The pace of technological advancements has dramatically increased over time. New disruptive technologies can potentially make your products obsolete very quickly. For example, the lighting industry is being forced to shift quickly from incandescent bulbs to LED technologies. Similarly, smartphones are heavily influencing customer expectations for all handheld devices and many appliances, with people expecting color displays, high resolution, large screens, and an interactive touch-screen experience for products that previously never “communicated” with them.

Another example is wearable technology, which has seen explosive growth in recent years. Wristband devices track our sleep, diets, exercise, heart rate, anxiety and more. There are “smart rings” and biometric clothing that perform the same function, relaying health metrics to your phone – and light-sensitive bathing suits that monitor how long the wearer has been exposed to the sun.

What does this all add up to? Consumers have been accustomed to “connected” products feeding them a steady stream of metrics. This thirst for connected, non-stop information is only getting stronger.

If you are not on top of these shifts in both technology and customer expectations, you could be easily left behind by competitors who are more in tune with the changing landscape.

Here are some questions to ask during the earliest stages of your product design process:

  1. What are the latest trends in your industry that you can take advantage of? For example, the use of materials such as carbon fiber, nanotechnology, etc.
  2. What are the latest trends in manufacturing technologies that are relevant to your product and which could help you speed up prototyping/manufacturing and/or reduce your costs?
  3. How is your manufacturing partner staying on top of these trends and improving their capabilities? If they are out of the loop, can you find other manufacturers who are more tech-focused and can manufacture your product at the same or higher quality?
  4. Can the manufacturing partner showcase their past successes using new manufacturing technologies? What key learnings have they had from adopting these new technologies?

Of course, the above questions represent only a small fraction of what you should be asking yourself before you even log into your CAD platform.

To make your design journey easier, Onshape’s latest eBook provides a must-have checklist for you to pressure-test your ideas. The “10 Design Questions That Can Make or Break a New Consumer Product” come from mid-career engineers and designers who graciously shared their decades of product development experience. Their companies specialize in a wide range of products, including: acoustic equipment, home furnishings, baby products, athletic gear, power tools, farming equipment, FM radios, and bicycles.

Despite the diverse focus of these successful companies, it’s remarkable how much their product design and development processes share in common. Their hard-learned lessons can now benefit you, potentially saving your company time, money and frustration.

Download your copy of “10 Design Questions That Can Make or Break a New Consumer Product” today!