When you say the words design process, the common misconception is that this is a stereotypical approach that leads to results… However, the design “process” (which I think is the wrong word to begin with) is a methodical, form-changing approach that requires understanding a problem and time to develop a solution. For example, designing a new design for a small consumer electronics device takes at least 6 months because, unlike writing code for a mobile app, where changes are done quickly (usually within days), in a world of physical product development, design iterations can take weeks or months.
While working on a project, designers move from the creatively smoother visual design phase to much more difficult and intensive phases as concepts are detailed, reviewed, and constructed. The development of the mechanical design of a new product consists of multiple tests using a variety of prototypes, excess engineering to ensure robustness and usability, and keeping an eye on the requirements of manufacturing technology. In addition, the dynamics of the whole process are strongly influenced by the decision-making skills of the Client … although it helps if the design studio has rich experience, and the multidisciplinary ability to move quickly from one stage to the next. .
A multidisciplinary design studio based in Poznan, Poland, Mindsailors contains every branch of the design and development process in-house, ensuring that ideas travel quickly and designs are communicated effectively between departments, from concepts to modeling, prototyping, to the integration of electronic equipment and even branding. This integrated approach has also helped Mindsailors make an impact, with 15 years of experience, 4 iF Design Awards and clients in a variety of fields ranging from home appliances and technology to even medical design and transportation design.
The video above does an amazingly amazing job of explaining the process and capabilities of Mindsailors in one sitting. All of their projects begin with research, scenario building and the development of the right design brief. Only then does the team get to work imagining, sketching, refining and detailing the concepts.
1. Teams start with a pre-design process to determine the scope of cooperation and project requirements. This helps to create an understandable project brief which will serve as a template for designers / engineers in the later stages, and will also help Mindsailors guide the client through the next steps so that they have a more detailed view of how the project will run and help meet the client’s needs.
2. This is followed by a preliminary round of the conceptual study that explores shapes, palettes, technologies and potential challenges. First, the teams collectively detail 3 concepts that correspond to the brief, which clients / clients should review before presenting their thoughts.
3. Once a concept has been approved, Mindsailors enters its second targeted conceptual study, during which they begin to apply finishes, develop and test printed circuit designs (if necessary) and transfer the ownership rights of the chosen concept.
4. Conceptual studies are followed by Mechanical design phase, which requires deepening the concept and building it from the inside out. The studio’s design and integration teams begin to create a mechanically correct model in the virtual space, along with the electronics and firmware. This is followed either by creating the first prototype or by finding the right partners to help it do it. The Mindsailors team assists with the consultation, research and finalization of materials + a datasheet required to create the first real prototype of the design.
5. Once a fully specified model is ready after defining / finalizing the materials and creating a datasheet, the studio proceeds to its DFM (Design for manufacturing), where Mindsailors helps customers select manufacturing partners and technologies, and presents customers with the Bill of Materials which completely details the design down to its smallest components and processes. This nomenclature helps customers easily calculate costs and move from a detailed product on paper to a mass-produced product in the real world.
6. The next step is an actual production test of the design, with Mindsailors drawing on its nearly two decades of experience to help. manufacture the first production batch. Mindsailors provides advice to manufacturers / subcontractors, monitors the production process and, depending on the nature of the product, sends the customer a first semi-finished or fully-finished batch for analysis and examination. This step progresses differently depending on the project, but Mindsailors helps ensure that what was initially an idea or concept, or even a napkin sketch, gets carried over to the real world as a well-designed, well-crafted product.
At the start of the pandemic, the team was approached by Acuva Technologies to develop a portable UV disinfection device. The resulting Acuva Solarix is the most powerful disinfection device available on the market and it fits in most pockets. The device comes with a collapsible shape that opens into a wand, allowing you to wave it over surfaces that need to be disinfected, and the UV lamps neutralize all microorganisms by dismantling their DNA. The team’s biggest constraint was time; practically against the clock as an invisible virus ravaged the country, Mindsailors helped assemble the Solarix in record time, leveraging their in-studio ability to take a rough concept and turn it into a mechanical design ready for the prototyping and mass production.
The award-winning studio also gives us insight into their process of designing the POTZ Genesis watch winder, for the European premium watch accessories company, POTZ. In the video above, Design and Business Manager Tomasz Weber takes us through the Genesis design journey and why it’s so much more than just a rotating surface you put your watch on. The creative end of the design process saw the creation of 5 different concepts after which customers arrived at the sleek black box inspired reel with its sophisticated yet mysterious design. However, the mechanical aspects of the watch winder turned out to be much more difficult than expected, with details such as hinges, brackets, lights, motors and the overall chassis requiring multiple adjustments and iterations. “Every part of the product had to be prototyped and tested,” said Tomasz, noting that the studio’s in-house technical capabilities allowed the whole process to go incredibly quickly, eliminating unnecessary delays and even allowing the customer to get first hand experience. of the product immediately before the design is delivered.
It’s not entirely common for designers or studios to be so open with their behind-the-scenes process, but Mindsailors believes this transparency helps clients better understand and trust the process. The 4-time iF Design Award-winning studio has worked with clients in areas ranging from home appliances and technology to even medical and transportation design, helping to build the studio’s repertoire to handle a wide range of projects. , most of the design process taking place in-house in their well-equipped studio. With 15 years of experience, the design and engineering studio has seen up to 160 projects through to execution. You can find out more of their work by visiting their website below.