7 Common Product Designing Mistakes to Avoid for Your Business


Each year, over 30,000 new consumer products are created, and at least 80% fail.

The competition is stiff, and just one product mistake can be enough to get it taken off shelves (or leave it sitting there, untouched, for months).

If you’re designing a new product for your business, look to these seven product designing mistakes and what to do instead.

1. Not Understanding the Product Development Process

Designing a product isn’t the same as product development.

Product development is a lengthy process that can’t be rushed. And if you don’t understand the process, or if you choose to skip steps, your product’s success will likely suffer because of it.

Developing a new product requires researching competitors and identifying consumers’ needs. Then, formulate ideas based on these points, and create a prototype when you’ve decided on one top idea.

After that, you must improve your design, validate the product, and start manufacturing it for sale.

Even if you have a great idea or design already, that alone isn’t enough without the other critical steps of the product development process.

2. Wanting Too Many Features

When designing new products, it’s easy to get carried away with bells and whistles.

But most consumers don’t actually care about a lot of features. Instead, they want to know how the product will benefit their lives.

Take a minimalist approach to product design, and limit features to only the most useful and meaningful.

3. Overlooking Safety

One of the biggest no-nos when creating a new product is forgetting safety. This can lead to a recall at best and an injury or even death at worst.

Some famous product safety blunders include food with salmonella and cars that easily caught fire. But even seemingly harmless products should be carefully inspected for safety issues.

In fact, one of the most dangerous products of our time may not even be tangible. Digital products, such as downloadable software, should be designed with security features to protect users’ privacy and prevent risky bugs.

4. Having Unrealistic Expectations

There are several ways that unrealistic expectations could dampen your product development progress.

For example, some product designers want a product done in a month when it will take closer to a year. And companies may expect their new product to fly off shelves after its release, even with minimal market research.

But perhaps the worst kind of unrealistic expectation involves manufacturing. You may have a smart product design in your head, but this means little when it comes to real-world manufacturing.

A product that is overly complicated or requires dozens of different materials may be difficult or even impossible to manufacture. Think about how easily you can replicate a prototype in order to get your product to the masses.

5. Creating Copies of Products Already on the Market

Not all products have to be wildly unique or innovative. In fact, many of the most successful products only slightly improve something already available.

But creating near-replicas of existing products on the market should be avoided. Not only could this lead to a lawsuit, but it can also be difficult to compete with a product if yours is practically identical.

Sometimes, product design ideas are accidentally inspired by another product you already saw. That’s why market research and validation is important when creating a new product. Be sure to check that your product doesn’t already exist or that you at least have something fresh to offer to consumers.

6. Forgetting Budgets and Consumer Costs

Designing a product can be fun, as you creatively think of new ideas and solutions that customers need. But some products may be too complicated and expensive to ever execute.

Product design should factor in a realistic budget for how much can be spent on prototyping and manufacturing. If your dream product has never been done before, you may believe it’s worth it to spend as much money as possible to make it a reality.

But in many cases, a high cost is exactly the reason why the product hasn’t been done already. And even though product design technology is constantly improving, many product ideas never come to fruition because they’re too expensive to create.

Not only can too-high manufacturing costs halt product development, but so can a steep price point. Consider how much customers will realistically pay for your product. If your product has a big budget and an expensive price, many may choose to not buy it, no matter how innovative it may be.

7. Not Testing the Design

Many of the biggest product design mistakes are due to a lack of product testing.

You should always test the product with your target audience or customer before it goes into the final production phase. Give testers a chance to use the product or even borrow it for a limited amount of time. Then, interview them on their experience.

Gather all feedback and use it to make any necessary changes. In some unfortunate cases, this could mean completely scrapping a product idea if the testers didn’t find it useful or if the price point would be too high.

Even if a product doesn’t pass the tests, knowing this information before manufacturing and launching it is always better than learning once it’s too late.

Avoid These Product Designing Mistakes

You may have an idea for the next big, trendy product. But some common product designing mistakes could destroy your chances of business success.

Avoid these mistakes to avoid being a part of the 80% of products that fail.

When you’re ready to market your new product, be sure to read our business articles for insightful advice!