If you require product design services for your company or if you are an individual who has an idea for a new product, then you’re probably going to need to enlist the services of an industrial design company. But how to tell which one is right for you? It’s best to ask them these questions when you sit down for an interview with their representatives.
How Do You Obtain an Ideal User Persona?
For those who are unaware, an ideal user persona is an imagined version of the person who is most likely to be buying your products. In other words, it’s your ideal customer, the person who you think is most likely to delight in whatever it is you are making and trying to sell.
The reason an ideal user persona hypothesis matters is that if your product design company doesn’t bother coming up with one then the method by which they will design your product and its packaging will be haphazard and lack focus. The way that a user persona model is attained is through market research, so the company you use should know how to do that.
Their method may be different than what some other company might do, though. When you ask this question, you want to get some details from them as to what techniques they use to best assess the kinds of people who are going to buy your products. The importance of this can’t be overstated, so if the product design company that you are considering doesn’t seem to care about this issue or glosses over it, then they will likely not be the best fit for you.
Do You Focus on Visual Appeal or User Experience?
The product design services you want are likely going to include user testing of the product for functionality. They shouldn’t stop there, though. A product might be functional and fulfill the use for which it was intended, but if it is visually uninspired or unappealing, then it’s not likely to be a bestseller.
When you ask this question, what you want to hear is that the product design company that you have employed can help you out in not one of these areas but both. You want your product to look good but also perform well. A product design company that can deliver in just one of these areas is not sufficient. The best companies can do both and will be quick to tell you so. Think about products that you see on store shelves. Are you more inclined to get the one that has a drab appearance or the one that appeals to you visually?
What Are the Graphic and Structural Design Backgrounds of Your Employees?
The goal for your product design company is to come up with a blueprint for your product, make it work as it should, and then get it to market. Because of this, all kinds of skills are needed.
Asking about the graphic and structural design backgrounds of the company’s employees is you doing your due diligence as it relates to the needed skill sets that are going to be required if you want your product to be the best that it can be. If you’re hearing that the employees of a product design company are all self-taught, then that’s probably not an answer that is going to inspire a lot of confidence. What you want to hear is that the employees have formal training in the arena of engineering and that they have degrees from accredited institutions of design.
Do You Have Lots of Repeat Clients?
Repeat clients are an indication that past employers have found the product design services that this company provides to be satisfactory. If there have been several repeat clients, then that’s good news.
It’s not a bad idea to get some references at this point. If there is some company that has hired this agency on multiple occasions or has an ongoing working relationship with them, then calling and talking to them about the agency should tell you what quality of work you can expect from them. Past clients should be able to recommend the company that you are considering with no reservations.
What Kind of Infrastructure Do You Have in Place?
The best product design companies will have an extensive infrastructure system in place to facilitate high-quality manufacturing. They should be eager to have you tour their facilities.
You’re looking for user testing areas, labs for designing the products, the ability to handle logistics, etc. You need a company with plenty of resources.
Can You Handle High Volumes?
Related to this is the question of whether the company’s production and supply chain can handle mass manufacturing of your product if that’s something you are going to need. There are all kinds of product design companies, and some of them are perfect for small boutique products while others specialize in designing something and then churning out two million of them in less than a week.
Think about what your needs are. Are you looking for that company with mass-manufacturing capabilities? If so, make sure that they have the machinery in place so that won’t present any issues.
The product design services that you need are going to vary depending on all sorts of factors. It helps to make a list when you’re starting as to what kinds of help you’re going to need. If you ask these questions of the company you hire, though, you should be able to get some idea of whether they’re on the same wavelength as you. If they are, you can partner them on a trial basis. If all goes well, then you sign a long-term contract with them.
Be sure that the company you use has the same enthusiasm for bringing your product to market that you do. You want people working with you that want to see you succeed and are driven to turning your ideas into bestsellers.