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  • Product Design Ideation at Chalkboard

Product Design

Product design entails many elements: industrial design, CAD, prototyping, manufacturing, and so much more. Our talented design team is well-versed in all of the design disciplines and can apply them to a project for just about any market.

Product design is an elaborate process, always striving to strike a balance between form, function, and business objectives. This delicate dance requires a skillful designer with vision to understand human factors, trends, feasibility, human behavior, and yes, aesthetics. Our accomplished design staff understands that the role of the designer requires much more than applying a colorful skin to the outside of a product to make it reach its full potential.

Concept Sketches - Exploring function and broad ideas

More Than Just Pretty Pictures…

A project starts with an in-depth dive into understanding everything about the task at hand. We focus on the end users, how the product is to be utilized, the critical functions, features and benefits, and any other relevant design drivers.

We question nearly everything. These foundational insights offer the product design team and client better overall resource management and quality of outcome.

We understand that design is the essential link between person and product, and must be considered from the perspective of all constituents involved throughout the process from manufacturers to retail stores, but most importantly the end user. It’s about creating the right aesthetic, not just a pretty aesthetic. It’s designing the full interaction, not just the visual. This has universal market relevance, applying to everything from consumer products to industrial machinery. We don’t just draw pictures: we make, try, prototype, and apply our collective expertise to the problem to devise a comprehensive solution.

Concept Renderings - Aesthetic industrial design drawings

…But They Sure Are Pretty

Our team has the utmost respect and appreciation for attractive, visually appealing design of all kinds and a passion for bringing beautiful products to life. We truly believe that form should serve to accentuate the function and enhance the overall experience for the user in every way. There are too many flashy products on the market that end up leaving the consumer dissatisfied due to a design oversight.

But does beauty affect your bottom line? Yes – studies have increasingly shown that an investment in design pays dividends. For example, by modifying and improving design and user interfaces, Whirlpool has launched new machines that sell for three times the price of the models they replace (Design Council Magazine, Issue 5, Winter 2008). A product is a company’s face to the world, and as such deserves to look and function as perfectly as possible.

Design process from hand sketches to computer renderings from CAD - Brainstorming ideas before converging

Finding the Right Design

Sometimes, the key to having a good idea is to have lots of them —our industrial design process begins with a flurry of quick and dirty thumbnail sketches that explore various ideas and solutions. As many as 100-plus sketches can be developed, each with different ideas to convey.

It’s not always easy to create a slew of ideas — it’s even more difficult to narrow them down. When the time comes to converge, we leverage our multi-disciplined staff members’ expertise. A handful of different ideas are selected to take further into refinement. This stage in the process frequently requires quick prototypes or CAD models for functional and ergonomic reference, not just sketches. In the end, after thorough scrutiny, one final product design direction is selected. The success of this process hinges on our team of uniquely trained eyes with extraordinary design capability.

High fidelity painted and functional prototype - Resolving design details

The Final Touches

The devil is in the details, and product design is no exception, where every little detail must be scrutinized to a pain-staking level.

What shape and size should the buttons be?
What color, materials and finish should be used to maximize overall appeal, while still keeping the production cost within budget?
What elements need to be considered to follow a company’s established VBL (Visual Brand Language)?

As a finished render gets closer to completion, the worlds of design and engineering begin to merge.
Contrary to common practice, we keep the industrial designer involved throughout the entire product development process. Designers and engineers work seamlessly as one from start to finish. The engineer is not left to his own devices to interpret the product design on an island. Involvement by engineering right from the start gives deep insight to the designer so an unrealistic design doesn’t become the focus early on, resulting in wasted time and money. This product design partnership ensures a healthy balance is struck between functionality, manufacturability and aesthetics.

Product design involves a lot more than people sometimes consider. We don’t just draw pretty pictures; we ideate, create, test, try, collaborate, revise, and bring ideas to life.

Product Design Services We Offer

  • Industrial Design
  • Product Strategy & Roadmapping
  • Competitive Analysis
  • Ideation / Brainstorming
  • Concept Sketching & Rendering
  • Form Studies
  • Soft Goods Design
  • Human Factors & Ergonomics
  • Usability & Feature Enhancement
  • Aesthetic Development
  • CAD
  • Prototyping
  • Photorealistic Computer Renderings