Customer

It is essential to obtain first-hand information on customer likes, dislikes, preferences, and prejudices. Eyeball-to-eyeball discussion, question and answer, and examination of competitors' trends and specifications are all useful inputs to the product designer. To a great extent, such input will depend on whether there are product line precedents already on the market or whether it is a product breaking new ground. Customer input is, nevertheless, essential to success. The degree of difficulty with which this input is obtained varies enormously from the large on-off turnkey type of project where the designer will interface direcdy with the customer, to the mass-produced product where one will not.

Feedback from the customer or market place should be considered. As an example it is no good incorporating a certain new design in a product that will not be accepted by customers, however when the design is valuable to the customer the skill of the salesperson is required. Examples of exploring new applications that are around us has been the fabrication of tubes, pipes, films, and others on the farm to exploring for oil in the depths of the seas.

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