What is Product Design? Everything you need to know!
May 3, 2024
7 min read

Over the span of a couple of decades, product design has transformed massively. Yet, until lately, it was thought of as a physical and materialistic design, necessitating an experienced individual to work with conventional tools to make something substantial.

That era, however, is light years away from how it has evolved in our present-day digital age.

It is so widespread that several people question, ‘What is product design?’, ‘How does it function?’, and ‘What’s its relevance?’.

According to Mordor Intelligence, the product design market is expected to register a CAGR of 10.9% during the forecast period of the study(2022-2027).

Moreover, according to Statista, AppStore alone features up to 2 million applications for users to download whereas Google Play has a whopping 3.5 million apps that are on the rise every pa.

That’s enormous, isn’t it?

So, do you still need any concrete reason to believe that the Product Design industry is indeed taking the digital world by storm? Or are you really confused about what Product Design really is and what extraordinary it can do for your business? Well, to answer all the queries we’ve worked on a short yet simplistic guide to help you explore the possibilities of product design.

So, without wasting any time, let’s hop on to a gem of a guide that we’ve written primarily for all of our techie folks!

What is Product Design?

When we compare the product design industry to traditional times, we can see a massive change. From being traditional a couple of decades back to being completely digital today, product design is progressing towards an advanced digital era and will not stop anytime soon!

Product design primarily applies to digital products rather than material items. Examples of product designs include designing, developing, and deploying a website or mobile application. To build a product, a full team of designers, developers, managers, and others must work behind the scenes for the successful completion of the project.

Product design is the procedure by which the design team aligns users’ requirements with business objectives with the aim for brands to create long-lasting and meaningful product solutions. The fundamental goal of a product designer is to improve the user experience in the products they develop for their customers. The ever-changing methodology of design thinking and the product design process are the two domains of design that dominate the entire procedure.

And for your convenience, this article attempts to define in depth the processes of product design, as well as the relevance, tips, stages, and techniques used in the product designing phase to streamline the development process.

What is the relevance of Product Design today?

From optimizing your marketing efforts to forging good relations with your customers, an excellent product design can do wonders for your business. There are many reasons why product design is suitable for any business today, especially from the marketing angle. So, let’s see what relevance it holds for your business’s future…

Standing Out in the Market

Well, it’s a bit hard to stand out amid so many competitors in the market unless you have a superb product design. Having a great product design makes it easy to establish your brand in the market and strengthen your targeted audience’s trust in your brand.

Driving Growth

Product design drives the attention of customers and increases revenue for your business in the digital economy, particularly in the era where using the internet and smartphones has become the need of the hour. It’s not just about developing digital products but the design is also important in various other industries as well, as it can make a huge difference between quality products and messy products.

Building Brand Voice

Did you know that developing a brand voice in the marketplace over time is reliant on ground breaking product design?

For example, the iPhone was built using a product design that prioritizes user experience. To guarantee that the user’s problems were addressed, the brand relied on input, concentrated on the user’s issue, and incorporated them into the development and design of the product. Further more, the product design emphasized uniqueness, which most users value.

Creating a solid product design is more of an investment that can yield substantial benefits over time. However, it also requires extensive research and development. So, before talking about a brief design process let’s walk you through the design thinking procedure behind an amazing product design.

Design Thinking: The foundation of the design process

Design thinking is a prominent method of product creation that is used by many product designers across the world. This method combines human-centered design techniques and thoughts into a single coherent notion.

Because it focuses on end-to-end product creation rather than just the ‘design phase’, experienced designers have always implemented design thinking in product design (whether physical or digital).

Designers should first grasp the business goals and be capable of responding to the following questions when brainstorming about products or features:

– What issue are we attemptingto solve?

– Who has this issue?

– What do we hope to accomplish?

Tackling these queries assists designers in understanding the overall user experience of a product, rather than just the interactivity (feel)or aesthetic (look) aspects of the design. Only after responding to these inquiries does it make sense to proceed forward with trying to solve the problem.

Five-Steps of Problem-Solving

Empathize

The product design process begins with empathizing in the initial stage when designers go to the root of the issue and solve it as their primary purpose. Such in-depth observations aid in covering all aspects of the situation.

