Why use a Product Design Consultancy?

A consultancy can turn a good product idea into a great and viable product


A full service agency can be instrumental in taking a good product idea all the way through to manufacture. Here we look at how valuable this expertise is to the success of turning your idea into a great product that can indeed be manufactured.

Fresh Perspective

In the first instance a product idea needs to be reviewed to establish whether there are any obvious conflicts with intellectual property or competition. If the idea is still considered viable it is advisable to conduct market research and to conclude this with mood boards, a simple tool which help all parties to further visualise the market place, spot trends that are developing in that market, locate inspiration for styling and showcase examples of how the product may be used.

Aesthetic Styling

Once a foundation for the product idea has been set, designers use sketch tablets and traditional paper and markers to rapidly explore ideas. Sketches are still a great way for a designer and their peers to collaborate, develop and set aside ideas without interrupting the creative flow. A mix of in-house traditional and rapid prototype techniques are used to test and explore those ideas in the context of their use. At this stage, risk assessments can be performed which help to gain a full understanding of the product, construct a comprehensive design brief and define the verification documents.

Once the ideas have been refined into concepts, photo realistic presentation images can be produced to show them in various contextual settings. These can be supported by animations and 360 degree fly arounds for added realism.  This area of technology is constantly developing with augmented reality and virtual reality available for a totally immersive experience.  This can be a costly process and not seemingly always the right approach, especially considering the real life experiences gained from a prototype.


A prototype is often viewed as the final check before committing to tooling but prototyping is a versatile and cost effective development tool which can be applied throughout the design process. The advances in 3D printing and the competition between prototype bureaus has continually lowered the cost of prototypes. Lower costs coupled with an increase in resolution and surface finish makes these prototypes a cost effective development tool. This approach might be used to solve a tricky problem in a mechanism, present several like for like appearance models for market research, assess fit and function, brief assembly technicians before manufactured parts are available or to build an exhibition quality facsimile for a product launch. Whatever type of prototype is produced it should always be reviewed thoroughly in order to extract the greatest benefit from it.

Manufacturing Specification

To take a product to manufacture, 3D CAD files and 2D control drawings are essential to communicate with manufacturers and ensure they understand the intended outcome. It is vital that drawings and data conform to recognised industry standards so they become globally acceptable. This will include tolerancing and conventions that any professional should be familiar with.
As a full service agency, Hillside Product Design have the experience and knowledge to take an initial idea all the way through to manufacture, we are well adapted to itemise our service and assist you and your team wherever you are in the development stage. Whether you already have a sketch, concept or basic CAD data; Hillside Product Design can help you to turn that into a great product that can be successfully manufactured.

Contact us today

If you’ve got an idea you want to take to market, we will assist you through your journey.  We work closely with all our clients to ensure they have all the support they need throughout the product development process.

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