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Part 01: Basic Fundamentals, Principles & Approaches
Welcome to a Comprehensive Guide to Digital Product Design, powered by DotnikStudio.Blog. In Part 01, we will go into the basic fundamentals, principles, and approaches of digital product design and processes. We all use many products on a daily basis like the computer, mobile phones, motorbike, apps, software the numbers could be from few to dozens. In all the products the one common thing that it is made according to consumers as the end result matters.
There are many aspects of the designs and human psychology that need to be considered while designing great products either it is physical or digital. We are in a world where product design dominates and provides a competitive advantage in the business.
What is Product Design?
Product design is the process that contains the imagination and creation of the objects which fulfill the user’s needs while meeting the demands of the business & market. It encompasses the physical as well as the functional part of the products. Product design has a wide application over the market like medical devices, software, sports & leisure, food preservation, etc. The key to product design is an understanding of the end-user consumers and understanding its ability to use it.
Digital Product Design process mainly consists of 3 main components, User Experience (UX), User Interface (UI) & Product Design.
UX:- It involves the overall design process of acquiring & integrating the products and deliver the relevant and meaningful experience to the users.
UI:- In an easy manner we can say that its an interface to use the software/devices or products. It is more focused on appearance the products should appealing to the consumers.
Product Design: – It focuses on business needs or its purpose to launch. Combining all these with the consumers meets product design.
What Types of Tools Do Product Designers Use
Product Design is a very broad term and covers multiple aspects of designing, so different types of tools are required to fulfill the objective.
A Comprehensive Product Designers Tools list is below:
- Brainstorming and Ideation (Miro, Whimsical)
- Wireframing apps (Sketch, Figma, Adobe XD)
- Graphics and Visual Design apps (Photoshop, Illustrator)
- Prototyping Tools (Principle for mac, Protopie, Adobe XD)
- Research and Data Analytics Tools (Spreadsheets, Sophisticated A/B Testing apps)
- 3D and 4D Designs Softwares (Cinema 4D, Autodesk Maya)
- Project management apps (Trello, Jira, Asana)
- Product roadmap apps (Product Plan)
- User Testing (UserTesting, Maze Design)
- Developer Handoff (Zeplin, Abstract, Avocode)
- Font Management (Fontbase)
- Icon Management (Iconset)
What Does Product Design Look Like…?
Any professional product designer breaks the whole process in the sequential steps to make it easy to minimize the error chances.
Define Product Vision
Before the completion of any design, it is important to analyze why are you doing it before starting. Define the contextual existence of the products. This moment the product team defines its vision and develops the strategies. It enables the team to set the guidelines and other parameters for the development team.
- Define values that adds to enhancing the customer experience.
- Define success criteria and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs).
- Organize project Kick-off meeting.
Once the vision is set, then product research makes the way for the successful foundation of the great design. The time which is used on research is never wasted. Good research makes you aware of the pros & cons and other relates aspects of stakeholders.
- Conduct user research to know them.
- Grab user’s responses with an online survey from all environments.
- Make contextual inquiries to empathize and to know the consumer’s perspective.
The aim of the user analysis to extract the consumer’s patterns from the collected data from the research. The consumer’s patterns help UX designers to know how the consumers behave, the response in the given circumstances.
- Make personas for the multiple segments of users, and understand the users’ goals in specific contexts.
- Empathy Map:- A visualization tool used to articulate what a product team knows about the user.
- Illustrate what users say, think, do and feel.
The prototype is the experimental model of the ideas that help to visualize before building into the full solution. It includes the development of the few core segment of the solution. The most efficient prototyping is the rapid prototyping which gets refine with continuous review.
- Paper prototyping allows for rapid experimentation.
- prototyping tools allow non-technical designers to create high-fidelity prototypes.
- Use digital prototypes as an up-to-date specification for developers.
After the completion of the prototyping phase, the design is ready for the development phase. The explained document should be shared with the developers to each and every minute parts and its functionalities. For fewer changes in error probabilities, the developers & designers should be on the same page.
- Design specifications should be shared that provide information about a product.
- The developer uses these documents to take the product design into the production.
- Build the product to the designer’s specifications.
Testing & Validation
Testing & validation helps the products team to ensure that they are on the right track. the validation phase starts when the high-fidelity design is rolled out. The testing is done with the multiple environments to ensure the quality like:
- Testing with the product team or an in-house team.
- Testing with real users.
- Gathering and analyzing verbal and non-verbal feedback from users & teams.
Product design is a very wide broader term and it is designed for the people. The great design delivers great value to the consumers and great business to the owners. As Eric Eriksson argues, “product design is the whole process.” And that includes problem validation, designing, testing & delivering the solutions.