What is Product Design?

Traditionally product design is associated with Industrial Design, but now its synonymous with Software Application design. If you look at the process of designing a industrial product, its similar to application design. Starts off with research, prototyping, testing, building, testing, and shipping.

This is a common term in startups where designer work closely with the stakeholders, focusing on viability, desirability and feasibility. On the contrary, people in agency or in-house design team find the term ‘Product designer’ misleading and irrelevant. This is because in agencies, product designer’s tasks are spread across a team of people with different design roles. And in a lot in Agencies and in-house design teams business, client communications is distanced from designers. A typical digital design agency has a team of UX designer, Interaction designer, and Project Manager as compared to just a Product Designer in a small startup.

Product Design is a more wholistic design role where thinking about product comes first over fixing microcopy or making sure every interaction goes perfect. Not saying that product designers are not User centered in anyways. In fact product designers, involve the real users of the product since the early stage of the product.

For this reason I’ll breakdown the roles, tasks, skills, and qualities of Product Design. ( I just have a few Products under my belt, so I am not an expert but I follow Silicon Valley ones so I know what it takes to get there )

Product Designer is responsible for shipping product and its lifecycle.

  • Product Research/Concept
    • Customer Discovery
    • Prototyping
    • MVP
    • Product Vision
  • Customer Validation
    • Model Canvas
    • Product Market Fit
    • Product marketing roadmap
  • Product Development
    • Interactive Prototype
    • User testing
    • Hifi mockups
    • Product roadmap
  • Product shipping
    • Analytics
    • User testing

This is based on Customer Development model by Steve Blank

Product Designer thinks about

  • Scalability
  • Sustainability
  • Documentations
  • Product goals and business needs
  • People and not users
  • Launching the product

Product Designer qualities

  • Ability to see a bigger picture
  • Attention to detail
  • Feature map
  • Will add more here.
  • Watch this space

30min Free Product Consultation

In this consultation, I will give you all the reasons and challenges your product design needs to overcome. The challenges in product not only lie on the digital product but also on the value it has on the life of user.

  • Competitor strengths vs your product
  • Usability test

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Product Design process by Akshay Chauhan

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