6 not-that-secret ingredients to great digital product design
Product is king. When you create and it’s not just for the sake of creation, you mean to build something that will enchant the masses. Or not the masses, but that very narrow and specialized target group according to your idea. Yet still, it’s meant not only to work, but to allure, attract, and win the hearts of people willing to spend their money on your product.
How to make your digital creation flourish?
Building products that perform, not just deliver, is the result of aggregating the relevant ingredients in the right dosage and the right order. The process of digital product design covers all stages from just an idea, through more down-to-earth steps like analysis and research to development. During the journey, we focus on identifying and understanding particular problems and needs, drawing the product as an answer to end-users’ pains, and fulfilling the business goals of the creator.
What are the not-that-secret components of digital product design?
If you can dream it, you can make it, as the saying attributed to Walt Disney goes. Once the idea emerges, it’s time to consider how it can be brought to life. At this stage, it’s crucial to understand everything about it, along with the user research to find how the idea can be validated and – later on – developed.
It’s not just about considering what the product will do, but how it will be doing it. That’s where the consideration of components of the application starts. Deciding whether the design will be modular or integral, choosing the product’s functional elements, and the way the parts will interact further on.
The process plays a crucial role in designing, testing, and maintaining the digital product. Agreed on findings are gathered in product architecture specification (PAS) that wraps up each level of the build with a detailed description of its features.
As long as it works, it doesn’t matter how it looks? Wrong, as often the looks can disrupt digital products’ functionality. The UX/UI design ensures the interactive part of the application, website or platform is not only capable of performing its function but does so in a user-friendly way.
From fonts to colors, the shape and arrangement of buttons to animations and transitions – all visual elements make a difference from the users’ point of view. Take time to choose the most suitable solutions, as inadequate and counterintuitive design can bury even the greatest product idea.
This stage brings the idea to life, at least – sort of. Prototyping means creating a physical manifestation of the product. In the case of applications, it usually consists of paper or digital drafts, consisting of a representation of the planned features. The prototype helps to understand the idea, its assumptions, and viability, serving an educational and informative purpose. At this stage, major shortages in elements can be detected, saving time and costs during actual development. Using clickable mockups, you can try out how the idea feels and behaves, without waiting for (and spending the whole budget on) the final build.
The Minimum Viable Product (and subsequent stages like Minimum Marketable Feature, Minimum Sellable Product, Minimum Awesome Product, etc.) allows creators to present end-users with a functional version of the idea. With the MVP, you can better understand the market needs, opportunities, and threats awaiting the product once it hits the market. Assumptions at this stage help recognize the value the product carries and what feelings it provokes. Armed with this knowledge, you can further refine the areas most requiring attention and allure investors to your product.
Once the design is ready, it’s the developers’ time to spring into action. As in the other stages, there’s no room for half measures or accidents. The decision on which technology to use in your product should be informed and well-thought-out. Why? Not every programming language suits the roles you’d like the product to play. Some languages are older than others, and as such, may soon become obsolete, leaving you with troublesome maintenance. While in most cases, sooner or later, the dilemma of whether to maintain or rewrite the architecture will arise, protecting yourself from its rapid appearance will save you the hassle. In this field, don’t follow hype for the newer and newer technologies. Instead, trust seasoned software product providers and see which solutions will lead to predictable, satisfactory results.
Why is product design so important for the business? What are the benefits?
As stated at the beginning, building products is about making good, great, and excellent solutions that the audience will want to use. The same way it works for e.g. candies, inflatable flamingos, or phone holders, it does for digital products – applications, websites, platforms. Most probably, the majority of useful inventions are already known to mankind, so it’s not about uniqueness when conquering the audience. It’s about delivering value and captivating users to the point they’ll choose your offering over what your competition makes. Ensure you’ve taken the best path through vital components of product design and let your creation stand out – in the best possible way.