Product Design: What Exactly is it?

The inception of every brilliant (and not so brilliant) product out there on the market has begun through one person’s crazy idea.

While many of us have these potential sparks of inspiration, plenty of products never get off the ground because of people’s confusion on how to turn the idea into physical reality.

Product design is a blanket term used to describe this process, and something people outside of the industry occasionally struggle to completely wrap their heads around.

Whether you are a budding entrepreneur or simply someone with a good idea but unsure how to get it off the ground, here is an entry level explanation of product design.

Product Design

By Definition

Simply put, Wikipedia defines product design as “A very broad concept, it is essentially the efficient and effective generation and development of ideas through a process that leads to new products”.

While different product design businesses will offer varying services, the general process should include support in concept design, functional prototyping and product launching.

The Process

As mentioned above, different industries and businesses require different processes, however here we can outline the most common approaches.

Whether you have an idea in sketch form, prototype form or written down on the back of a beer mat, all product design companies help mark out your raw ideas into computerised 3D models and/or blueprints.

Next up is the prototyping of your product. While this used to be a slow and expensive process, it has evolved into a much cheaper, quicker process thanks to advancements in 3D printing.

With a trial and error approach, once you are happy with the product, they will help you prepare it for the particular market it is deigned for, or help you work out where it is best suited.


While plenty of people might assume product design is reserved for the creation of simpler products such as mobile phone cases or the latest children’s toy, it is actually used in a great deal of different industries.

Speaking to product design experts Cambridge Design Technology, they explained: “Due to technological advancements in the initial development process, businesses like ours can take on a wider range of different product industries.

“We currently help create products in mechanics, engineering, software and electronics, healthcare to name but a few.”

If you were unsure about the definition or uses of product design, then hopefully you should feel much better informed.

If you have a concept or perhaps simply half an idea, it is worth consulting a product design agency just to see if there might be any worth, or legs in developing such a product. You never know, you could be the next Thomas Edison or Steve Jobs.