Speed to Market: Design is essential from day one of product creation

By , agencyfaqs!, New Delhi | In Marketing | August 27, 2007
Ashish Deshpande, principal designer and co-founder, Elephant Design, focused on four aspects of a product's life-cycle with reference to design, namely, culture, value-add, co-creation and prototyping

Ashish & #BANNER1 & # Deshpande, principal designer and co-founder, Elephant Design, shared his views on product strategy and design, with reference to speed to market, during the one-day seminar, Speed to Market, organised by agencyfaqs! in association with 'Dainik Jagran' and Hughes.

Deshpande said he believed that the entire concept of product was dissolving today. Earlier, a product was a tangible object, but today, services, too, are considered products. Companies are increasingly involving designers from the product conceptualisation stage.

Deshpande pointed to two international firms which have created a strong design-oriented corporate culture. The first, of course, is Apple. The other is Spanish fashion retail chain, Zara. Deshpande said that Zara is totally clued into consumer trends and executes new products with impressive rapidity.

Ashish Deshpande
Another important factor that he pointed out to be essential for design was the concept of value-add. Giving the example of Philips, he explained how it created fun around MRI scan machines to keep children entertained during the scan process, a usually scary experience. He also pointed to an initiative by Intel, which introduced the rural PC in India, China, Philippines and other emerging markets.

Co-creation, he emphasised, was another essential factor, wherein the user himself helped the designer to create design. He said this necessitated moving out onto the streets and understanding the user, as design happened at ground zero. It needed to be understood that markets change, as do users, and this should be kept in mind while designing a product. He stressed that it was important to be unafraid of failure.

Lastly, he stressed the importance of prototyping. Giving the instance of James Dyson, who created the bagless vacuum cleaner of which some 5,000 prototypes were made before he was actually convinced about the final product, he established his point well.