Design Consultant: A Well Calculated Foresight

Being a design consultant is a promising career for people who have an eye for aesthetics but still able to apply practicality. Balancing form and function is a delicate art that few people can master. Indeed, the skills and talent of a consultant is exceptional. But aside from this, there is another challenge that designers face when starting their projects. The common woe from designers is how to provide a good time estimate to their clients.

Underestimating the load and difficulty of a project is a usual mistake of design consultants. There are reasons why they usually commit this error:

· Unfamiliarity with tools and technology used in the project.

· No clear objectives and agenda during the planning phase.

· Inexperience of the project’s background.

· Estimation is done without the use of sensible data.

· Most of the time the client would immediately ask for a response and designers guess haphazardly to avoid rejection.

· Designers giving an incorrect estimate just to win the project.

This blunder will have a domino effect on the whole course of the project. Seasoned designers are able to guess correctly the time needed in finishing a certain project. Experience will tell them how much time they need to complete the work. But there is also the factor of wanting to win the project. Even experienced designers set an unrealistic timeline just to win the bid. Overestimating one’s talent and underestimating the demand of a project can only produce bad results.

There is a good way how to provide a real time estimate. It starts with the right attitude towards time management and task phasing. A time tracking tool can be helpful in plotting the important phases of a project. With this as a framework, a more reliable time estimate can be produced. Projects often follow this phase

· Research, surveying and planning

· Conceptualization

· Designing and Structuring

· Development

· Finishing

By applying a similar template for every project, one should be accustomed with the flow of tasks and time spent on it.

The next part is by going into details. Once the phases are defined, it is easier to break down the tasks to even more specific parts. This ensures that every step of project is taken care of. Each of these steps will then be given a definite time of completion. The time should be realistic and achievable. This can also guide the design consultant on the progress of the project.

Providing an estimate is not easy. A well planned foresight is needed to come up with the best estimate. A rushed estimate will only do more harm than good. Time tracking projects will indeed test the design consultant’s value of time. Only with the right attitude and action can a person be successful.

Selecting a Good Interior Design Consultant

A good interior design consultant is as important to a remodeling project as a builder is to a new home construction. If you decide to work with one, they should bring a wealth of experience and product knowledge to the table to help you with your remodeling or new home construction project.

Hiring a good designer

Good interior design consultants are more like good therapists. They don’t tell you what to do, rather they guide you through a process of selecting options that best suite your style and provides the best outcome. So how do you find a good interior design consultant? Well, the best way is through word of mouth and referrals. Talk to your friends to see if any of them recently used an interior design specialist and if they were happy with the results. Interior designer web sites can be helpful, but also visit local builders and model homes to obtain referrals. Another great source for referrals can be your local furniture store. Many can provide interior design referrals or have local designers that moonlight in the store. Your local parade of homes or builder show rooms are also good sources.

First Impressions

You should interview a few interior design consultants before you make your final selection. Be sure to review pictures of their recent work. Ask for referrals and contact their clients to see if they were happy. It’s important that you develop a good relationship with the interior design consultant. You should feel comfortable discussing your budget and its important that you feel the designer is listening to you. You should be comfortable saying no. In the end, you need to feel like there was a common goal between you and the designer.

Experience Matters

The ideal interior design consultant will have many years of experience working with builders, vendors and other suppliers. They should have depth of experience in fabric, appliances, furniture and other accessories. After listening to your desires, they should be able to take you to the showrooms, fabric stores and other vendors that will supply you with the unique products that will develop your individual style.

Selecting the right Interior Design Consultant will help ensure that when the project is finished, you love the results.

Product Design Consultants

The role of a product design consultant is to provide expert knowledge and to guide the client through a series of structured paths to ensure that the final designed product is innovative, robust, safe and within budget. Whether you are looking to create a new product from scratch, or refresh an existing item, the design process should follow a similar path full of research, design innovation, prototyping, engineering and analysis.

This article will outline the key steps in the design process for a consumer product made from injection moulded plastic.

The first step is research. The current market must be assessed for competitor products and also the reasons why the market leader holds this mantle. Is there a gap in the market for your product? Has it been produced before and if so, what key elements are missing that could improve the concept?

Next is concept development. This involves brainstorming and a large number of thumbnail sketches. From this wide collection of sketches, a select few are developed further and scrutinised to ensure they now meet cost, safety, functionality and manufacturing criteria.

3D rendering software is then used to produce photorealistic imagery. This is very useful for critically assessing the product before any substantial amount of investment is committed to the project. Production tooling for a high volume product is very expensive, therefore carrying out further market research at this stage to get valuable consumer insight can be very cost effective.

Finite element analysis is carried out on the components to ensure that they will perform as required using the correct engineering materials. Once market feedback and analysis results are digested, the design can be modified and a physical prototype can then be produced for further market research and analysis.

After approval of the fully functioning prototype, the product is signed off and the production tooling begins. CAD software is used to accurately design the tooling taking into consideration various plastic shrinkage tolerances. The tools go through a number of test runs and are debugged accordingly to ensure that they still match the approved prototype both aesthetically and functionally. On completion of the tooling, the steel moulds are passed on to the factory to begin mass production of the final product.

Vendor selection is very important, as every vendor has a different specialisation. It is also strongly advised to use a vendor through a trusted recommendation to ensure that the vendor you choose is able to fulfill your requirements to an exceptional standard.