Our design process is what sets us apart from other industrial design consultancies. Instead of sustainability being a product development requirement which means expensive changes in the development phase and compromises to the design, for us it is a key issue at the concept phase. Our products can therefore be more innovative and have to change less during development, so the original design intention can be followed.

Phases of the Design Process

Sprout's services cover the complete New Product Introduction (NPI) process. We can help our clients develop a brief if required. Once the brief is drafted, will feed back a report of how we understand our client's requirements.

A typical project might occur in the following phases, but we can adapt our working methods to suit our clients.

The first phase of a product design project involves user research. This is described in more detail in our inclusive design section. Alongside this, we also carry out competitor research, style trend research, customer profile research and environmental life-cycle analysis as appropriate for the particular project.

Style boards such as these can be used to communicate what the competition is doing, or suggest directions for the new design:

The results of the research phase of the project almost always lead straight into the concept generation phase. We use the following techniques during the concept design phase of the design process:

Hand sketching
Test rigs
Form sketch models

Our concept process produces hundreds of ideas of which we select the best. We will put these into a presention and then hold a meeting with our client to decide upon the best direction to develop the design in.

Depending on the client's requirements, the final deliverables in a project might be technical drawings from which the manufacturer can make the design, aesthetic models or working prototypes as required. This means that the manufacturer has all the detail they need to reproduce the design accurately.

We can also oversee production and sign-off pre-production prototypes to allow the development process to run as smoothly as possible.

Gaining first-hand experience of using a tiller.

Research with an older user in Kitagata town in Japan (client: DiaShin Industries).

Functional sketch showing folding handle concept.

3D Computer modelling to develop the design.