WHAT IS PRODUCT DESIGN?
Product Design involves a broad approach to the designing and making of innovative / new products. This subject is aimed at those interested in the way business and industry identifies potential products and successfully designs and manufactures them. It is not for those who intend to design and manufacture an item that already exists. However, you can take an existing product and improve it or develop an entirely new product.
Product Design is more
To understand what Product Design can do, we need to look at the various forms of design that make up a good Product Designer, how they fit together, and, as if assimilated by the Borg, what they can do when working in concert.
Interaction or UX Designers investigate behavioral patterns and explore the myriad ways in which a particular application might solve a pre-identified user need. These people can create and iterate on solutions faster than most.
Graphic or Visual Designers do what everyone who isn’t a designer thinks all designers do. Pixels! They create beautiful masterpieces of color and depth as they toe the line between positive and negative space. These designers work with drawing tablets. They carry notebooks without lines. Visual Designers put the skeuomorphism into and then out of iOS.
Motion or Animation Designers are the cool ones. If you’re oohing and aahing over that slick menu transition or the way that awesome loading animation comes alive, it’s these guys who get the credit.
User Researchers are the real champions of users’ needs. They delve into the mind of your customers. They ask the difficult questions, and take all the difficult answers. User Research gets to the bottom of everything. The user is always right.
Data Analysts are the scientists of Product Design. They manage A/B tests and live products, collecting and making sense of enormous amounts of data. They are the masters of correlation and causation. These are the guys who announce the winning concept. The verdict comes from a jury of millions of users.
Prototypers craft interactive experiences quickly and with ease. This is an integral part of the product development phase. Prototypes enable us to test our ideas quickly and cheaply. To within days or even hours, go from fifteen potential solutions, to five, to three.
Business Strategists are the ones that at the end of the day answer the question “Why are we really doing this?”. They identify the business value behind every decision. In order for what you’re building to ultimately be successful it is imperative that you understand why you’re building it.
Classically, these have all been individual roles. All of them still are. However, they are also all necessary components of an individual Product Designer.
The times they are a changing. Especially within the tech industry, it is becoming increasingly important to broaden our skills as designers, embracing ones previously thought superfluous. Even ones that don’t exist yet.
Product Design is the whole process
If you look at your Product Designer as someone that makes your solution look presentable, look again. She is there to help you identify, investigate, and validate the problem, and ultimately craft, design, test and ship the solution.
Present a Product Designer with a solution, and they will tell you what’s wrong with it.
Present her with a problem, and she will go to Analytics and gather existing user data. She’ll assemble a cross-functional team from every corner of the business and brainstorm as many solutions as possible. Then, she’ll talk to User Research and make a test plan. She’ll work late and churn out wireframe after wireframe, exploring the vast realm of possibilities. She will throw together prototypes of the most interesting ideas and put them in front of users for quick validation.
Then she will give you several fully formed concepts that all perfectly solve the problem at hand. With clear strategy for how, when, and what to A/B test, and ultimately what the build and release plans should be. And she’ll support the developers through launch. She’ll work with marketing to ensure the story is consistent with the product. She will care for the product long after the first version has shipped, following up on data and metrics to keep validating the design.
A product designer will design the solution, until the problem changes.
Product Design is your brand
Your marketing team, through carefully tending to your message, advertising, and communication, bring you all the users in the world. If your Product doesn’t deliver what your brand promises, those users will not stick around. Trust me on this one.
Product Designers are the caretakers of the foundation upon which the business depends. Discrepancies between what your brand is promising and what your Product delivers are, ultimately, what will cause you to fail. This means that it is of utmost importance that your Product Design team works closely with, and understands the work of, your Marketing team.
Roughly a year ago, we rebranded Spotify. We redesigned the logo and our consumer-facing home page, we revamped our advertising style. We said goodbye to the doodles that had been with us for so long, and embraced a new, more human-centered marketing language.
It will solve users’ problems. In the way most beneficial to you. And when I said ‘you’ just now, I meant your business.
A key aspect of Product Design is understanding the business value behind every decision. Data informs everything we do, user research checks our assumptions, and we measure our success through business and engagement metrics.
Product Design is adaptive
This is an ever-evolving world. We all feel it. That which was extraordinary yesterday is mundane today and stale tomorrow. Product Design is still trying to figure out its place within this highly reactive space. Hell, half the platforms we have to design for today didn’t exist a couple years ago. And you can be damn sure there will be more in the years to come.
We need to be flexible. We need to understand that design is timeless. Design is invisible. We need to think platform-agnostically. Solve the problem once. Then apply the solution. Don’t design one solution for each platform.
Product design is conceptualization of an idea about a product and transformation of the idea into a reality. To transform the idea into reality a specification about the product is prepared. This specification is prepared by considering different constraints such as production process, customer expectation, etc. In product design stage every aspects of the product are analyzed. Also final decision regarding the product is taken on the basis of the analysis. This decision can be any aspect related to the product, e.g. dimension and tolerances, type of material for every components, etc.
Product design is one of the most important and sensitive factor for an organization. Success or failure of the product decides company’s business, market share and reputation. So during design stage various factors related to the product needs to be addressed.