The Importance of Product Design for Manufacturers

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Name: Liu Miaoyu
ID number: 11904339
The Importance of Product Design for Manufacturers
Compare and Contrast Apple and Blackberry Products

Product is the life of a company. It can determine the success and failure of companies. A good product can make a company live in a long-term success,whereas an unattractive product can lead to the reduced earning. A good product is based on a good design which still keeps developing until today. The importance of product design in a company is realized by a growing number of managers. That is why more and more new-tech products are appeared to our life. In term of mobile phone market, there are two outstanding brands: Apple and Blackberry. Apple Inc. was founded in 1976. In the first years, Apple Inc. was mainly concerned with the research and development, production and sales of personal computers. In 2007, Apple Inc. began to introduce its own brand of mobile phone production, and has been a huge success. It has introduced four kinds of mobile phones (iPhone, iPhone 3G, iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4) until now. Canadian company RIM (Research in Motion Ltd.) is the manufacturer of Blackberry mobile phone. RIM was founded in 1999, but it begun to push-off its products in 2004. It has marketed Torch, Storm, Bold, Curve, 87xx, 88xx, Pearl, Pearl flip so far. Their products are praised highly by a host of customers. This essay explains how product design is conceived, why it is important, and how it is promoted.

The concept of product design
Product design is a process that put purposes or requirements into specific physical form or tools which also can shows a plan, an image, or a solution of a problem. Product design reflects the economy, technology and culture of a company. In addition, design is not the narrow define which only involves in appearance and functions, but also include process design and brand strategy (Greasley, 2006). Product design process is an extremely complex program. The first step is to make a market research and analysis which can be done by collecting suggestions and requirements from customers. Then, screen the information. Because not all advices are possible or useful, they should be balanced and chosen the best to put forward a design idea. The next step is to make a preliminary design which needs to specify technologies, materials and workers that involves in the production and also need to decide how the manufacture will proceed. When the preliminary design has been finished, they should be examined and improved. The next step is to make prototypes, and give them to sever individuals for trial. The feedbacks of these individuals will help the further improvement and final design. When the design is submitted, it will be put into production. See the figure below. [pic]

Figure 1 Process of product design (Johnston et al. 2003).

The importance of product design
There was a research study which showed that UK companies which lack awareness of product design were less successful than other companies which put more emphasis on product design (Council for National Academic Awards, 1984). What could be the reasons for this lack of success? One of the reasons is that product design is the first thing that a company needs to take into consideration. “It is a prerequisite for product to occur.” (Schroeder, 2008). This is because it is an integral part of the manufacturing process and involves most workers, most of the budget of the firm and the company strategy (Roger, 2008). It is also connected to the corporate philosophy and image. For example, the corporate philosophy of Apple is “Think different” which is clearly reflected in the design of its products, such as the iMac. The iMac was the first PC which integrated the host machine,sound box and display as a whole. As a consequence, Apple established a popular corporate image. Likewise, RIM is a company which markets itself to...
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