TDI believes strongly in the importance of developing a comprehensive and effective functional product specification for any new design. Developing such a specification should come easily for established companies (though this is not always the case) but the process can be extremely daunting or beset with difficulties for entrepreneurs or new start-ups. TDI can help with product specification development by drawing on its breadth and depth of experience in helping to create stand-out, successful designs across a wide spread of product types and commercial markets.

Key to our approach is a process of partitioning product features and characteristics into a set of distinct categories. Working with the client we will help them build a picture of those aspects of the design that matter most to the end user. Integral to this activity, our client may be encouraged to conduct appropriate focus-group market research activities to better understand – and then act accordingly on – the “voice of the customer”.

Account also needs to be taken of the specification of any competing products within the relevant marketplace. Thought should also be given to the direction in which competitors might take future products, building on the foundation of their existing designs and taking advantage of particular company know-how or acknowledged strengths. Our client’s proposed product is then reappraised to ensure that it continues to offer appealing benefits.

We will also guide our client to consider protecting any novel intellectual property (IP) that can be identified within the planned product. TDI can offer an introduction to one of several specialist IP law firms who can give professional advice, including help to draft a patent application, should this be considered appropriate. Equally important is a patent search to provide a reassurance that the proposed new product does not infringe any existing patents or registered designs.

Taken together, our initiatives can help the client to mould a thorough and unambiguous product specification. This will allow the most critical factors in a design to be identified and highlighted, thus enabling product development efforts to be geared towards ensuring that prominent focus is placed on superlative implementation of key features. This, in turn, will lead to higher potential user satisfaction ratings, boosting a product’s prospects for greater commercial success.

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