help! what's the typical ID process in America? (comparisio)

Hi guys I am working on product design process right now…and that’s a part of my thesis… I am wondering if anybody can tell me about the typical industrial design process in USA design companies?

as far as I can see(i am an ID student in U.S.A right now), America has very comprehensive design process if compare with emerging countries.

I’ve written down the typical project process in China, which is pasted on the bottom of this post. and also, there are some poiints I’ve already discovered:. like :

a.original design process is simplified
Brainstorming is not a necessary part in China
Sketching is not applicable in China
Persona is not applicable in China
Fuzzy design phases eliminated (rustic design ideas, etc)
Story board is not applicable in China

b.Other aspects are emphasized
Pro/Engineering is must-learn software for many designers
Design stories are delivered by visual presentation instead of oral and text

would you please point out any difference if compare with America?

thankyou very much !!

design process in China

  1. Take the project
    Get the task from outer client or inner client
    Hardware Dep. Design period
    Mechanical Eng. Dep. Work on layout
    Project Magement Dep. Work on Design Requirement Sheet (including target market segment, target price, unit cost, etc)

  2. Industrial design phase
    ID meeting (identify & distribute design directions ) 2 hrs
    2D design: 5 days (including design research)
    Client review 2D
    (target market survey)
    3D design: 4 days
    CMF (Prepare color sample for appearance model, color, material, fabic)
    Appearance model: 5 days
    Client review appearance model
    (target market survey)

  3. Mechanical Design phase
    All Departments meeting
    Mechanic Engineering design period: 1week (ID assist)
    Working sample
    Adjustments / meeting / adjustments…

  4. Experiment Production phase
    EP1/ EP2/ EP3
    During EP1~EP3:
    ID use produced parts for color samples
    ID confirm the die and produced parts (color, shape, printing, etc. )
    Client confirm every parts
    Manufacture provide part samples (higher level and lower level)
    ID confirm

  5. Mass production phase

In general, I follow ISO 13407: International Standard for Human-centered design processes for interactive systems.

Because I design medical devices, I also follow ANSI/AAMI HE47 and HE74 (Human Factors processes.)

I also apply the emerging best-practices from the following sources–almost all publish a periodical for this purpose:

PDMA (Product Development Management Association)
IDSA (Industrial Designers Society of America)
DMI (Design Management Institute)
SIG-CHI (ACM Special Interest Group in Computer-Human Interaction)
UPA (Usability Professionals Assoc)
HFES (Human Factors and Ergonomics Society)
CDF (Corporate Design Foundation)

I also like the following textbooks:

Creating Breakthrough Products, Cagen & Vogel (I highly recommend this once as it is Industrial-Design specific and the result of empirical study of successful ID practices)
Contextual Design, Holtzblatt & Beyer
About Face 3.0, Alan Cooper
Winning at New Products, Robert Cooper
Revolutionizing Product Development, Wheelright & Clark
New Products Management, Crawford & Benedetto

Now that I’ve said that, here’s what I’ve seen in the US in the last decade:

  1. Competitive innovation pressures are pushing designers deeper into the Fuzzy Front End of New Product Development. In the past, too often designers have “designed to the brief” only to realize the brief was flawed. New disciplines like Design Planning are emerging, and higher-level degrees are bringing a higher degree of professionalism to the field, and also allowing design to climb the executive ladder and sit in a position of increased authority. This has also fundamentally changed how design is perceived–today people are more likely than ever to describe design as a process.

  2. Advancements in User Centered Design Research and Design Strategy. This feeds the above. Ethnographic research, HFE and Persona modeling have become standard practice in the last decade. Now the hot trend is Participatory Design and Strategic Design Frameworks.

  3. Blurring Boundaries and Integrated New Product Development (iNPD.) Working together with Marketing and Engineering to create a Useful, Usable and Desirable Product. The era of designers working as “secret wizards” is over. Design is also becoming democratized, and more people are participating in design–the boundaries are blurring.

Several consumer products companies that I’ve worked for in the past use the “Ready, Fire, Aim” process. Speed to market was everything.

Most successful products that I’ve developed use a simple process:

  1. Discover an unmet need (or white space in the market).
  2. Develop a well-designed solution as a team.
  3. Launch using thoughtful marketing and an appropriate price point.

Of course there is a whole convoluted process buried underneath these simple steps.

Every company has a different process. In my travels in China I’ve found that Step 1 is usually missing. It’s tough to do ethnographic research on your target market or find unmet needs from 7,000 miles away.

thanks cg and one-word-plastics.

as cg have mentioned, America have moved forward to do more work on fuzzy front edge, which is create ideas and do more design researches, and shift the manufacutre/ ODM to emerging countries like China. On the other side, China is on development phase, focus on “make a tangible product”. I think it’s also the reason that two countries can coporate on so many projects.

But if onlly talk about design process, as I’ve postedd, which was typical design process in ODM companies, could any one give me idea of how project works in American design firms? The more detailed descripition would be more helpful. …

At least we can be thankful that China doesn’t indulge in “mood boards”.

I’ve reviewed “trend analysis” form three different Design companies recently which cost $$$ and before looking at any of them I was confident that I’d be seeing pictures Fukasawa pruducts, Apple gear, Range Rover Sport, Muji products, and token Bouroullec items to name but a few. It’s the same mix and match time after time, and it’s cynical and lazy. The worst thing about this activity is that a) none of it actually contextualizes or adds values the resultant work in any way, and b) feeds suspicions about creative bankruptcy.

Can you imagine Ive, Rams, Eames, Wanders futzing around with mood boards?

Give me a break…