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What makes a good concept deck?

Over hundreds of product concepting projects, we've identified a few necessities:

Satisfy all constraints

Every concept in the deck needs to adhere to the design criteria and satisfy all constraints we're aware of. Sure, some concepts might address the hard points in different ways and to different degrees, but each concept must satisfy all constraints or else it doesn't qualify.

All good ideas

The client doesn't see a deck of sketches. They see a deck of ideas. Make sure each concept included in the deck represents a good product idea. Bad ideas should be trimmed out of the deck as they waste time, steal the place of a good idea, and deteriorate trust.


Typically the client asks for just one problem to be solved or one big opportunity to be seized, but there are almost always multiple different solutions to the same problem. Showing a wide variety of concepts captures the possibilities and avoids placing all the eggs in one basket.


Mild to wild is how we most often organize the concepts in our deck. This pushes us to not only generate a wide spectrum of ideas, but also present them in a way that is easiest to digest; starting with the ideas that are closest to home and finishing with the ideas that are the most blue sky.

What else have you found to be a key ingredient of a concept deck that gets the client excited, fulfills the project objectives, and keeps the project progressing forward?

Knack is the industrial design studio that packs pipelines with value-creating innovations.

We do so by supporting product innovation teams with new product concept creation & illustration.


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