Creating a new electronic hardware product seems to be a difficult process, especially when you are a beginner in this field and do not know where to start. This article will explain the main stages of a new electronic hardware product design and, thus, will guide you through this process.
Before the actual development of the new product, you need to determine its main features, marketability, and effectiveness. In order to do so, you can start with market research. Identify the main competitors of your product on the market, analyze their strengths and weaknesses, and evaluate the effectiveness of the solutions provided by them. Keep in mind that the existence of competitors should not scare you from launching your own product. On the contrary, it means that your future product is marketable and necessary for consumers. Once you make sure that there is a demand for your product, you can proceed to the next steps in your product development.
To be more specific, after confirming the marketability of your product, you should determine its main features. Do not include numerous functions and features in your product! Keep it simple! Indeed, it is one of the most common mistakes for beginners to attempt to create a product that would solve a wide range of consumers’ problems. Although this strategy seems beneficial, in reality creating such a complex product requires spending lots of time and money on it. Moreover, you cannot be sure that this product will succeed and more complex products are associated with more risks.
Finally, after determining the main features and functions of your product (remember – keep it simple), create a Proof-of-Concept (POC) prototype to ensure that your product actually works and solves the problem. The prototype should be a simple and inexpensive model of your future product.
Product development stage
So, your product is tested for marketability, its features and functions are determined and the prototype confirmed its effectiveness. What’s next? The actual development of your product. In the case when you and your teammates have sufficient skills in electronic engineering, you can develop the product yourself. However, in most cases, entrepreneurs willing to launch their electronic hardware product hire electronic hardware design companies. Thus, they ensure that their product will be created by a team of professionals with expertise in the field of electronic design.
The product development stage includes electronic and enclosure development. First, the design of electronic components of the product begins with estimation and determining technical requirements. After that, a prototype and PCB (printed circuit board) is designed. Keep in mind that the prototype at this stage differs from the one at the pre-development stage. Next, professionals create a hardware platform along with a necessary software package. Electronic components are being installed at the PCB and the electronic prototype is tested. Finally, when testing provides sufficient results, the product is prepared for mass manufacturing.
Second, enclosure development means the creation of a plastic ‘body’ of your product. This body can be either 3D printed, or designed industrially. Keep in mind that your product will be mass-manufactured, so you need to create an enclosure that will be cost-efficient in terms of injection molding manufacturing.
As you see, the process of a new electronic hardware product development is indeed complex, but hopefully, this article helped you to find out about the main stages of this process and the main concerns that should be addressed at each of the stages. Nevertheless, if you want to ensure the quality of your future product, we recommend you to hire electronic design professionals.