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What does a Product Developer do?

Develop and design manufactured products, such as cars, home appliances, and children's toys. Combine artistic talent with research on product use, marketing, and materials to create the most functional and appealing product design.

What are the Main Tasks of a Product Developer?

  • Prepare sketches of ideas, detailed drawings, illustrations, artwork, or blueprints, using drafting instruments, paints and brushes, or computer-aided design equipment.
  • Confer with engineering, marketing, production, or sales departments, or with customers, to establish and evaluate design concepts for manufactured products.
  • Modify and refine designs, using working models, to conform with customer specifications, production limitations, or changes in design trends.
  • Direct and coordinate the fabrication of models or samples and the drafting of working drawings and specification sheets from sketches.
  • Evaluate feasibility of design ideas, based on factors such as appearance, safety, function, serviceability, budget, production costs/methods, and market characteristics.
  • Present designs and reports to customers or design committees for approval, and discuss need for modification.
  • Investigate product characteristics such as the product's safety and handling qualities, its market appeal, how efficiently it can be produced, and ways of distributing, using and maintaining it.
  • Develop manufacturing procedures and monitor the manufacture of their designs in a factory to improve operations and product quality.
  • Research production specifications, costs, production materials and manufacturing methods, and provide cost estimates and itemized production requirements.
  • Participate in new product planning or market research, including studying the potential need for new products.
  • Fabricate models or samples in paper, wood, glass, fabric, plastic, metal, or other materials, using hand or power tools.
  • Coordinate the look and function of product lines.
  • Design graphic material for use as ornamentation, illustration, or advertising on manufactured materials and packaging or containers.
  • Supervise assistants' work throughout the design process.
  • Advise corporations on issues involving corporate image projects or problems.
  • Develop industrial standards and regulatory guidelines.
  • Read publications, attend showings, and study competing products and design styles and motifs to obtain perspective and generate design concepts.
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