Adapting Designs for New and Emerging Markets


Good designs aren’t just shaped by technology and the latest fashions. They’re also shaped by customer needs and culture, customers’ buying power, and, of course, regulators. Nowhere is that more apparent than when you try to push a popular product into a new market.

For example, take electric bicycles. In the United States, you can ride your bike along bike trails as any other bike, as long as its motor output is no more than 750W and it doesn’t go faster than 20 mph. In Norway, you can’t use more than 250W of power and the speed limit is closer to 15 mph.

And it’s not just the motors. The recharging station for those bikes’ battery packs clearly will have significant differences as well.

For a manufacturer in the electric bicycle trade, you may have to produce a different bike for nearly every market you want to enter. That could be painfully expensive.

Or not.

In this episode of The Product Design Show, Allison and Vince dive into the subject of adapting design for new and emerging markets. They talk about some of the differences that exist across borders and ways product developers can mitigate the expense of designing a product for diverse markets.

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