INTERESTED IN PRODUCT DESIGN? HERE’S WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW

PRODUCT DESIGN

“If you think good design is expensive, you should look at the cost of bad design”- Dr.Rolf Speth, CEO of Jaguar Land Rover.

Definition of Terms:

Product means an object, a system, or a service made available for consumer use as per consumer demand.

Design on the other hand is said to be a plan or drawing produced to show the look and function or workings of something before it is made.

PRODUCT DESIGN DEFINED

Product Design can be said to be a broad coefficient and effective generation and development of ideas through a process that leads to new products. It could also be described as the process of imagining, creating, and iterating products that solve users’ problems or address specific needs in a given market. Product design plays an ongoing role in refining the customer experience and ensuring that supplemental functionality and capabilities get added in a seamless, discoverable, and non-disruptive manner. Product design can refer to any product—even digital, virtual products such as software apps.

PRODUCT DESIGN PROCESS

Product Design Process- PDP, is the set of strategic and tactical activities, from idea generation to commercialization, used to create a product’s design. In a systematic approach, product designers conceptualize and evaluate ideas, turning them into tangible inventions and products. Their role is to combine art, science, and technology to create new products that people can use. 

There are various design processes and their processes often involve figuring out what is required, brainstorming ideas, creating mock prototypes, and then generating the products. The design thinking process involves several steps they including; 

  • Empathize with people
  • Define the problem
  • Ideate a solution
  • Build a prototype
  • Test the solution

The product design process never truly stops, even once a product reaches maturity. That’s because technology and how users interact with it keep evolving. “The key to a successful product design is understanding the end-user customer i.e the person whom the product was created for”. 

HOW PRODUCT DESIGN CAME TO BE

Product Design is an outgrowth of a similar discipline called “Industrial Design” which is the process of design applied to physical products that are manufactured by mass production. It can also be said to be the creative act of determining and defining a product’s form and features which takes place in advance of the manufacture or production of the product. 

There are several roles under the name “Product Design” and they include:

UX Design

User experience commonly known as “UX Design” is a design process whose sole objective is to design a system that offers a great experience to its users. It is the process of defining the experience a user would go through when interacting with a digital product or website. UX design embraces the theories of several disciplines such as user interface design, usability, accessibility, information architecture, and human-computer interaction. 

User-experience and interaction designers focus on refining a product based on how their research into user behaviour suggests people will get the most satisfaction from using the product. UX designers aim to increase users’ happiness.

Graphic Design

The most artistic job within product design is creating the graphics, icons, logos, and other visual elements of the product experience. Graphic design is the act of creating visual concepts, using computer software or by hand, to communicate ideas that inspire, inform, and captivate consumers. 

Graphics designers develop the overall layout and production design for applications such as advertisements, brochures, magazines, and reports. Their purview is as broad as selecting a colour scheme to as narrow as tweaking individual pixels.

Motion/Animation Design

If the product experience involves elements “moving”—be it slick transitions or a user-controlled avatar—the motion/animation designers work on this extremely complicated part of the design. They don’t create the art, but they bring it to life. 

User Research

In a large enough product design organization, User research solely focuses on understanding customers. Interviewing, running usability studies, presenting prototypes and mockups for feedback, and building out demographics and personas that fall under the design scope.

Data analysis

Data analysis focuses on user research and other data to identify ways to improve a product’s layout, feature set, and visual aesthetic. The primary role of data analysts is a scientific one, but they are also designers.

Prototyper

Prototypers are the product team members who bring the team’s ideas to a tangible state to help the company quickly validate with users the product’s features and other characteristics. In a company that makes physical products, prototypers will handcraft mockups. For digital companies, the prototyping team will develop wireframes or other virtual mockups.

Product design can be demanding and intricate work. It is a far broader, far more strategically central role than most people realize. More responsibilities and specialized experience mean higher pay. Product design is not simply the process of making a product look better, “product design is the whole process”. You evaluate problem validation, as well as crafting, designing, testing, and shipping the solution. 

Product design may be your dream job if you:

  • Enjoy developing and integrating business goals into design and product decisions.
  • Love participating in the entire design process
  • Have deep knowledge in design and a solid understanding of business; and
  • Can analyze complex data to synthesize designs that satisfy business goals and user needs. 

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