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Editing & Publishing Module 1
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New Product Development

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The “New Product Development” module focuses on gathering customer needs; identifying, prototyping, testing, and retesting new product ideas; identifying and describing the target market; researching competition; preparing a business case and return on investment (ROI) analysis; and getting approval for the new product.

At the end of this module, the CLE professional will be able to:

  • Gather customer needs information through interviews, surveys, Advisory Committee input, other sources to begin process of identifying new product ideas
  • Be able to use customer needs information to brainstorm new product ideas, perform quick prototyping of new ideas, gather feedback, write concept paragraph, and refine and test prototypes. (Design Thinking developed by IDEO is a good process to use for developing new ideas.)
  • Identify and describe the target market for each product idea
  • Research competition for each product idea
  • Determine feasibility of each product idea that has tested well with customers by preparing a business case and return on investment document
  • Obtain approval to proceed with development of the new product idea

The following learning activities and resources support this module:


  • Watch Stanford Design School’s Virtual Crash Course on Design Thinking.
  • Attend conferences on design thinking, creating new product ideas, prototyping new ideas, and creating a business case for a new product.
  • Work with experienced CLE editors and other professionals to learn how to gather new product ideas, test them and create a business case to get them approved.
  • Set up conference calls or send listserv questions to find out how other CLE organizations identify new product ideas and produce them.
  • Progress by implementing the discovery stage of Design Thinking by interviewing your customers to find out their pain points. Use this information to brainstorm new product ideas.