Everything you need to know about Product Design

For those of you, who haven’t been in touch with the tech world, product design doesn’t have a significant meaning. Or let me put it this way, what is the first thing that comes to mind when you think about product design? It might be the packaging of a bottle of Coca-Cola or maybe the purple Milka packaging. Product Design is way more than just the packaging design. So let me try explaining it in more detail.

Product Design is the process of imagining, creating, and iterating products that solve users’ problems or address specific needs in a given market. The key to successful product design is understanding the end-user customer, the person for whom we create the product. If there was an easier way to understand this, wait, wait, here is an idea.

Do’s and don’ts of designing a digital product

Now we understand the definition of product design. Let's see what the industry's best practices are. As mentioned earlier, the key to awesome product design is keeping the end-user on your mind throughout the entire process.

The do’s

A product designer has to balance different interests and concerns. For example, you might know something is not resonating with the end-user based on your previous experience, but your client keeps pushing. What would you do? Apply a simple rule - keep your clients close and your users closer. Keep the client involved in the entire process, but guide them toward the user research you do. Client teams may have misguided assumptions about what their users want or need. The users are the ones who make or break a design.

Widen your stakeholders' circle and include people from your team. Client-facing people from your team have a tone of valuable insights into your users' psyche. Include them from the beginning. Leave your assumptions and your ego at home. Yes, we know you are the designer, but don't assume that you know what the end users want because you worked on similar projects. Do your research.

Find where it breaks and build it for the future. Regardless of how perfect it is, it can break! Make sure your digital product design is flexible enough to handle content both large and small by stress testing with unwieldy data. The most successful product design teams build digital products for longevity by providing a framework that suits current and future needs.

Don't get this the wrong way. We are not saying you should throw current limitations out the window, but rather keep the future design and business goals in mind while making decisions. 

The don’ts

Sometimes design can be redundant if we strictly follow the process. This might be confusing, but I have a great example of how even the leading companies amongst us can make mistakes.

If I tell you that my example comes from Microsoft, you might not believe me, but it is what it is. Microsoft Word has both footnotes and endnotes as separate features. Footnotes and endnotes are the same features, don't you think so? Footnotes and endnotes have the same purpose. You can insert both at the bottom of the page, after a section, or at the end of a document. 

There is also a feature to convert the footnotes to endnotes and the endnotes to footnotes. While some authors might find footnotes and endnotes functional, the features come with the cost of complicating the simple footnote feature.  To insert a footnote, you face a confusing dialog box with two radio buttons, five pull-down menus, a text-entry field, a counter, and two buttons that bring up additional dialog boxes. Luckily, Microsoft followed a usability guideline — use appropriate defaults for all dialog box elements — and you can thus ignore the dialog box and hit the enter key. This way, a user gets a standard footnote.

Unfortunately, many users will be intimidated by the elaborate choices. We have experienced many cases where adding new features makes the old ones intricate and error-prone.

Please remember that simplicity may be the most important usability guideline! The less stuff you show users, the less they'll have to scan and comprehend, and the better the odds that they'll pick the correct option at any given stage.

How do we do it?

Here at Tech387, we are aware that standard design concepts that are all-encompassing might be costly. Choosing this approach makes the redundant design a waste of time and money.

So what do we offer to our partners?

We offer a combination of experience in B2B/B2C on both design and development fronts, which provides us with valuable skills in considering both technical capabilities and UI/UX possibilities. We pull parallels between our experience and standard best practices to provide optimal product design solutions, and we build for the future. As you might know, no vision is too big or too scary for us, as our CTO likes to say.

While building your product, we observe the current limitations but keep our eyes on your business goals. We create flexible design solutions. By combining agile, scrum, and lean methodologies, we built our process tailored for a specific product phase that leads to optimal success. This approach allows us to provide tailored solutions. Our solutions are "lean" in nature. 

Long story short - We do not create unnecessary designs that cost more, we optimize them as much as possible! You don't have to take our word for any of this; browse our work section and see for yourself. If there are any unanswered questions, reach out. We are happy to help.