Product design is quite a general concept, describing the entirety of actions taken in order to create this given product. It may concern both material things and others such as software.
Products I design are these of the vast world of online marketing.
Some people perceive websites, online vendors, portals and platforms only as means of distributing their actual products – these may vary of course – to online society. I believe such a notion is wrong.
Online services must be perceived exactly like any other products in order to be successful. Competition in the web is just too fierce. Therefore it’s only logical that creating websites entails a lot of research, planning, comprehending user issues and “buts” and almost neverending testing. Generally tons of precise work.
Product Design – how do I do it?
First of all I look at each project individually from three different (although connected) perspectives: usefulness, usability and visual design.
Depending on the character of the given task, a particular perspective may take a lead, yet I still try to keep all of them perfectly balanced – as all the things should be.
This tactical part of product design allows me to face the very problems customers face and to come up with the most effective solutions.
It’s all connected to the usability of a product, which quite simply should be intuitive, easy to use. Regardless of a type of project I work on, I always design my products with customers’ pleasure in mind.
Flawless UX means happy clients and happy clients means lots of movement on the website – and that’s what all this is about.
But there can’t be good usability and usefulness without smart visual design.
No matter what anyone tells you – looks matter.
Or rather “smart” looks. There is no doubt the sense of style is vital when it comes to designing visual elements of a website.
Great product designer will make your page look cool and alluring but at the same time each color, font and element will contribute to the website’s efficiency. One needs to find a way to make something useful and beautiful as well.
As you see I look at the project from these three perspectives individually, while keeping them connected at the same time. Apart from technical skills and experience it’s all about applying a certain mindset to your work.
Mindset, which entails thinking about potential interactions with designed products. The more immersive your website is, the more engaged, loyal users will become. It’s just fun to be able not only to read or look at the website, but to actually do something as well.
All this Product Thinking
Drawing buttons is cool and all but it’s this philosophy behind product design, this so called product thinking that makes me better.
When I work, I keep digging until I find the very core of a given issue. I talk and consult with clients and potential users, I test everything that seems good to me in order to make sure it’s not only good but the best. I start with research which doesn’t end, as I continue pushing the horizon of data until the work is done and my customer is happy.
I hope The Lion King’s Rafiki would be proud of me, as I look beyond what I see (so to speak). Never do I confine myself to being just a mere designer and I remember that my personal opinion as a designer isn’t the most important thing.
Using my other, less technical skills – both personal and strategic – to create a well oiled product, which will bear lots of fruits, is my aspiration each and every time.
It all involves a number of activities. Persuading interested parties to focus on UX and implement better methods is one of them as much as extracting information and ideas from others (team members for example) is. At the same time I make sure that each action is carried out accordingly to a carefully planned strategy.
As a result while creating any online platform I also think about possible future developments and the best means of applying SEO to content.
And last but not at least, a value of good discussion, obviously involving criticism, should never be underestimated when it comes to Product Design.
The more brains are engaged, the better the outcome may be and I don’t fear confronting my ideas with those of other people.
All in all at the end of the day it’s all about profits – not my creative, artistic point of view. Each of my clients or partners wants to achieve success in their respective fields of business. And truth be told the more money you – my future client – make thanks to the product I design, the higher is the chance you will come back.
So I really care about providing my clients with actual profits, effects which may be valued in money earned, not in hugs or compliments. These are all nice but we all know that theoretical praises don’t pay the bills.