20 Years of Innovation


For the past two decades, we’ve been helping organizations design products for people to love. What exactly does product design mean in 2020? Whether it’s designing an EEG headset to detect Cannabis impairment or a user interface that helps nurses keep hospital patients safe, for us, product design is about solving problems and realizing new opportunities. We’re a curious group of innovators who are passionate about uncovering solutions and building what’s new.

Twenty years working on a diverse range of projects has taught us that there is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all design methodology. Understanding that no two people, opportunities, or organizations are the same, we spend the time getting to know our partners and design frameworks to ensure project success and lasting relationships.

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Our Process

Research

The assumptions we make shape our perception of reality. Thorough research helps eliminate wrongful assumptions and guides product design projects down new and fascinating paths. Our research phase usually includes exploratory research, stakeholder interviews, client brainstorms, competitive landscape analysis, hypothesis generation, and consumer studies.

Ideation and Conceptualization

Once we’ve properly framed the problem that needs to be solved, our design team diverges and begins exploring potential solutions. Insights and hypotheses from the research phase serve as the guiding star throughout this process. Decades of seeing products through to completion has taught us that, without this guidance, ideation work can end up deviating too far from the original design challenge. Our team is well versed in prototyping and production and our conceptualization process is grounded by a deep understanding of manufacturing realities.

Prototyping

Early prototypes and mockups serve as proofs-of-concept and allow us to study general aspects of design early on in the development process. The findings during early prototyping stages are vital to informing what will become the final design. Prototypes come in many different forms and can include everything from a hand-worked piece of styrofoam to a high fidelity prototype that is a nearly exact representation of the mass production version. Learn more about prototyping here.

3D Modeling

3D CAD (Computer-Aided Design) models are precision digital illustrations that are fundamental in turning an idea into something tangible. CAD modeling is where idea meets execution and allows our team to create virtual models that demonstrate how objects will behave in the real world. During this stage of the development process Shape’s industrial designers study interactions between various components, while building and assembling all required details for production. Our output is informed by our understanding of ever-changing manufacturing constraints, and our designs are always developed with the assumption that they will one day go into production.

Colour/Material/Finish (CMF)

CMFs are more than factory instruction sheets. The form and function of a product can make it a great concept but the CMF is the final step to help make it a real-world success. Our team is continually learning about new material technologies and has a deep understanding of what it takes to balance the functional requirements of your product with a key functional requirement of your business – cost. The materials are then presented in a way that can be easily understood by factory partners, helping ensure that the product coming off the production line matches the original vision.

sketching process for product in development

Research

The assumptions we make shape our perception of reality. Thorough research helps eliminate wrongful assumptions and guides product design projects down new and fascinating paths. Our research phase usually includes exploratory research, stakeholder interviews, client brainstorms, competitive landscape analysis, hypothesis generation, and consumer studies.

Designer analyzing a hair dryer prototype

Ideation and Conceptualization

Once we’ve properly framed the problem that needs to be solved, our design team diverges and begins exploring potential solutions. Insights and hypotheses from the research phase serve as the guiding star throughout this process. Decades of seeing products through to completion has taught us that, without this guidance, ideation work can end up deviating too far from the original design challenge. Our team is well versed in prototyping and production and our conceptualization process is grounded by a deep understanding of manufacturing realities.

Prototyping

Early prototypes and mockups serve as proofs-of-concept and allow us to study general aspects of design early on in the development process. The findings during early prototyping stages are vital to informing what will become the final design. Prototypes come in many different forms and can include everything from a hand-worked piece of styrofoam to a high fidelity prototype that is a nearly exact representation of the mass production version. Learn more about prototyping here.

Volo Cordless Hair Dryer Intake Grill

3D Modeling

3D CAD (Computer-Aided Design) models are precision digital illustrations that are fundamental in turning an idea into something tangible. CAD modeling is where idea meets execution and allows our team to create virtual models that demonstrate how objects will behave in the real world. During this stage of the development process Shape’s industrial designers study interactions between various components, while building and assembling all required details for production. Our output is informed by our understanding of ever-changing manufacturing constraints, and our designs are always developed with the assumption that they will one day go into production.

Colour Material Finish

Colour/Material/Finish (CMF)

CMFs are more than factory instruction sheets. The form and function of a product can make it a great concept but the CMF is the final step to help make it a real-world success. Our team is continually learning about new material technologies and has a deep understanding of what it takes to balance the functional requirements of your product with a key functional requirement of your business – cost. The materials are then presented in a way that can be easily understood by factory partners, helping ensure that the product coming off the production line matches the original vision.

Other services


Collaboration between our Industrial and Graphic designers delivers eye-catching packaging solutions that move product.

display design icon

From retail displays to large-scale exhibition booths, we design tactile and visual interactions that will delight your audience and accelerate sales.

prototyping services at Shape products

Prototyping is instrumental along the product development path.
Reduce your risk and increase speed to market.