Have you thought how a customer interacts with your product? What are the first few important moments they go thru?
Let’s take the example of a humble coffee cup,
1) In a store, a whole lot of cups and varieties lay on the shelf, with a competitor’s cup sitting next to it. Usually the aesthetics takes the precedence; visual aesthetic is combination of form & color. While what form and which color is correct or near best fit, here is where the trend study comes in, try and predict. Or keep a close track of the trends in automotive and fashion industry to start with. At the same time do not diverse your existing designs by more than 10-15% , or even from the nearest competitor, why- you may end up losing regular customers. secondly, your cup although futuristic, will be little hard on most eyes, will be tagged as ‘weird’ even though you feel great or would perform well in say next couple of years. Maruti Ignis anyone?
2) The next thing a user does, is to pick up cups which they feels are good (based on aesthetics in previous step), hold using handle , grab using one or both hands, check for comfort also unintentionally sense the weight. Not too heavy nor too light, as sometimes light weight is assumed to be weak. Which may not be the case, because that is the function ceramic quality and bake time/temp is key, which unfortunately are not known or is not presented across at that time of selection to the user.
3) This ergonomics is followed by basic engineering which is less visible or less felt but is very important thought in loose units (given the industry) like volume of coffee, stability on putting it back on shelf/table etc., upon purchase and use - its thermal transfer to hands, small shock resistance for low height drops, these subconsciously play vital role in re-selection of the brand. These aesthetics, ergonomics and engineering sense of design are key in creating a worthy product, though their percentages may vary (0 to 100) from product to product, and units vary industry to industry. But the essences remains the same, across the board