The characteristics of innovative, mechanical products

Matthew N. Saunders*, Carolyn C. Seepersad, Katja Hölttä-Otto

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionScientificpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


It is not easy to design an innovative product that delights customers. Current engineering design methods provide help in designing a good product, but the designer lacks tools that help him or her create a truly innovative, successful product. In this study, we analyzed 95 innovative, award-winning products against their competition to identify what made those products stand out from the competition. We focused on finding engineering-level characteristics that made the products successful. We developed a set of conditionally repeatable innovation categories that are used in the analysis. We found that the most innovative products were innovative in multiple categories. Overall, a vast majority (greater than 70%) of the award-winning products exhibited enhanced user interactions, with a similar percentage displaying enhanced environmental interactions, compared with approximately one-third of products offering an additional function and approximately half displaying innovative architectures. We conclude that breakthrough or innovative products are becoming increasingly centered on user interactions and that engineers need better methods to design these products.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationASME 2009 International Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference, IDETC/CIE2009
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - 2009
MoE publication typeA4 Article in a conference publication
EventASME International Design Engineering Technical Conferences & Computers and Information in Engineering Conference - San Diego, United States
Duration: 30 Aug 20092 Sep 2009


ConferenceASME International Design Engineering Technical Conferences & Computers and Information in Engineering Conference
Abbreviated titleIDETC/CIE
CountryUnited States
CitySan Diego

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'The characteristics of innovative, mechanical products'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this