Do you have a concept to bring to life that requires software capability? If so, how much attention have you given to this aspect of the project? When considering software for product design, it is important to make sure you are working with a team who fully understands your end goal, and feel confident to help you make it happen.
Off the Shelf Software Solutions
The direction your team take you in regard to software solutions will usually depend on two key factors; time and budget. In a nutshell, if you have a super tight deadline and/or a low budget, you’re going to need to be a realist and consider an off-the-shelf software package that simply supports the functionality your product requires.
The type of software that will support your product properly, is something you really want to ensure that your product design team are considering early in the product design journey. Your product design team should be a font of knowledge in this department. If, however they don’t have the in-house capability, they will likely seek to outsource this element to someone like our team here at Conficio. This will ensure that an additional layer of expertise and experience is being provided, so you can be confident that the end result reflects in top level performance.
No matter who is directing the software aspect of your product, always be sure that they are fully up to speed on the desired outcomes, timelines and budgetary constraints.
Photo by Fotis Fotopoulos on Unsplash
Header photo by Markus Spiske from Pexels
Bespoke Software for Product Design
If your project has a very particular outcome to achieve, you may need to consider a far more bespoke approach. If you have the budget and the time, you may as well aim to attain product design nirvana!
In fact, if your product is a completely new concept and the end result is something that simply hasn’t been done before, you will almost certainly need to tailor your supporting software precisely to your project. Fantastic for your product USP, but don’t forget to protect your IP! (Check out our feature on IP protection).
Usually, bespoke software creation is the pricier option, but with that comes a truly unique product and functionality that no-one else is likely to have!
Markus Spiske from Pexels
Outsourcing Software for Product Design
In some cases a product design team will need to outsource this element of the project, as it may not be a skill they hold in-house. At Conficio our team is made up of product design engineers, software engineers and electronics engineers.
This means that when it comes to designing the product and looking for the right software solution, our team are able to shorten your product realisation time, bringing expertise from both product design and software design experience, in order to ensure we are able to meet your brief.
This makes life a lot easier and smoother when you consider the overall design process. It enables a bit more conversation and it’s easier to go back and forth. An in-house team can be more confident that the solution provided is right for the job. There is less chance that someone in the chain is going to influence a change the brief, halfway through the job. This can be a costly price for you, the investor.
Do Your Research
We strongly recommend you seek out a software engineer with experience in creating the same type of product, and/or same level of product functionality, that is reflected in your final product specification. This will get you off on the right foot, with fewer questions from the get-go.
Check that your team are able to provide the types of skills you require for your product, before you start. Find the approach that makes your life smoother throughout this journey. Be mindful of any hidden costs such as project handover, if you choose to bring together multiple teams.
When speaking to product design consultancies, don’t be afraid to ask; How will you support that skill if you don’t have a software engineer? Who do you partner with for your software support? How will you manage delays in the workflow both internally and externally?
For more on how to source the right consultancy for you, check out this feature.
In asking these sorts of questions you’re likely to get a good feel for how you may be able to work with the team in question. Needless to say, we recommend selecting a team that will best fit your concept, your values and your approach to product launch. You might be speaking with them for a while, so make sure it’s a good fit!
If you have any questions from this feature unanswered, please do drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We’re always happy to talk through software, electronics, product design, and anything else we can geek out too quite frankly!