The word "design" is commonly used to define visual aesthetics. But it’s actually more than that, especially in the case of digital product design. Whether you realize it or not, our lives these days are easier thanks to smooth digital product design.
You can order food easily from an app, book an airplane ticket in only a few minutes, and do many other things through your devices. All of our pleasant experiences did not happen by chance. They have been purposefully designed to provide a better experience for those who use them.
So when we talk about digital product design, it is more than just making a platform look beautiful or visually pleasing. This time, we’ll cover what a digital product design is, why it's important, the pillars of digital product design, as well as the digital product design process. Check it out!
Back then, we only referred to the word "product" in reference to tangible things, such as cars, chairs, clothes, and shoes. However, these days, software is also seen as a product, or, to be more specific, a digital product. A designer and developer would see and develop software just like how the car factory builds cars.
Digital items are products that we can purchase or use on a mobile application, website, or other technological platform. Some examples of digital products are Computer programs, music-making software, mobile apps, and video games. Even the browser you use to read this blog post is a digital product.
Therefore, digital product design is a process to create software that is simple to use, intuitive, useful, solves users’ problems, delivers values to users, and also gives a good experience for people who use it. It is similar to how people create tangible products for specific purposes.
Great digital products aren't created by accident. A strategic, data-driven approach to product design that carefully considers, conducts market research, conducts prototyping, performs user testing, iteratively improves the product based on customer feedback, conducts A/B testing, and much more are what produces amazing products.
Digital product design is important because it benefits both users and your company. Your product may solve a problem for users and make their lives easier. Users, for example, can buy groceries in minutes thanks to the existence of the seamless quick commerce app.
A product designer's goal should be to create a product that is both useful and valuable to the person who uses it. As a result, users will be satisfied with the product, continue to use it, and even be willing to pay for the services, which will benefit your business.
A truly well-designed product is advantageous to both users and your company. To achieve it, extensive research should be conducted during the development process in order to create a user-centric and sustainable product.
What is the use of a shopping website that looks stunning with images of trendy apparel and accessories but doesn’t provide a solution for all your shopping needs?
What is the use of an aesthetic application that turns out to be hard to use for users?
Digital products must not only look good (the concern of the user interface designer), but most importantly, they must meet the needs of the user (UX designer’s concern) and the business goals. In a nutshell, a product designer has to ensure that the product comes in a way that customers will find useful and easy to use.
When designing a new digital product, a designer has to consider many factors and get in touch with several stakeholders, like the researcher, business development team, and tech team.
Here are some things to consider as the pillars of digital product design:
You must understand your customers or users if you want them to use your product. Conduct extensive user research, learn what they need, observe how your customers use your product, collect feedback, and actively listen to diverse voices who can offer varying perspectives on how the product might be used. This is how you create a user-centric product design.
The key to making sure your design successfully solves the problem is correctly framing your problem statement once you start to understand who you're designing for. If you design to address the incorrect problem, even excellent solutions will fall short.
You need to get feedback from the users you're designing for after you've gone through the process of understanding who you're designing for, the problems they face, and potential opportunities to solve these problems. As the designer, you can never be completely certain of any choice.
If you focus solely on the visual, you are only dealing with a small portion of the overall concept of developing an amazing product design. The experience a user has with a product must also be taken into consideration by the designer. The user experience is affected by at least seven factors, including usefulness, desirability, accessibility, credibility, findability, usability, and value.
To illustrate the steps or flows a typical user will take to accomplish their goals, most product designers begin by creating a series of "wireframes," or loose sketches of what a screen layout could look like.
Once the groundwork for UX design has been laid, a UI designer can move on to the next step, which is ensuring that the interface looks awesome. The font and color choices are a few of factors that affect this.
Again, even though having a fantastic visual for your product is important, it won't work if other, more crucial factors, like its usability, are neglected. The priority should goes like this:
User needs, business goals
Functional and content requirements
Information architecture, interaction design
Interface design, navigation design, information design
A product designer is like a conductor of the team. They should manage or be involved in all stages of the creation of a digital product. This would entail doing the business side, such as researching the market, target users, competitors, and project feasibility.
They must also be involved in the development process, from overseeing UX design, UI design, interaction design, copywriting, and coding. This is not to say that a product designer must do and master all of these things on their own, but having a basic understanding of each role and step would be incredibly beneficial.
Furthermore, a digital product designer should discuss the marketing strategy with the marketing team. After all, the life of a product is heavily reliant on its marketing. If a product is unmarketable, it must have a fundamental problem in its concept and/or execution.
Overall, the point we want to make is that creating a digital product involves more than just creating the visuals. There are many factors to take into account, but it all begins with a solid understanding of your target audience and the problems you hope to address.
It is impossible for just one person to take all of those factors into consideration. Collaboration with different stakeholders is another key that shouldn’t be forgotten.