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4 Things to Know Before Hiring a Product Design Firm

As a startup, brand or manufacturer developing a new physical product, you are probably already familiar with the importance of industrial design services in the success of your product. With industrial design being such an impactful part of development, it is important to know some key considerations before hiring a product design firm or studio to design your company’s new products and find the right design firm.

Outdesign Co is a product design and development company working with clients around the world to design innovative new products. Get a free quote for product design services.

1) Deep understanding of manufacturing constraints

At first glance, it might seem odd that a design company is expected to have good knowledge about manufacturing processes and constraints. But it only makes sense when you consider that according to a Rolls-Royce study, product design determined 80% of the manufacturing cost of their products. The cost of bad design is way too high. To an untrained eye, what might seem like an aesthetically-pleasing, well-designed product might actually be a design that is not financially feasible to even manufacture.

At Outdesign, a product’s manufacturing cost-effectiveness is given as much important as aesthetics or user-centeredness, if not more. We therefore have knowledgeable engineers involved in the design process too, so that we are designing for the real world.

2) Support beyond industrial design

For small or mid-sized companies who don’t have mechanical engineers, or don’t have enough bandwidth to support new development, it becomes important to have someone oversee the design through to production.

This is best done by the same company who designed the product as they can convey their vision and bring it to reality most effectively.

At Outdesign, we go beyond industrial design, and also support the engineering development in order to take the product through to manufacturing while taking full accountability of the design and development process.

3) Experience with similar products

Industrial design is a broad field, there are different designers that specialize in designing automobiles, consumer products, furniture, footwear, soft goods and more. Each field has its own challenges that the designers need to be aware of. These challenges range from specialized industry knowledge to buying behaviors of the

customers. Therefore, finding a design partner that works in similar product category as yours would be a plus point. It doesn’t have to always be exactly the same product but similar enough works too. For example, if a design firm has worked on designing CNC machines in the past, they can easily translate those skills to designing something like a packaging machine. But if you ask the same firm to design footwear, they may not be able to produce good results, because those are widely different product categories.

At Outdesign, our portfolio and the products we work on is continuously expanding, so far we have worked on consumer products, industrial and machinery, electronics, pet products, eyewear, scientific and analytical equipment and several others.

4) Understanding the constraints of a startup and small businesses

Startups and entrepreneurs trying to bring a new product to market have a different set of constraints they work under as compared to large corporations with huge cash reserves and supplier networks. Is your product design firm familiar with those challenges you face as a startup or small business or are their processes more tailored towards working with large global corporations?

Tech behemoths like Apple can assemble a team of manufacturing experts and suppliers to find ways to execute highly challenging design features, but a startup trying to replicate the same features and manufacturing methods will run out of funds even before getting the product out. Funding constraints, uncertainty and relatively low manufacturing volumes need to be reflected in the way products are designed for smaller companies.


Outdesign Co is a product design & development company helping clients across 15+ countries turn their ideas into “World-Firsts” and award-winning products.

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