A designer’s worst nightmare is to work with an inventor who does not know what he or she truly wants, resulting in continual change requests that can be both minor and major. This typically means that there are an endless amount of changes in the design process, making it less worthwhile for the designer in the long run. This also means that the design process becomes a costly expenditure as you end up paying for more hours spent designing and redesigning your invention.
When you employ the services of a designer, they will usually inform you of a certain number of times in which you will be able to change your design. During the stages of the design process, there are points where you are able to make slight changes. However, past these points, any requested changes may result in a whole new redesign. This, of course, requires the process to move back to square one, requiring both time and money.
The importance of a kick-off meeting with the designer is to eliminate, or reduce, the chances of you wanting to change the design of your invention an incessant amount of times. During the kick-off meeting, the designer will inform you of the pros and cons of certain features and will offer his specific twist to the design. In such cases, I strongly suggest that you take the designer’s experience to heart and give the designer a little freedom with the design as he is experienced in the field.
Chances are that you do not know the principles of the manufacturing process and, in most cases, the sketches that you drew by hand are not suitable for the selected processes.
In this chapter, I have addressed how you should trust the designer but how it is also important to spend as much time reviewing the design with the designer in order to express your input on how the design looks and any potential changes you would like made.
If your designer has spent endless time on the design of your product and you decide, in the middle of the process, that you want to change the design completely, the chances are that you will be asked to pay for the hours required to change the design. This is the importance of kick-off meetings and open communication to reduce the risk of having to change your design in the middle of the process. In addition, openly communicating your design ideas in advance will prevent misunderstandings as well as eliminate the chance of the process becoming more costly as a result of a redesign.