At this critical step, designers incorporate a human touch into the socialization component of the process, empathizing with consumers’ worries by putting themselves in their boots. It is also the phase that assists designers in shedding their assumptions so that they do not exhibit themselves in product design. Designers can take a ‘blank slate’ approach from the start by using this method.

Define

This stage follows the first, in which the designers develop a crux of the problem according to the insight and viewpoint they have gained. Throughout this stage, the design team takes into account the human perspective and explores possible solutions.

Ideate

Solid design concepts are developed through brainstorming with the group as part of the design strategy when the designer proceeds from gathering data to the physical aspect. Numerous ideas and elements are evaluated before selecting what is most beneficial to the consumer. Designers generally want to be given creative freedom to create the finest results.

Five-Steps of Problem-Solving

Prototype

The following stage is the prototyping step, in which the designer and crew begin developing multiple product versions. They play with low-fidelity concepts that have yet to take tangible shape. There are several possibilities for improving, re-designing, re-implementing, and re-introducing the prototype, or you can abandon the project entirely and start over. The design team gets a deeper look at the design’s initial obstacles and concentrates on resolving them all.

Test

The final stage of the design thinking process is the crucial testing stage. It entails evaluating and retesting the solutions developed in response to consumer pain areas. Designers also consider whether there is any possibility to enhance the layout further. Designers may need to go back and evaluate the design from the beginning to filter out flaws and errors in the process, and they may only launch the product if they think the testing procedure has been finished.

So, now you all must be aware of what the design thinking process entails and its role in developing an out-of-the-box product design. However, now it’s time to dive deep into the product design process!

Product Design Process: Step-by-Step Stages

Now that you know what design thinking is, it’s vital to outline the design process. The design process consists of a number of stages that product teams do from beginning to end while developing a product. A robust, well-structured procedure is important for two primary reasons: It assists you in concentrating solely and staying on schedule.

While it is not possible to develop a uniform design process that applies to all projects, a basic flow for creating new products can be articulated. Therefore, the following steps are included in this flow.

Product Design Process

Product Goals and Strategy

Have you ever undertaken an assignment with an unclear overall objective? In which the people involved with the creation and development have only a hazy understanding of the product’s aim? This frequently occurs as a result of a lack of product vision. Regrettably, this circumstance occurs far too frequently. In most circumstances, this harms businesses.

Every product design requires a project plan to steer the product development team and establish the path. The core of the product is captured by vision — the important knowledge that the product team must grasp to design and deploy a successful product. Vision contributes to a shared understanding of “what we are attempting to construct here and why.” Being explicit about your solution’s limitations can assist you in remaining concentrated while developing your product.

However, goal clarity is only one-half of the picture. The second part of the equation is strategy. The journey of a product is defined by its product strategy. Your goal assists you in identifying the desired condition – the ultimate user experience that you are striving for.

Product Research

Keep in mind that the effort spent in researching never goes to waste!

Product research (which naturally encompasses consumer and market analysis) offers the other part of the groundwork for a beautiful design once the product goal has been determined. Do a thorough study before making any product decisions to boost your probability of victory.

Excellent research enriches your product, and doing it early in the design process saves you a lot of time and money later on because fewer adjustments are needed throughout the product design phase. Furthermore, with thorough research, presenting your concepts to investors would be much easier.

This stage also includes doing market analysis, even if the product has no direct competitors. To prevent this, the design team examines rivals’ products for weaknesses that must be addressed in the product they are producing. The goal is also to distinguish the product from the potential competitor.

User Analysis

Designers have a massive amount of data and information at their fingertips after the product research phase. Yet, the data is useless until it’s transformed into valid and meaningful information to contribute to the design process.

Designers begin by developing consumer personalities. Once established, these hypothetical UX profiles act as user analogs. These person as represent the users’ preferences, views, demands, interests, and so on, as well as other crucial details that designers can use in their product design path.

The designers can use this as a standard guideline without navigating through all of the information every time. They simply need to seek the answers offered by the personas, which act as clarifications for inquiries that arise during the product creation process.

Product Design Process

Ideation

The brainstorming stage of the product design process is when designers organize all of the concepts they’ve gathered. The design team develops a strategy and discusses notions, debates and deliberates on them to reach an agreement.

