Phase 2: Research
Paragon Innovations’ Series:
12-Stage Product Development Process
From Start to Success
Meta: Phase 2 of Paragon Innovation’s 12-Stage Product Development Series focuses on effectively researching the aspects of a design to ensure the successful development and deployment of products and cutting-edge devices.
The first module of Paragon Innovation’s 12-Stage Product Development Process focused on ideas and concepts surrounding initial product development. The series’ next step, Phase 2: Research, homes in on investigating and identifying important technical aspects that must be included to ensure successful development and deployment of your product. Let’s examine the important aspects that inventors should research thoroughly before proceeding to the next stages in their product development process.
Business Aspects of Product Development Research:
Acknowledging the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (SWOT analysis) that a product may possess is an effective way to research the positive and negative attributes of your design plans. Founder and Vice President of Paragon Innovations, Mike Wilkinson, says that a SWOT analysis is “a great way to determine how your product fits in with other alternative [devices] in the marketplace.” In this phase, inventors should be conducting in-depth market research to determine user habits, find opportunities, evaluate risks, and identify regulatory requirements surrounding their product’s industry.
Mike explains that “Most electronic products require some sort of regulatory approval, like the UL or Federal Communications Commission (FCC), before you can sell it to the general public.” Correctly establishing and identifying regulatory requirements and approvals devices need is key in researching the technical aspects of a development process. Some common regulatory certifications are:
- Federal Communications Commission (FCC)
- Industry Canada (IC)
- Conformité Européenne (CE)
- Electromagnetic Compatibility (EMC)
In the research phase, Mike notes that “A lot of work needs to go into this to make sure that you’ve really identified a solution to a problem out there.” Activities that inventors can use to conduct in-depth research on their design include:
- Risk evaluation. Can you identify any potential negative impacts that your product may have?
- Risk assessment involves research surrounding prevention of potential hazards.
- Option trade-off studies. How does your device measure up to alternative solutions on the market?
- Trade-off studies can help you evaluate if there are other cost-effective or optimized solutions to incorporate into your device.
- Initial Human Factors Evaluation. How will users interact with your device?
- Human factor research includes how users will perceive and navigate your device.
- Opportunity Finding. How can you generate ideas for opportunity?
- It’s important to determine possible opportunities that your device may have including markets, add-ons, and synergies.
- User Research. What demographic will your device serve best? Is your device an effective solution to a problem that users are currently facing?
- User research is a comprehensive way to identify the behavior, motivation, and needs of your audience.
If you found the Research Phase beneficial to your development process, stay tuned for Paragon Academy’s next module, Phase 3: Fundraising, where we examine effective ways to requisition funds for your project.
About Paragon Innovations
Founded in 1990, Paragon Innovations is a leading provider of engineering and design service consultation. Paragon Innovations serves Fortune 500 companies and startups in developing turn-key product solutions. As a three-time winner of the Aggie 100 Award, Paragon Innovations’ skilled team is unmatched in their level of expertise and product management capabilities. Acquired by TTI, Inc. in 2021, Paragon Innovations joins the Exponential Technology Group (XTG), a collection of electronic component distributors and design engineering firms that collaborate to enable the development of modern technologies. XTG is a subsidiary of TTI Inc.’s Family of Specialists: TTI, Inc., Mouser Electronics, Symmetry Electronics and Sager Electronics.