Human and industrial problems usually result to the need for new sophisticated products. The needs that give rise to new problem may be identified by the engineers, the market forces, harsh condition in industries, legal and environmental laws and regulation, customer needs, safety requirement among other factors.
After problem identification, a clear definition of the problem is outlined. The statement should be clear, detailed and unambiguous. It should specifically address a given real need. Broad definitions to a given problem encourage wide solution generation and better products at the end. During problem definition, aspects of design safety, costs, ergonomics, environmental pollution, aesthetics, disposability, simplicity, efficiency, effectiveness and ease of operation should be taken to consideration (Seyyed, 2005).
It involves conducting detailed information search from relevant literature interrelated to the identified problem. This reveals imperative information about the product being developed. During information search the following questions are answered
Information is obtained from many sources. The most common sources are engineering books and journals. Traditional publications are important and give the engineer guidance regarding the solution developed. Scientific encyclopedias, technical books, scientific magazines, handbooks, technical manuals, articles with international standards play an important role during design process. Nowadays electronic books, journals, magazines, encyclopedias and the internet provide a much detailed and comprehensive source of information for design engineers (Seyyed, 2005).
b) Narrow down the research
After the broad search for information, the design engineer should narrow down to the specific problem and information regarding this problem. This eliminates the need for too broad solution that may be difficult to implement.
c) Enumerate the criteria for success
The selection criterion is important. This