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HomeTips & GuidesProduct Design Timeline: 6 Stages in Product Development Timeline

Product Design Timeline: 6 Stages in Product Development Timeline

What is the ideal product design timeline? Coming up with a new product involves a series of steps. 

Also, auto manufacturing firms apply different models in product variation development. 

Depending on the product in question, it’s a complex field that can take up to years to complete. 

So do we have an ultimate product design timeline? 

Welcome to our guide covering all the main stages of the product design timeline. 

Also, learn the ways you can improve the product development process. 

Table of Contents

Product Development Timeline

It is the duration it may take to create or improve an existing product design. 

Noteworthy, there’s no definite product development timeline as it depends on the prevailing conditions. 

Primarily, this process relies on how complex the design is and what is necessary to complete it. 

For instance, take an auto manufacturing project, such as improving an existing temperature gauge design. 

Since this won’t take much work, the design process can end in about four months. 

But creating a new complex design is not straightforward and may take years. 

The 6 Stages in the Product Development Timeline

Earlier, we highlighted that having a definite timeline for product development may be impossible. 

Nonetheless, in almost all cases, there are particular stages we must follow, although there are small variations depending on the product. 

Let’s look at each of them in detail. 


Brainstorming during the Ideation Stage. 

Brainstorming during the Ideation Stage. 

It all starts with coming up with a wide variety of ideas; hence it takes a lot of brainstorming.

 During this stage, the guiding factors of what you come up with will depend on several factors. 

For instance, think of the main customer needs (target market requirements) that you need to fulfill. The other critical considerations include the following: 

  • You must check out if there are existing products that are better than what you’re offering. The aim should be to develop products that are unique from the competition to have an edge and fill the market gap. 
  • Also, you must know the new product’s functionalities. Think of why the end user would need your product. 
  • Thirdly, you must undertake a comprehensive SWOT Analysis to gauge your product’s performance. By answering the different questions this test provides, you can improve it and ensure it’s different. 
  • Next, it’s also imperative to involve the SCAMPER technique. This refining test ensures your idea passes all the tests and is ready for the next stage. 
  • Finally, arrange the ideal as a business case to ensure it is easy to present to the team members. 

Product definition

Product Developers Consulting. 

Product Developers Consulting. 

Defining the product whose idea you’ve developed in the previous ideation stage is also highly important. 

The initial stage of the concept development/product research phase, and it aims to fine-tune your idea further. It also helps prepare it for implementation. 

It also has several individual processes that include the following: 

  • Primarily, it must involve a business analysis process which is primarily all about refining the commercial aspect of the idea. Here, you finesse details such as the distribution strategy and involve further competition analysis. 
  • Also, this is the stage to outline the product’s value proposition. You need to answer the question: What value does the product give the consumer? 
  • Thirdly, define the success metrics you’ll use to determine the idea’s success. Highlight the key performance indicators (KPIs) you’ll apply in gauging if everything is going to plan. 
  • Finally, develop a market strategy you’ll apply to get the product to the end users. At this stage, it’s imperative to define the marketing channels you’ll apply. 

After you finish threshing out these processes, you are closer to the actual product production. 

You’ll start with creating the minimum viable product (MVP). Let’s see what this means in the next stage. 


Sketching during the prototyping phase. 

Sketching during the prototyping phase. 

Initial prototyping focuses primarily on the product and less on its market dynamics, as you did earlier. 

A product prototype is simple, especially at the primary stages. It can be as simple as sketching the product. 

But again, there are deeper steps you have to perform during prototyping to refine the sketch into an effective final product. 

  • For instance, you must perform a rigorous feasibility analysis. It aims to identify whether the dates you set to complete the product development are reasonable. If they’re not, then you can readjust. 
  • Also, you must thresh out the possible market risks and the viable mitigation measures for dealing with them. Let your team understand these risks to avoid them early enough before production starts. 
  • Fourthly, you need to come up with your development strategy. It includes defining who will undertake which particular task. 
  • Lastly, create an MVP. It should be a product that can be market ready without requiring a lot of improvement to fit the gap it should fill. 

Once you’ve created the MVP, you’re closer to producing your first improved product.

Initial Design

Design Team working on an initial car design. 

Design Team working on an initial car design. 

Now that there’s a prototype to guide you, it’s possible to start the product’s initial design. 

At this stage, you’re creating a product that improves on the MVP and can be ready for the market. 

Also, you need excellent component selection to ensure you have the right parts for the product. 

Again, you must primarily source all the materials necessary for the final product. Also, keep all the stakeholders informed of the developments.

 For instance, tell all the team members about the developments, which will help the process move seamlessly. 

Also, when all stakeholders know the product concept, it is possible to easily tell when something is not going according to the plan.

 Finally, when your primary design is complete, ask the stakeholders to give their feedback. 

Validation and testing

A product designer testing car models. 

A product designer testing car models. 

You don’t want to release a flawed product to the market. Hence, the validation and testing development phase is highly critical. 

And it’s not all about the product. There are other things you must get right in the testing stage. 

For instance, say you want to market the product on an e-commerce platform/ a blog post.

 So you must undertake front-end testing of the product to see how it performs. 

Are there any withstanding errors that could affect the consumer’s user experience? 

These are among the issues you must fix. Finally, you need to test the marketing plan for flaws and fix them before the actual product plan. 

Product Design Timeline: Commercialization/ Product Ready Launch

Getting ready for the launch. 

Getting ready for the launch. 

Now you’re ready to present the finished product to the real users/ target audience.

 Thus, you can create the ultimate product you want to provide consumers using the final prototype. 

Also, you must ensure your marketing plan is ready at this stage. Hence, if you use an e-commerce platform, ensure it’s up and working and ready for the launch. 

Tips for Accelerating the Product Development Process

Engineers working on different design tasks simultaneously. 

Engineers working on different design tasks simultaneously. 

You can apply two primary ways to ensure fast product development; rapid tooling and rapid prototyping. 

They are fast because they help you create a scale model of the components you need for the components. 

Then it’s possible to simultaneously perform prototyping and product development, thus hastening the production process. 

Another hack to boost the throughput rate is to employ a developer with an experience in rapid tooling. 


Product management during development takes quite some time. So we don’t give you an outright figure of a product timeline. 

As we have seen, there are a lot of intricate processes, each important to creating a perfect product. 

But even if it takes long, it is all worth the wait as the process ensures you fine-tune everything. 

Also, focus on user feedback, as product success primarily relies on it. There you have all it takes for excellent product development. 

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And we have a very professional technical team who can clearly understand the customer’s needs and give professional suggestions and solutions after receiving the drawings.

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