Writing a Design Specification from Research Analysis
Once research data have been analysed, the designer is able to write a list of specific points to refer to when designing. These criteria will guide and focus ideas, ensuring that sketches, sampling modelling are relevant to the design brief and to what has been found out during research. This list is known as the design specification.
The design specification will outline the specific requirements of that new product:
- The function – for what purpose for which target market?
- Performance – how will this influence product safety and quality? What modern and small materials are to be featured?
- Special design features – what will make the product unique and appealing?
- The appearance – what colours, textures, shapes, and patterns are suggested by the theme?
- The budget – what restraints are there?
- Is there any requirement to consider such as social, moral, ethical or environmental issues?
- Materials, techniques, and processes – are particular fabrics, decorative construction methods to be featured?
- Size, shape and style will depend on the target market, theme, costs.
- Aftercare – has the client specified instructions? Will these influence design ideas?
- Lifecycle – how long should the product last? How will it be recycled?
- Packaging – will this impact on product design? Will sustainability issue be considered?
Othe type of Specifications
- When sourcing fabric, the designer will need to consider fabric characteristics properties, quality and cost. These will be listed in the fabric manufacturer’s fabric specification.
- A product specification describes the details about the product so that a potential customer can decide whether it is suitable for their purposes.
- The manufacturing specification for the product would include the instructions on the making of the product.
Designing a Quality Product
Companies have to plan for quality throughout the design and making activities. The client and end-user of the product successful. A safe product, appropriate for use as intended, with appealing aesthetics, at the correct price and made to the agreed standards, will be a quality item.
A Total Quality Management (TQM) System
is used to make sure that quality is designed and manufactured into the product. every company employee has the responsibility to check they are following correct procedures to the highest standards.
To assure quality, at each stage of the design process, ideas are evaluated against the specification and kept focused on the brief. It is essential to understand customer preferences and market needs. Sampling, modelling and prototyping will check that materials and processes are safe and result in the correct quality. Testing and evaluating at this stage leads to modifications, improvements and further development. The final sample or prototype becomes the reference sample and this is the standard product that others in the production run can be checked against.
Importance of Quality Assurance
A quality assured product will promote the reputation of the designer, manufacturer and retailer and is important to brand image. The client needs to feel confident that the batch of products made will sell and that their success will help build future sales. The statutory rights of the customer need to be upheld, and the product should conform to relevant standards to achieve the BSI Kitemark or CE mark. In short, the product must fully meet expectations and requirements.
When quality and safety symbols appear on the packaging they assure customers that safety checks have been carried out on the product and during manufacture and that the company and product have been awarded the mark of approval.