How to prepare when meeting an industrial designer

How to prepare when meeting an industrial designer

Meeting an industrial designer for the first time to discuss an upcoming project lays the foundation and sets the tone for how your proposed product will progress from concept to manufacturing and going to market.

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To make the most of your first point of face to face contact, it is important that you have all information at hand to ensure that everyone is on the same page.

Here are some considerations for how to prepare when meeting an industrial designer – and what your next steps will be after that all-important first meeting.

1. Clearly define your goals upfront

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Your goals for your planned product will serve as the guide for your industrial design team, which is why it is so important to clearly state, upfront, which pain points your product will need to solve – and how it is envisioned to add value to your consumers’ lives.

Refining your goals will enable your industrial design team to make recommendations based on your desired end result – ensuring that you will have a viable product for your target market.

2. Research your industrial design team before your first meeting

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You have likely already had a digital introduction to your industrial designer and their team, but it is worthwhile to revisit their profiles, such as their website and LinkedIn pages, as a refresher about the team. This will make you feel more at ease during your first meeting as you will be fully familiar with the individual team members.

3. Decide which team members need to be included in your meeting

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Depending on the size of your business, you might not include your full team in your meeting. Therefore, ensure that only key members are included that will actively be working on the project. Including more people than needed could waste valuable time away from the office and will not serve any purpose.

4. Come prepared with all relevant information

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Your first face to face meeting with your industrial team is an exciting first step to kick-start discussions on your planned product’s concept and taking the design process forward. Ensure that you have allocated enough time for this meeting and that the location will suit both your team and your industrial designers.

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Together with your predefined goals for your project, your meeting notes should include an agenda that will cover all points of the meeting, including your budget, desired time frame (which can be fleshed out during the meeting with input from your industrial design team), the background of your planned product and any other information that will provide clarity on the project goals.

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Be sure to plan for discussions on additional points and questions at the end of your session. Also, if any documentation still needs to be signed, bring enough printed copies that can be kept on record to the meeting.

5. Be clear about your expectations

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For your first meeting, it is important that you make clear if any design processes in the past didn’t work for you and your team, and how you addressed these issues.

Furthermore, your expectations for your current project must clear and easy to follow – and if any part needs to be defined more, ensure that the additional information is fully documented so that it can be distributed to both your internal team and your industrial design team after your meeting.

6. Discuss project timings and feedback sessions

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Industrial design, in itself, is a very agile process, which means you will likely be closely involved in the full process. During your meeting with your industrial design team, you can discuss how these updates will be communicated, whether via Skype, Slack, Zoom sessions or even if Trello or other Kanban boards will be used.

In terms of timings, communicate your proposed timeline, but also let your industrial design team guide you in where adjustments will need to be made and what the feasible steps would be. At the end of the meeting, agree on a date for your next catch-up session and what you would like to discuss during this meeting.

Also, be sure to establish who your main point of contact would be, as this will make communication easier.

7. Be flexible

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Remember: your industrial design team will give you feasible timing suggestions and proposed time frames based on their years of experience, so adapt and change as needed to ensure that no part of your product’s progress will be rushed unnecessarily.

This is especially important not only for your final product, but also for all your marketing efforts, including your product announcement and product launch.

8. Create a feedback document post-meeting

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Your feedback document will serve as a guidepost for everything that was discussed in your initial meeting, so consider using a Google Excel sheet where you can outline responsibilities, tasks and updates.

Ensure that all key team members have access to the document and that they can edit as needed. Consider emailing your first meeting’s notes too that can be kept on file.

Preparing for your meeting is the first step to success – ensure that everything is covered in detail!

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Preparing for your meeting with your industrial designer serves as a powerful reminder to you and your team of what you would like to achieve with a planned product. So, make the effort to cover all bases – and discuss any concerns that you might have upfront with your industrial design team!

If you are a potential client and you are ready to experience an exceptional journey for your next project with amazing results, contact us today. We would love to hear from you and to provide the personal touch that we have become known and respected for as one of Melbourne’s leading industrial design teams!