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Prototyping for Desirability by Design of Experiments: A Case Study of a Hardware Startup ( 2019-EU-EPO-036 )

Level: Intermediate
Job Function: Analyst / Scientist / Engineer
Lasse Hylleberg, Mechanical Design Engineer, Coloplast

This paper presents a study on how prototyping and design of experiments principles can be applied in the early stages of product development. We explore how four design parameters affect the perceived desirability of a physical alarm device development by a small startup company. By utilizing recent advancements in the tools and platforms available for the fabrication of prototypes, a range of physical prototypes are made. These prototypes are used to conduct 44 user tests and the results are used to establish a statistical model based on response surface methodology. The results of the model are outlined, highlighting the primary drivers of product desirability, as well as exemplifying the dynamics among the explored desirability parameters. The statistical model is tested through an experiment, which verifies the model’s ability to prescribe the perceived desirability for specific prototypes of the alarm device. The study presents promising results for incorporating design of experiment principles in early stages of product development.

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