Research & discovery

An ethnographic expedition. 

With curiosity, we dive deep into your domain to observe the world from your point of view through a designer’s lens. With empathy, we immerse ourselves in the social and cultural world of the people who will use your product.

These observations uncover blind spots, pain points, and unvoiced desires — all useful data points for the next phase of development. Understanding the user’s needs allows us to avoid the assumptions that lead to product failure.

Tasks & Activities: 

  • Competitive landscape survey
  • Ethnographic research
  • Empirical data collection
  • Literature and patent review
  • Technology review
Next phase

Concept Exploration

Creative thinking at play.

We use our understanding of your users’ needs to imagine better futures and better experiences. In this phase, the most implausible ideas can inspire the most innovative solutions.

We use sketches to problem solve. Ideas begin to take shape on paper as we play with form-factors. Free-form sketching allows us to identify challenges and iterate quickly before getting too deep into a solution. By the end of this stage, the product champion will be able to show the design to stakeholders and build excitement, momentum, and buy-in.

Tasks & Activities: 

  • Idea generation
  • Concept development
  • Refined/precise sketching
  • Thumbnail sketching
  • Detailed colour renderings
  • Marketing and branding support

Next phase

Prototype design

Learning through building. 

Concept exploration gives you a sense of a product’s look and feel, but nothing is more impactful than a physical prototype you can hold in your hand.

Additive prototyping using in-house 3D printing allows us to quickly test forms and ideas. Subtractive (CNC) prototyping using production-grade components brings material, texture and colour together for the first time. Our electronics and firmware engineers animate the prototypes. You now have a form factor and workable design to bring to stakeholders and potential customers. 

Hey. Now it’s real.

Tasks & Activities:

  • Mechanical verification
  • Rapid prototyping
  • Schematic and PCB design
  • Firmware and software authoring
  • Field testing

Next phase

Production design

Art meets engineering.

We determine how to produce your groundbreaking product at scale. Design for manufacturing (DFM) principles guide our analysis of each part for material selection, manufacturing technique, and finish.

Design for assembly (DFA) principles structure our analysis of sub-assemblies. Our engineers break an assembly down into its component parts, producing a database and bill of materials ready for production. We perform regulatory checks with nationally recognized testing labs (NRTLs), as well as manufacturing validation with our supply chain, to arrive at a production-ready design that considers cost and quality.

Tasks & Activities: 

  • Recommended manufacturing tools and processes
  • Materials and colour selection
  • Production-ready 3D data 2D drawing package
  • Supply chain validation
Next phase

Production Liaison

From one to many. 

We work closely with suppliers and factories to ensure production vision and quality are maintained. Quality audits and close communication help ensure manufacturers produce the best product possible.

We oversee production on your behalf to ensure that critical tolerances and procedures are met and followed.

Tasks & Activities: 

  • Production quotes
  • Vendor identification and sourcing
  • Overseas manufacturing liaison
  • CNC machining service
  • Injection molding
  • Die-casting metal stamping and forming
  • PCB and PCBA
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03 / Company

If you can form a human connection with something you've developed, it will become relatable.

Learn more

© 2019 Cortex Design Inc.


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