the proper integration and securing of the electronics. Antenna issues, battery size and waterproofing constraints can all impact on design.
#3 – Marketing strategy: what message does your design convey?
The message depends on the objective. Here are some questions you can ask yourself:
Are you looking to innovate on the conventional perception of the product?
What is the product’s target audience?
Do you want your product to be environmentally friendly?
What emotional reaction do you want to evoke in your customer, i.e. what will be the UX (user experience) of your product?
In which segment will my product be positioned (luxury, consumer, etc.) ?
It may of course be that several of these objectives can be achieved at the same time – what is important is that they are well defined at the beginning.
#4 – Market trends: an influence or not?
Each era has its own mood. Should you follow the trend or not? If the answer is yes, this may facilitate market acceptance of your product. However, you may also want to present a new, surprising or even disruptive concept.
When it comes to trends, there are several levels: general trends (colors, types of shapes, etc.) and trends specific to YOUR market. Whether you wish to innovate or follow the conventions of similar products, consider carrying out a competitive analysis.
#5 – Industrializable design: saving time and money
When we design a product, we integrate most of the constraints from the start in a mechanical architecture phase, which takes place at the same time as the design phase. This phase allows us to create a design suitable for industrialization by controlling all cost constraints from the beginning. Our experience allows us to accurately identify the cost implications on the number of parts, their size, and the materials and processes used. A qualification plan and a functional analysis followed by an FMEA allow us to list the entire product spectrum for an optimal design and to “de-risk” the production process.
#6 – 3… 2… cost reduction – what exactly is it?
Once the product is manufactured and put on the market, it is sometimes possible to cut costs by practicing what is known as cost reduction. This may involve giving a product a second life, for example by reducing the costs of electronic components. Redesigning the product can also lead to savings on the product price by optimizing industrial processes. This can be achieved, for example, by reducing the number of parts, changing the material or how it is manufactured.
#7 – The outer packaging: a component not to be overlooked.
Yes, the packaging should not be overlooked, but it must be consistent with the selling price of the product. Sometimes packaging will play a major role in the final customer’s buying decision, and sometimes it will not be so important. It is normal to want highly aesthetically pleasing packaging for your new product, but you should keep in mind the right balance between what it adds and what it costs. You will also need to think about any transportation issues related to its size.
#8 – Where does the environment come into all this?
The collective conscience is waking up to this issue. The environment, recycling, eco-design, the circular economy – all these factors are now an integral part of product development. Altyor is onboard with this approach. We can design simpler products to facilitate recycling, and use materials that are already recycled or that have a lower carbon footprint. We can also look into simplifying packaging.