Difference Between Product Design and Product Development

Product development involves a lot of activities such as market analysis, conceptual design, product design, manufacturing, marketing, sales and customer support. These product development activities continues till the end of the product life cycle. Therefore product development is a broader term that involves activities from market research to end of product life cycle and product design is a part of it. In this article we will discuss what is the difference between product design and development?  Click this link!! to know the product design and development process.

Product Development is a creation of new products from scratch. It involves a complete product development cycle from idea generation to the end of the product life-cycle. In other words a product remains in the development cycle during its lifetime.

Product development starts from market analysis followed by product specifications, concept/industrial design, product design, costing, scheduling, testing, manufacturing, logistics, customer feedback, improvements and all other aspects of getting a product into the market.
Activities During Product Development

Product Development involves following activities but not limited to this only:

  • Idea generation
  • Market analysis : Business scope, competition, customer Base etc. 
  • Product specifications and target price finalization
  • Marketing
  • Concept industrial design
  • Detailed Design : Costing, product testing and value engineering
  • Manufacturing or production
  • Logistics
  • Sales
  • Customer feedback and Product Improvements.
  • Aftermarket services

What is Product Design?

Product Design Process involves creating new products as per customer need. A product can be a software, solution, service or a physical product such as a smartphone. Product design is a part of the product development cycle. Mostly technical people and area experts are involved in these activities.

Product Design process involves giving shape to product idea.
Product Design Activities

Product Design process involves following activities:

  • Concept design
  • User experience design
  • Architecture design
  • Detailed product design : mechanical, electrical, electronics or software design.
  • Design calculations : simulation studies
  • Product integration
  • Prototyping and testing
  • Product verification and validation

The product design team is responsible for the working of a product according to the design specifications and parts are manufactured in a given budget.

Example of Product Design and Development

To understand the difference between product design and product development. Let’s consider the example of the development cycle of a product.

First step in product design is market research. This involves understanding target market and product consumers, calculating market size, understanding  requirements and bench-marking etc. From this information marketing team creates a business case and analyses company prospects in a particular product. 

Next step is product design, prototyping, testing, certifications and Production. In parallel, marketing and sales teams work on product promotions and marketing. After initial prototypes shipped to customers. The sales team gets the feedback from the market. Product design and development teams including management analyze market feedback.

During the complete product life-cycle, support teams provide customer support and after sales services to customers.

Product Design vs Product Development

Following is the summery of the difference between product design and product development.
FeatureProduct DevelopmentProduct Design
ScopeInvolves activities from market reserch to end of product lifecycle.Involves detailed product design, verification and validation activities
  • Market analysis
  • Product specifications and target price finalization
  • Marketing and sales
  • Product Design
  • Manufacturing or production
  • Logistics
  • Customer feedback and aftermarket services
  • Concept Design
  • UX Design
  • Product Architecture Design
  • Detailed Product Design
  • Protyping and testing
  • Verification and Validation
Teams Involved
  • Sales and Marketing
  • Design
  • Manufacturing
  • Logistics
  • Design Team
  • Simulation Teams
  • Verification and Validation

We will keep updating more information on the difference between product design and development. Please add your questions or suggestions in the comment box.

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