Early Stage Design
April 8, 2021

The Importance of Research for Product Design

With millions new of products lining our shelves year by year, product innovation has gone beyond what it used to be. There are products for everything now, from cordless earphones to avocado savers, individuals are identifying consumer needs/wants and creating them into an experiences to share with the world. But how do you know if something YOU need, will be something everyone needs? How can you be confident your product will sell within the market?

Market Research

Market Research is a definitive point that allows you to look into whether your product has a space in the market. Research can be broken up into stages for product design and can allow you to identify and come to different realisations along the way. From exploratory research before you start design to testing your design with users within the market. Below is a guide to the part research plays within the design of products,

Pre-design - Exploratory Research

You may have an idea, you’ve found a need for a product, something you need for yourself but ct be confident other would want it too. At this stage in the design process research can allow you to explore the market, define what your product would need to be and allow you to generate more idea around what current consumers need/want. Exploratory research can be completed by interviewing friends around your idea (primary research) or researching the web for current statistics within a given field (secondary research). Once you have the research you need this can help you to begin designing your first prototype.

Experimental Research: Specific

A definitive second stage of research comes after you have your first design or prototype.  Experimental research involves taking your product out into the market to ‘test it’ and receive feedback. This stage of research is fundamental to improving your design/product so that it can adequately meet what your user’s wants/needs. WARNING- This stage could also knock you back and make you realise ‘hey people actually aren’t going to buy this” It may make your realise “it’s time for a redesign” or, maybe “I think its time scrap the project all together”. Although this can be hard to swallow, this stage of research has provided you with an answer earlier on, before you’ve gone done the path of production and thrown away money.

Types of research:

Research can be categorised into primary and secondary, quantitative and qualitative. Here is a list of ways to undertake your research, broken down.


  • Interviews - (Qualitative)
  • Questionaries ( Yes/No) - (Quantitative)
  • Sample survey (Quantitative)
  • Observational - ( Qualitative)
  • User testing/trials - (Qualitative)
  • Secondary Research
  • Literature reviews -  (Qualitative)
  • Internet research - (Both)
  • Market and government reports -  (Both)

related posts