This paper uses a case study to demonstrate how focusing on customer needs improves the success of product designs in the marketplace. A sampling of trends in modern design is presented, showcasing some methodologies that facilitate effective design. The work of the Brigham Young University mini-baja vehicle design team is studied. The team used a customer-focused design by developing the product specification directly from customer statements, and using matrices to evaluate the capacity of concepts to meet the specification. Lessons learned from the design process are considered.