BACKGROUND AND CONTEXT
Engineering product design requires both technical aptitude and an understanding of the non-technical requirements in the marketplace, economic or otherwise. Engineering education has long focused on the technical side of product design, but there is increasing demand for market-aware engineers in industry. Market-awareness and customer-focus are also associated with entrepreneurship, which has been given increased focus in engineering education. A common tool for gauging customer interest in industry is the focus group. Herein we examine the effect of customer voice as presented in a focus group for influencing engineering product design generated by students as part of the virtual internship and epistemic game Nephrotex. We find that customer exposure is related to decreased product cost without a change in product quality. Therefore, we suggest that the injection of customer voice into the engineering curriculum is a valid method by which to improve engineering design pedagogy.