What Is the Difference Between Product Design and Product Development?

Product design and product development are both integral parts of the product development process. However, they are distinct processes that involve different activities and approaches.

Product design is the process of creating a new product or improving an existing one. This includes concept generation, user research, prototyping, testing, and more.

It is a creative process that focuses on identifying customer needs and translating them into a tangible product. The goal is to create a product that meets those needs in an effective and efficient way.

Product development, on the other hand, is the process of taking a product from concept to production-ready version. This involves designing the actual components (e.g., circuit boards), engineering the mechanics (e., motors), writing any necessary software code, sourcing materials, manufacturing processes, safety testing, regulatory compliance testing, and more. Product development requires technical knowledge and problem-solving skills to ensure that the final version works as intended.

In essence, product design is about creating a solution for a customer’s problem in an aesthetically pleasing way while product development involves making sure that solution actually works as intended before it goes to market. Product design focuses on concept creation while product development focuses on implementation and production-readiness of the final version of a product.


The difference between product design and product development lies in their respective focus areas: while product design deals with creating aesthetically pleasing solutions to customer problems, product development deals with bringing those solutions to life by making sure they are technically sound before they go to market.