This phase is ‘big picture’ thinking without getting bogged down in technical detail.
This stage of the process confirms the product requirements. The designers know what problems need to be solved, and they’re subsequently able to brainstorm how the product will address them.
This stage is an intensely creative stage of product development. Think whiteboards full of Post-It notes, mind mapping and long brainstorming sessions. It calls on designers to consider all possibilities and be unafraid to think big.
During the concept design process, the more ideas and the less constrained one is by perceived technical limitations, the better - it is innovation without limits.
This phase tightens the reigns on the design scope. It’s also the point which explores the cold, hard truths of what is and isn’t possible.
During the detailed design process, clearances, manufacturability, tolerances and customer perception are all taken into account. The big thinking of the concept phase is dealt a far more critical eye with only the most practical and market-appealing ideas making it to the prototype stage.
Detailed design can’t exist without concept design, but it’s where blue sky thinking gives way to mathematically correct modelling.