It’s basically narration, with several scenarios developed on a storyboard and utilized as a medium. This is the stage in which the designers envision how the product will fit into the user’s daily life. The objective is to pinpoint and solve user needs while also taking into account their trouble spots.

Designers plan a user’s route, taking into account the basic actions they undertake to finish an activity. It is simply a product storyline that is created, with designers picturing the original product, whether it be a website or an application.

Designing

Following ideation, the design stage is regarded to be among the most crucial in coping with the concept itself. The designer begins developing the product and uses operational models to figure out whether or not the features are congruent with each other. The main screen serves as the prototype’s preliminary step, from which the other portions are constructed. It is the framework within which designers test ideas, images, and other async collaboration tools in order to gain a full perspective on the end result. The prototyping cycle is divided into three stages:

–        Prototyping

–        Reviewing

–        Refining

Prototypes are exact replicas of the final version. Still, the designers must identify faults and make fixes wherever appropriate at this stage. The review phase is when users and partners can evaluate the product, provide feedback and suggestions, and recommend where adjustments should be made. Finally, the refinement stage is when multiple design variations are worked on till a perfect finishing of the product is achieved.

Testing and Validation

Even though handing over is the final step, the procedure is not finished without testing and validation. As a result, the design team evaluates the product and carefully analyzes it to see if it fulfills their requirements. To ensure objectivity, the designer team conducts a test run with actual end-users who will carefully assess the product and provide suggestions.

The testing and validation process assists a product design team in ensuring that the design idea functions as envisioned. Product testing is indeed an artistic expression. If you get it incorrect, you won’t learn anything. If you do it right, you may receive great, deeper insight that may even revolutionize your product vision.

Post-Design Phase

The post-launch phase is known as the post-design stage. Design is a continual process that occurred prior to its debut and continues to exist afterward. Once the product has been examined and verified, the designer’s job is not done. They must forge ahead on it to guarantee that it does not incur problems, and they must respond quickly to any input they get. Designers can assess the effectiveness of a product using metrics derived from data submitted by a lot of consumers.

These measurements contribute to bettering the product, primarily by making it more user-friendly and efficient.

Benefits of Product Designing

In general, the function and benefits of the design of the goods or services are as the identity of the product itself and as a protector of a product and increase its monetary value. Furthermore, the value of the production design is something that the consumer takes note of. Below are the functions and benefits.

Customer Satisfaction

Customers will often judge a product depending on its design layout. A look at the quality design, appealing appearance, ease of use, and restricted limits leads the consumer to infer that the product is required for excellence.

Project Success

A firm would profit greatly from creativity and originality ingenerating designs for items or services. The defining criteria of a product’s sustainability, it will boost performance while decreasing expenses and uncertainty to the business.

Benefits of Product Designing

Increased Revenue

To reach consumers globally, unique and imaginative designs are required. Because a distinctive design is an important aspect of the longevity of a product or service. It will almost surely affect sales and boost a company’s capital growth.

Business Expansion

The design of a product, whether new or developed from existing designs, affects the marketing strategy of a service or good. When it comes to visual appeal, undoubtedly it influences the product. This will result in arise in product sales, expanding your business globally.

Elevate your Digital Product’s design with Antino Labs

You, as a business, surely have high standards for product design, and we respect that!

As a result, our staff isn’t scared to disrupt the current quo, but we always keep your primary goals in mind. We are data-driven and consumer-focused, and every choice or recommendation we make is based on extensive study and hands-on experience. This is why over 500+ clients have put their trust in us for their design and development needs.

Antino Labs makes it simple to create a feature-rich digital product. From the healthcare industry to the manufacturing industry, education industry, agriculture industry, and others, all industries can benefit from our quick, on-demand team extension with professionals who quickly produce a comprehensive product design and create value for your organization. So, if you’re looking for an experienced product design team, then get in touch with us today!

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AUTHOR
Radhakanth Kodukula
(CTO, Antino)
Radhakanth envisions technological strategies to build future capabilities and assets that drive significant business outcomes. A graduate of IIT Bhubaneswar and a postgraduate of Deakin University, he brings experience from distinguished industry names such as Times, Cognizant, Sourcebits, and more.