Design thinking services

We use the design thinking strategy for innovation to turn your product into a successful project beyond EnCata. We will collaborate with your team, until the product prototype will be tested and refined in real conditions.

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Design thinking as a strategy for innovation

EnCata is a hardware product development company with a systematic approach to solving Clients’ issues. Like any design and innovation consulting firm uses its standard approaches, we also use our ones. We focus on end-user value. The value for users, technological feasibility and economic efficiency are the foundation of the design thinking process at EnCata.The design thinking strategy justifies our practical approach to product development and helps create a structured process of developing innovative solutions. 

Our team as an internal design thinking firm knows that implementation of design thinking for entrepreneurs or lean startups and small businesses means the same: they will gain benefits of design thinking in business. Design thinking as a strategy for innovation in business is one of the methods of achieving innovation. EnCata uses it to solve Clients’ problems.

By defining a strategy first, we can easily develop your idea into a successful product. EnCata chooses design thinking as a prior product development approach as well as TRL, Lean, and TRIZ. Design thinking is a methodology that provides a solution-based approach to deal with problems by engaging the end-users.

60+ Engineers

We act as your extended R&D team which is faster than hiring engineers locally. The breadth of our technical expertise is unique.

Development Speed

Our dedicated team is ready to scale up quickly. We utilize AGILE lean development process that leads to 30-50% faster delivery.

Burn rate

Cost-effectiveness

Our development location enables us to be cost-effective and deliver premium R&D and engineering services at 1/3 of the price compared to that of in N-W Europe and USA.

Idea design strategy

EnCata applies a holistic approach to product designing, which means taking into account all areas from initial development to launch, sale, and further maintenance. Generally, modification or a little improvement of one defective stage does not significantly improve the final result. This approach assumes description and monitoring of the whole development process in our strategy. 

Our projects pass five main interconnected stages. We are happy to collaborate with the Client’s team on the stages to share the efforts and increase productivity. Such repetitions are commonly referred to as iterations. The first stage is Empathy, which implies expert consulting to learn more about the problem through immersion in the physical environment, which can help gain a deeper personal understanding of the project issues. During the Define stage, we put together received information and gather ideas to establish features, functions, and any other elements to launch the project. At the Ideation stage, we start to generate ideas. Up to this stage, we have gained enough information to identify new solutions to the project statement, and we can begin to look for alternative ways of viewing the problem. Then we create versions of the product or specific features found within the product, in other words, Prototyping. Finally, our team rigorously Tests the complete product at the prototyping stage and selects the best one to develop it or to present to our Client.

In EnCata we believe that all team members should be involved in the process from the beginning, where the idea is being discussed with the Client . The importance of engineers’ participation in the whole process is that their experience and view from the point of production, reliability, and cost can give valuable insights to the team.

Feasibility study

We develop a feasibility study for inventors and people in business who have an idea or a concept. Using design thinking tools for the feasibility study, we provide the Client with concept assessment from the end-users point of view and their benefits. Additionally, we clarify the requirements for the product, based on user experience, as well as give information about the viability of the business. In some cases, we can even dissuade the Client from the initial idea to offer a more relevant direction for developing their idea based on an analysis of the user market.

Product R&D

We pay close attention to the Product research and development (R&D) stage for a detailed calculation of pros and cons to prevent failure of the project. At the product research and development stage, our team helps adjust the concept of the initial idea based on an analysis of market behavior and a study of opportunities and risks, bringing the user to the center of the discussion. Further product development aims to improve the developed product for a successful market launch in the future.

Industrial Design

Many organizations and companies widely use Enterprise design thinking across various sectors. We also use it to collaborate with diverse teams on larger enterprise-level projects and especially on industrial design stages, focusing on user outcomes. The industrial design brings the shape and appearance to an original idea. When creating the industrial design, we are not only focusing on the appearance aesthetics. We pay close attention to the convenience of use and to the issues that may arise along the way of turning an invention idea into mass production.

Proof - of - Concept Prototyping

Proof-of-Concept Prototyping, the next stage after Industrial design, makes it possible to test the basic principles of an operation. During this stage, we confirm the hypothesis of the invention idea. In case of failure, we will offer an alternative option that will not change the original concept of the product.

Rapid prototyping

Rapid prototyping allows us to get information about the interaction of the product with the real world in a form that presentations and 3D models on screen can not do. Furthermore, prototyping allows us to check the technical solutions laid down by our engineers during the development process.

