Manage your research, design and development

Managing the design process


A successful design stems from a collaborative process involving good planning and communication. It is equally important to have a solid, carefully considered strategy for research and development.

The design brief

Whether you use an in-house designer or an outside agency, their work will only be as good as the information you provide. You will need to brief your designers comprehensively on:

  • details of your aims and objectives
  • every function and feature you want your product to have
  • information about your marketplace, your business and its objectives

Be clear about who will own any intellectual property arising from the collaboration.

See our guide on how to choose and work with a designer.

The concept stage

Once your designers have analysed all the elements of the design brief, they'll draw up their first proposals. These may be on paper or involve making models of the proposed product. Research and testing is important as the proposals are refined.

Implementing and reviewing your design

Unforeseen problems can arise as the product is prepared for production. You may need to review what is possible and make subsequent redesigns before manufacture can happen. For this reason it is important that the designers are still fully involved during the implementation process.


After successful testing, it's time to move to the production stage - though you may need to get special tools made before you can begin manufacture. Your designers must be on hand during production to communicate their ideas to the engineers, IT experts and others involved in this process.