Concept sprint teardown – How we produce viable concepts quickly

So you have a brilliant design idea, and you’re motivated to get it on the market as soon as possible, or at least get some polished visualisations of viable concepts together so that you can find investment.

Great!  You’re excited to get started and you call a product design consultancy to get the ball rolling, and are told that the process behind taking a product from a rough idea through to a beautiful and thoughtfully developed solution can often take upwards of eight months, if not one or two years.

Great products can take a lot of time to come to fruition and there are many valuable parts of the design process that shouldn’t be skipped in order to quickly reach any solution, but how can we accelerate the process to get a well thought out solution in a much faster time frame?  Sprint!

At Realise Product Design, we’ve developed and adapted methodologies that enable us to sprint through the insight and concept design phases to produce concepts that are well resolved, feasible, and presentable in as little as two weeks.  The process and output is always slightly different to ensure that it’s tailored to each individual project, but we’ve written up a quick overview of a sprint to show you the method behind our madness.

What happens in each stage?

Idea generation

Our design team propose as many solutions as possible in a matrix format, assessing how each key requirement of the project can be solved with features of the product.  For example how can the enclosure provide visual feedback, how can the charging point be intuitive, etc.  These become the ingredients for the concept generation phase.

Output: 100+ solutions

Concept generation

The team votes for solutions based on their experience and knowledge, and each designer then selects and combines voted ideas into a number of whole conceptual solutions.

Output: 30 – 40 initial concepts

Concept evaluation

We split into smaller teams that have a good balance of technical and creative ability, and review the strengths and weaknesses of each concept.  The teams also identify risks within the concepts and suggest potential solutions so that we can take the most viable concepts forwards.

Output: 15 – 20 viable concepts

Feasibility studies

Each of the remaining concepts are put through a feasibility study to ensure that all of the concepts we are proposing are technically viable for development and eventual production.  The level of detail explored in these feasibility studies depends on the end requirements of the sprint phase.

Output: 5 – 10 feasible concepts

Concept exploration

Now that the feasibility of the concepts has been established, we further develop and validate the designs in a 3D CAD environment.  Here we hone in on the geometry and functionality of the concepts, working to ensure that they meet the original key requirements.

Output: 2 – 3 refined concepts

Concept ranking

Concepts are ranked against the key requirements to assess the most appropriate solution to the brief.  This puts us in a strong position for the next phase of the project, where we develop and refine the concept further.

Output: 2 – 3 ranked concepts for development selection

Using these methods, we’ve made ourselves adept at delivering great projects in extremely tight timescales without compromising on the quantity or quality of the work carried out, and we’re proud of it!  So the next time you have a project that needs an expert team to produce the work in a fraction of the time, think sprint! Think Realise Product Design