Invention Class


6 Lessons

10,212 Enrolled

Beginner Level

This class will focus on the process of invention and how to create quality designs (products specifically) through a straightforward series of steps that provide – even for those who consider themselves to be uncreative – a path to new, innovative, well executed ideas.

Using empathy, iteration, imagination, and a dedication to problem solving (let your inner Sherlock shine!), you’ll follow along with me as I design a portable smartphone amplifier to illustrate the concepts I’ll be covering in each lesson.

Inventing is by no means a mindless paint-by-numbers process, but a systematic way of thinking – both in and out of the box – to create meaningful products that solve problems and have the potential to change lives for the better.

Let’s design a thing!

Enter an Instructables Contest!

If you've used the skills you've learned in this class to write a great instructable, try entering it in one of our Contests for a chance to win some amazing prizes!

Class Author:Paige Russell

Made in Canada, Paige Russell grew up crafting, making, and building. Out of this love for designing and creating, she went on to pursue a BFA in Product Design from Parsons School of Design in NYC. Her work has been featured in the Smithsonian Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum as well as numerous magazines with a focus on design. She's done work for Martha Stewart Living, Sunset Magazine, Fossil, Crate & Barrel, and her own ceramic design company. She now has the most fun ever as a full time designer and content creator for Instructables, making a wide range of projects from food to furniture.


Lesson 1: Design Supplies

While the computer currently plays a big role in inventing/designing new products, physical world activities like research, sketching and prototyping are crucial to good design. These are the physical world supplies you'll need.

Lesson 2: What Is Product Design?

What is product design? Read this intro lesson to find out! We'll also go over some common schools of thought re: product design's role in the world today.

Lesson 3: Inspiration: Through Research

Innovation can't be designed in a bubble. Being open to, and seeking inspiration, researching your target users, along with awareness of competition and current trends are all necessary if your product is to succeed in the marketplace.

Lesson 4: Ideation: Brainstorming & Sketching

Everyone works best differently. In this lesson, I'll show you a variety of ways to start refining your idea and honing in on how it works, what form it will take and why!

Lesson 5: Iteration: Prototyping & Testing

This is perhaps the most important step in the process – and the most fun!! I'll cover different ways of creating quick prototype "sketches" that will help develop the form and enable user testing, which will even further refine the design.

Lesson 6: Presentation: Final Model, Drawings + Renderings

Whether you're inventing/designing a product to manufacture yourself or to hand off to another company, you will need final drawings and renderings to communicate the fully developed idea. This final lesson covers the how-to!

Now that you have the skills, what are you waiting for?
Get out there and make something!