There are several design practices that founders must be aware of because they’re crucial to creating a long-lasting successful product.
It is never as easy as it seems to design a product, let alone creating one. On this account, product design is a step that must be taken in the process in order to alleviate the pain points of your customers.
A well-known fact states that firms with co-founders in the design field have higher success rates. Apple is the most typical example. Apple branding is evidence that design-centric thinking can succeed. Every company founder should learn from the way Apple build their web and product design.
The big question is, what’s the recipe for design success? Let’s dive in.
Product Design: A Beginner’s Guide
Before we get into the nitty gritty, let’s understand what product design actually means. Traditionally, product meant tangible objects or materials that can be found in retail stores. Today, the term ‘product’ can also refer to digital products like apps and websites.
Product design is the process of designing and creating a digital product, which includes conceptualising and developing and idea. This involves identifying the difficulties faced by users and create innovative solutions to build products that satisfies the client’s needs.
In the modern process, product managers and designers use design thinking. The term itself refers to a method or framework. This approach focuses on solving problems in a creative way. It is a complex process that involves research, prototyping and testing. And although it is a human-centered approach, it gives also prioritizes the demands of the business and the market environment.
It is best assumed that designer founders are experts in practicing innovative design thinking behaviors — not just pushing pixels. Ultimately, genuine product design will result in products that boast quality, thoughtfulness and ease of use.
8 Product Design Tips for a Successful Startup
Know your audience
First rule of thumb – always identify and understand your target audience. I know, it sounds straight out of a textbook doesn’t it? But if you understand the needs of your target audience then it’s completely pointless in designing a product. This step helps you clarify your decision on which products to build and how to go about building them.
It would be exciting to jump right into product creation but you should never neglect documenting your vision. This aligns team members with company goals, making it essential for every firm. Which automatically means that the structure of the documentation should be sufficiently clear and detailed for everyone to read.
Define your MVP (minimum viable product)
When faced with this situation, many founders are often uncertain about the features their MVP should include or prioritize. In most designing stage, you’ll find that the MVP might go beyond the predetermined parameters. It in turn forces you to opt for an alternative budget plan outside your intended parameters. To help direct the design and development process, it’s better if you have a product road map. This is so that you could choose wisely the features to keep or remove from your MVP.
As mentioned above, a product roadmap helps direct your design and development process. Every founder should have a proper outline of the ins and outs of their implementation. This is so that it can act as a guide for your team’s short-term and long-term goals for the product. A detailed strategy will also provide you a clear picture of what needs to be designed and help you plan throughout time.
After all ideas and preparations, the product may seem finished, but you may realise a need to change the colours or typefaces. Your designers may become frustrated as a result of having to set aside time making minor tweaks here and there. However when changes need to be made, it is important to do it early enough for the adjustments to have enough time. Even better, build up a quality assurance system that enables you to regularly review and analyze the design so you can identify mistakes and places that require revisions as soon as possible.
Collaboration with designers
This is a common error among founders as they struggle to work well with their unique designers. It is never a good idea to construct any product with the attitude that “They should produce my design at the designated due date”, especially for a freshly ideated product. Instead of pushing the blame or adding unnecessary pressure to your staff, you should learn to communicate by sharing your ideas and insights with them and compromise an agreed due term. This will help your team grasp the changes and implement them smoothly.
Stay true to the uniqueness of you product
It’s excellent to draw ideas from similar products and services’ user interfaces and experiences. However, relying too heavily on inspiration won’t produce any worthwhile outcomes. You must decide what distinctive qualities your product must have and be unwavering in sticking with them. Come up with features that will set you apart from all your competitors and stay true to that concept.
Test and test again with your target audience
This is one area where founders tend to slack off. They have the urge to jump right into development as soon as they decide the design is good enough, but they don’t realize that even just one or two helpful pieces of input during the testing phase might prevent them from creating a product that will ultimately fail on the market. The necessity of testing before starting the development process cannot be overstated.
Specialist vs Generalist
When hiring and building a design team, it is important to first know which set of skills the company needs, and it all boils down to differentiating specialists and generalists.
If you’re seeking ground-breaking innovation to set you apart from the competition, specialists contribute their in-depth topic understanding, which is highly insightful. Specialists can maintain focus on specific tasks and deliver quality results in a short period of time. However, to boost their efficiency and maintain focus, the practice of multitasking and context-switching will not be exercised in their domain.
Specialists will know more about their area of expertise than the other members on your team, which means they can drive the process. In spite of that, they will probably need assistance setting priorities and handling other dependencies since they lack a more comprehensive understanding of the activity being done concurrently.
On the other hand, generalists are more efficient and adaptable with their assigned tasks, and can seamlessly transition from one stage of the process to the next—and go back and forth to iterate with ease. They can solve both known and unknown design issues.
Additionally, because generalists are well-versed in a variety of design disciplines, they are able to prioritize their work and work independently as they examine a variety of design jobs and grasp the relationship between time and value.
Design Explorer vs Design Maker
In every design team, there is a need to differentiate design explorers and design makers into two groups to carry out a successful design. It is best to create a product step by step. It may be possible to increase craft efficiency by classifying designers according to the many stages of the design process.
Design Explorer – The discovery stage
As obvious as it may sound, every design task starts with explorations and discoveries. The “Discovery stage” of the design process begins with this step. It is at this time that teams investigate the market, examine products, and develop their first solid design concept. Team members will have to come together for a brainstorming session and pool the ideas they’ve explored to pick and choose the best concept with care.
Design Maker – Design Asset Creation
The second part of any design task is design asset creation. This is where design makers, or designers by itself will have to showcase their skills while maintaining a large design system that may consist of dozens of design screens, landing pages, icons and more. After design explorers pass on their ideas to the design makers, the latter will have to prepare documentation of these concepts and start crafting according to those ideas. They will also be responsible for implementing solutions to the concepts given by the explorers. It is important to note that the design asset creation process requires in depth and scalable details about how the design life-cycle will be.
How we can help
As experts in the UI/UX and product designing field, our team will be able to guide you through the process of designing and filter the best possible solution to your asset.
The designers at Snappymob are very knowledgeable and always up for a challenge, so don’t be hesitant to get in touch with us right away!