Design for manufacturing

At the design for manufacturing stage, the final stage of development, we prepare all the necessary documentation needed to launch a large-scale production. Relying on the design thinking approach, our customers thoroughly elaborate the idea and get the product ready for mass production.

Design thinking consulting

Clients often turn to us for help with implementing their innovative ideas.  They also have their roadmaps.In most cases, we start with design thinking consulting, using its traditional parts of the design toolkit (empathy, understanding, contextual imagination, and prototyping).We know that design thinking in technology, as well as in any other field, has its own advantages, such as getting effective solutions to common challenges and ensuring that the finished deliverable achieves maximum results.  However, these advantages are often overlooked when using more traditional methods of solving problems.

We discuss each application with the Client and work via internal and external research. We analyze the idea to the smallest details during all interviews, meetings with competent team members, and simulations of a specific situation. As a result, the Client receives a concept that complies with their original goals, and, moreover, they are one step closer to implementing the idea into a real competitive product.

Product Development Technology Stack

Desk Research
Interviews
Generation Sessions

Brainstorming
Brainwriting
Co-creation Workshop
Worst possible idea

Concept Map
Rapid concept development
Minimum Viable Product
Collaborative sketching

Mind mapping
User Journey mapping
Surveys
Cardboard mockups


Service Prototype
Volume Model
Rapid prototyping
Service blueprints


Focus groups
Empathy maps
Product box
Low-quality wireframes

Engagement Models

We focus on the entire product lifecycle, from concept to implementation and market launch. EnCata's knowledge, resources and experience in innovation enable our Clients to bring a product to market with minimal cost or time.

Some hardware Projects we delivered

Work that highlights the incredible technologies, solutions, and products EnCata developed.

Industries We serve

Our hardware engineers are focus on the entire product/service lifecycle, from concept to implementation to market launch.  EnCata’s knowledge, resources and innovation development expertise allow our Clients to develop and expand their businesses faster and leaner.

FAQ related to Product development

IP ownership when working with EnCata

When working with our clients we sign a contract where all the intellectual property to be generated during the R&D and engineering development belongs to the customer.

Do you sign NDAs?

Yes. As a highly professional design and engineering firm, we make sure that all discussions with our clients and all information regarding your invention, idea and other proprietary information are kept confidential.

How do I make sure EnCata does not "steal" my idea?

Aside from being a reputable company which does not steal ideas, EnCata's entire business model is based on delivering premium R&D, design and industrial prototyping services to our clients. As soon as we stole one client’s idea, our entire business would be ruined. Also, as we are not contract manufacturers (OEM or ODM), we wouldn’t be able to benefit from a stolen idea even if we wanted to.  This is definitely not a worry for our clients.

Patent or Develop first?

We follow a LEAN approach in product and business development and thus we strongly recommend patent filings only after you are  at least part-way through development. This is because patenting is expensive and early patents can already become obsolete or irrelevant later in the development phase. Typically, EnCata's work generates many patentable opportunities for our clients  and the best strategy is to file patents at TRL-7, i.e. when early beta prototype is ready and when a startup is ready to start batch production and marketing.

There is, however, another strategy, which is to use provisional patents which can be loose and are not to be disclosed to the public for 18 months. These are much less expensive and time consuming, generally costing below $500. EnCata will always sign a Non-Disclosure Agreement and keep your intellectual property confidential during the development phase and then we can recommend several third-party patent attorneys when the time is right.

Can EnCata consult me or help me with my existing design?

Whether you need to validate, evaluate or review your design, concept, 3D model, BOM or drawings, our experienced manufacturing, mechanical and electronics engineers are ready to help.

EnCata’s engineering consultancy service will allow you to critically reassess your project and help reach your goals while keeping the process cost-effective. To read more about the TRL and learn why it is useful, please procees to our blog.

What are typical project EnCata engaged with?

EnCata develops integrated Hardware and Software solutions for a variety of industries. We are engaged in multiple domains like IoT, robotics, medTech and IoMT, aerospace, agriculture, consumer products and many others. It is possible to work with such a wide variety of industries because we have multidomain expertise and utilize a cross-disciplinary product development approach.

I would like to do prototyping myself. Is it possible with EnCata?

Generally speaking, we do not allow clients to work on EnCata's manufacturing premises.

What does work, however, is that EnCata can manufacture prototype parts and the startup team can assemble thea prototype in our MakeIT Center hackerspace.  Alternatively, the startup can design and build the prototype themselves in our hackerspace.  We operate this free-access space in Minsk and we are currently working on expanding a hackerspace network worldwide.

Have a project to do? Reach out to EnCata team

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