Product Design Guide

How to create a marketable, validated, groundbreaking product.

Turning concepts into well conceived, beautifully designed, and expertly engineered products that launch brands requires a team of specialized, yet diverse skill sets. There are many factors to consider and many critical stages from start to finish. Our tailored, comprehensive process includes milestones and guides to this all-encompassing journey. Your trip will involve business, technical, conceptual, and operational decisions along the way.


Before we get started, what does a Design Agency do?

Ensure the right product is being designed.
Use innovative techniques in conjunction with best practices to develop solutions that are needed.
Advise and oversee the entire design process from concept to manufacturing.
Stay mindful of constraints and risks, while guiding key decisions in the best interests of the product, client and brand.

OK, that sounds like exactly what I need, how do I get started?

Assemble a Team
While Altimus handles nearly all aspects related to product design and manufacturing, you’ll need certain members of your team to be responsible for finances, brand vision, marketing, and sales.
Write a Business Plan
Defining your objectives and goals in a tangible and achievable way is a prerequisite for success. Having a written business plan with a roadmap for all aspects of product development ensures that your product makes it to production and is released within a reasonable time frame.
Prototype the Idea
Nothing great ever got built without prototypes along the way. Whether low-fidelity or high, prototypes are perhaps the single most valuable tool that designers and business people use to refine ideas, gather feedback, gain support, and prove solutions.
Gather up Data
Our clients are often domain experts in their own field, but are rarely well-versed in integrating new ideas and mass market considerations. Competitive data, products, and specifications are always necessary to establish a baseline for our designers and engineers to form system level solutions that will exceed current performance or sales metrics.
Line up Funding
It goes without saying that funding is necessary for ideas to germinate and be developed into full fledged, market-ready products. Whether that means organically self-funded, investor backed, or early pre-sales, having sufficient funding sources is essential to project success.

What if I don’t have everything I need?

While many of the aforementioned items are must-haves, our design process allows clients time to build out their own team. Marketing and business development can ramp up over time so long as sufficient market, prospective user data, and proof of concepts exist to allow our work to proceed.

Our methods are very investor-friendly so that you can focus on funding and your business plan while Altimus focuses on the design and development of the product.

How can I maximize my chances of success?

Be realistic.
Realism, balanced with healthy optimism and a strong dose of humility is the ideal formula for project success. Our clients come from a variety of professional and personal backgrounds but the common element to all of this diversity is having the ability to be realistic.
Be ready to work.
Rome wasn't built in a day, and it certainly wasn't built by a single person. Drive, persistence, and consistency are key to a more successful product.
Be open to new ideas.
Nothing is set in stone. Innovations are constantly evolving to keep up with current and future demands, market trends, and technologies.
Know your market and potential customers.
A groundbreaking product solves a specific pain point for users in a manner that is seamless, natural and satisfying.

Are you ready to get started?

If all of this resonates with you and your team, then it’s time to share some more information and get ready for dialogue about project specifics.
Non-Disclosure Agreement
Where applicable and desirable, Altimus executes mutual 2-way non-disclosure agreements to protect the confidentiality of the information shared in our discussions. We will not sign perpetual agreements with no expiry dates but we do not compete with our clients.
Prospective Client Questionnaire
We will share with you a questionnaire asking for more information and details about your project, your current state of progress, timelines and your target deliverables. This information is only exchanged for the purposes of Altimus establishing the right fit and for further dialogue about budget and scope.
Initial Meeting & Fit Assessment
Once any NDA and Prospective Client Questionnaire is completed, we are able to establish whether we see a good fit. We’ll set up an initial consultation whether project details can be openly discussed and questions answered.
Proposal / Fit Assessment / Engagement
When we have gathered all necessary information and have an initial evaluation of what needs to be done, we’ll develop a written proposal along with an assessment of how we see our relationship evolving and where we would suggest your team focuses its efforts during the time we are developing your product.
Product Design — Scope of Work
This document represents our proposal for the work required and the duration / effort estimates to accomplish it. It may define a series of phases for completion, along with tangible milestones and deliverables.

Client Inventory &
Gap / Opportunity Analysis

Once engaged, we will establish constant dialogue with clients on project risks, potential gaps and opportunities, and any other relevant information that helps to define the journey ahead.

Every design project is a two-way street, so we expect to have new ideas or potentially even shifting constraints occur over the natural course of work.

Our job as designers and developers is to be open to the discovery of better ways to accomplish the objectives and sometimes this requires open dialogue on the tradeoffs or suggested tweaks to the business plan, marketing strategy, or brand focus.

Everything Altimus does centers around the product and your brand, and making informed decisions that maximize your chance of ground breaking success.