Here’s a crazy stat: roughly 95% of all products fail the first year that they enter the market. Many of those products may even be great ideas. But because of issues faced somewhere along the production process, many of them don’t even make it into the hands of consumers.

If you believe you’ve got a great product, what are some steps you can take to ensure that it doesn’t go the way of that 95%? Well, one of the most reliable ways is learning good product design. A well designed product stands a much better chance at long term success.

We’ve outlined 7 key steps on how to design a product below.

  • Utility

The number one key is to make your product useful; that’s the primary goal. While looks and cost are important, if the product has no utility, nobody will be recommending it or buying it again. The customer should have a clear understanding of why they’re purchasing the product.

Keep in mind that you’re not designing this for yourself. So you should consult with others about any personal preferences that you have. Be willing to do away with them if necessary.

  • Functionality

When spending so much time on one product, many people begin to expand on their original idea and give it way more features than it really needs. When designing a prototype, keeping the bare bones functionality is crucial.

You don’t want to spread your initial resources too thin. Your product should be good at what it is intended for. Once you have that down, you can expand on your functions.

  • Your Product is Solving a Problem

All inventors are solving a problem that people have. Even though some people might not have realized that they had a problem until the solution was presented to them, the principle is the same nonetheless.

You’re trying to make people’s lives easier by making jobs less difficult. And solutions are what sell.

  • Keep you Goals in Mind

Have the goal in mind throughout the entire process. It’s easy to get caught up and bogged down in little problems or get pulled aside by interesting new ideas. But one of the most important aspects of product design is keeping your goal in mind: the problem you’re trying to solve.

Again, solutions sell. And everything in the product design process should be geared toward solving that problem.

  • Aesthetics

While aesthetics aren’t the number one priority, it’s certainly an important part of creating a marketable product. The design of the product should clearly communicate what the product is designed to do.

It should catch someone’s eye as they walk past it on the shelf. They should be able to tell without much effort what the product does and the problem it solves.

  • Pay Attention to Detail

Don’t forget to pay attention to the little things. Consider a company like Apple, whose product design pays extremely close attention to the detail. And the end result is one of the most successful and innovative products ever.

  • Keep it simple

Again, the product you’re designing should be understood easily. It should be intuitive and easy to grasp. The elements that make up your design and prototype shouldn’t be cheap. You’ll need quality parts. If you’re designing a prototype from wood, Inventables’ X-Carve is a great product to check out for the precision and intuitive format.

If you think you have a great product in mind, be sure to adhere to the solid principles of design. Knowing these can make or break your journey as an inventor.