Whether performed by the client or LX, Conceptual Development forms the foundation of the design process. LX can assist in exploring the opportunity, evaluating technology options and defining the solution. Identifying and addressing any issues at this stage and ensuring that an optimal solution is selected can significantly reduce development time, effort and cost in later stages.
The outcome of the Conceptual Development phase is a detailed Product Specification and Acceptance Test Plan. The specification contains all required technical requirements for the product and the Acceptance Test Plan outlines the tests the product will need to pass once designed.
Further details of LX’s services within the Conceptual Development phase are expanded below and can be included or excluded, depending on your needs.
- Development of Customer Requirements Document (CRD) based on client, user, market and commercial needs analysis
- Evaluation of concept and alternatives
- Refining the concept through workshops
- Key technology research and evaluation of implementation options
- System level design and recommendations
- User experience and interface requirements analysis
- Development of Product Specification Document (PSD) and Acceptance Test Plan (ATP)
- Project plan development including risk mitigation strategies
Development of Customer Requirements Document (CRD) Based on Needs Analysis
Before looking at how your product will be designed, it is important to step back and crystallise your key needs (and to distinguish features that are desirable from those that are essential). LX can work with you through a series of workshops to develop a CRD which identifies your hard, soft and wish-list requirements for the product. We can work with your key stakeholders in order to develop a CRD which represents the needs of the user and target market, and meets your commercial requirements.
Evaluation of Concept and Alternatives
LX can look objectively at your idea, competitors, technology, and other business factors, in order to provide you with a deeper understanding of the design and where it fits in the current landscape. If required, we can also suggest alternative approaches that may add benefits such as increasing your market share, reducing the design time, or reducing the manufacturing cost.
Refining the Concept Through Workshops
Workshops allow us to work with you to brainstorm new ideas, flesh out concepts, define rituals of use, and explore various implementation options. This can be one of the most helpful stages in the design process as it aligns the product implementation with your target market. This gives you confidence in key decisions moving forward, knowing they have been well considered and appropriately evaluated.
Key Technology Research and Evaluation of Implementation Options
Products often push the boundaries of design criteria such as battery life, size/form factor, wireless capabilities, speed to market, performance and the application of cutting edge technologies. By conducting key technology research LX can ensure your design utilises the most appropriate key technologies to meet your design criteria.
System Level Design and Recommendations
There are often multiple ways of implementing a design, and different options can be most appropriate depending on your project and needs. LX can suggest high level alternatives based on considerations such as the design time, purpose of the design (prototype vs. commercial product), the targeted unit cost, and reliability requirements. We can work with you to develop a system level design that best meets your needs.
User Experience and Interface Requirements Analysis
Most products require a degree of end-user interaction. The design of this can be fundamental to the success of a product. LX can help you understand your end user requirements and develop an interface that is designed specifically to suit these needs.
Development of Product Specification Document (PSD) & Acceptance Test Plan (ATP)
The Product Specification Document (PSD) flows from the CRD (Customer Requirements Document). It outlines the technical design requirements of the system based on the CRD. It includes all technical details required to ensure both you and LX fully understand the scope of the development and what will be designed. A detailed and well thought through PSD can greatly reduce effort and costly design changes later in the development process.
Acceptance testing is undertaken prior to us delivering the finished design to you. It provides an objective way of ensuring all requirements detailed in the PSD have been met and that the project is complete. The tests detailed in the Acceptance Test Plan (ATP) correspond to the requirements in the PSD and are usually determined during the first stage of the project.
Project Plan Development Including Risk Mitigation Strategies
LX can work with you to identify key risks and propose risk mitigation strategies. While risks are a part of any project, identifying key risks and taking steps to minimise them is the best way to help protect against them and can be a valuable input into the project plan.
A project plan is a critical tool for both the project manager and the project team to ensure smooth running of the project. They help ensure projects remain on track and are delivered on time, on budget and meet the specification outlined in the PSD.