Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Anatomy of an Ikea product

When I was at Ikea on Sunday for its sale, as I was walking around its giant store, I couldn't help but wonder how they designed all their cool products. Ikea has almost everything that a homeowner needs and everyone I know has an Ikea product at home but do you know what's behind the Swedish company's design process? So I did some searching and came across this enlightening post. From Crave:
"When we decide about a product, we always start with the price," Deboehmler said. "Then, what is the consumer need?"

For example, the product designers might begin thinking about designing a new flat-screen-television stand. Assuming that there's evidence such a product is needed--like a trend of many people buying flat-screen TVs--Ikea will set out to design it.

"When we start in the development process, we say we'd like to have a cabinet to hold a large screen TV that's 42 inches, and priced out to come in at X dollars," Marston said. "OK, now we've said we want it to retail at $500, arbitrarily. What can you make, what can you design, to make it at that price?"

From the beginning of the process, a variety of people get involved. Those include field technicians who are able to see what's needed in the creation of a new product and determine if Ikea has already designed something similar that can be mined for parts or design inspiration.

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