Teacher stuff...
Existing products template

Existing products template (2 Products)

This template is a step-by-step guide in how to complete your coursework.

Volume isn't the key, the depth of analysis is important. They must be linked to your brief.

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logoExisting Products & Designers Page

Introduction to project

Products which are currently on the market meet a need. Your design needs will guide your research. You need to analyse existing products to discover why they are successful by asking questions.

existing products PowerPoint

The powerpoint example illustrates how to analyse an existing product.

We can use the following prompts to form your existing products...

Form-The shape and look of the product, i.e. colour, texture and decoration. Can you describe it as old fashioned or contemporary (modern). Does it has flowing curves or it might be very angular with lots of corners. This is also known as aesthetics.

Function-is what you thing the designer intended the product to do. Taking apart a product (disassembly) will help you discover how a products works. It’s fun! Make sure you take photos, sketches and notes. as you take the product apart, record the number of components and how they are located on the product. Can your class mate use your notes to put the product back together!

Questionnaires-are useful tools to find out what end-users what and need in a product. Often end-users may offer additional information which can be compiled in informal interviews. Refer to the questionnaire in your specification to justify your findings.

Ergonomics-is about how easy and comfortable the product is to use or handle. Products need to be designed so that their size and proportion fit the user’s needs. For example, a hand-held product needs to fit well in the hand and buttons need to be easily reachable. Designers use body measurements data (anthropometrics) to make sure the product is the right size and shape.

Competition, Cost and Performance-You need to consider value for money. If you are looking at a storage cabinets find out if its cheaper or more expensive that similar storage cabinets. You will need to look at how it performs compared to other storage cabinets. Can it store more items and have flexible shelving for different sized objects?

Sustainability-Does making or using the product harm the environment? For example some wood dust is harmful to factory workers when machined (Iroko). Consider the products carbon footprint. Does the wood come from far away? A softwood grows in 20 twenty years, some hardwoods take 100 years to mature, which one is sustainable?

Materials-Product analysis should include looking at what materials have been used, and why those materials have been chosen.


Manufacture-Consider the processes that have been used to make the product. This includes things like which techniques were used to shape the various parts (sawing, drilling routing etc). Don’t forget to check if any parts have been assembled separately and put in the product later. This is called sub-assembly.

Here's a good example of a Pizza Box packaging research, exploring the detail of packaging.
.pizza box packaging research