What is Product Design? [Beginner’s Guide] - Deepstash
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Product Design: A Primer

Product Design: A Primer

Product design is the process of creating products that offer solutions to a problem in a specific market. Successful product design both serves a business and incorporates users’ needs. Product design includes digital tools, experience design, and physical products.

Product design’s foundations start with the design thinking ideology.

Design thinking was developed as a user-centric way to integrate the needs of real users into technological and business requirements that are a result of solving complex problems.

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The Five Steps To A Solution

Design Thinking encompasses five steps that all come back to solving the user’s problems:

  • Empathize. In order to design with a user focus, product designers first conduct research to learn about who they are designing for.
  • Define. Based on users’ needs and insights, the designer will clearly define the problem.
  • Ideate. Defining potential creative solutions.
  • Prototype. Using the solutions from the ideation phase a prototype (or multiple prototypes) will be built for testing.
  • Test. Designers refer back to the users to make sure their designs are working the way that they had planned.

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The Product Designer

While UX designers and product designers are both user-focused problem solvers at their core, product designers and UX designers have different priorities. A product designer will focus more of their efforts on making a marketable and cost-effective product that is also easy to use. 

A UX designer only focuses on the user’s experience of a product that someone else has already deemed profitable.

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The Role Of A Product Designer

The product designer role isn’t one-size-fits-all. Each employer will assign flexible responsibilities that can range from user experience to full-stack designer. Here are some responsibilities that a product designer may have in their job description:

  • User experience (UX)
  • User interface (UI)
  • Coding
  • Project management
  • Problem-solving
  • Team management
  • Planning and conducting testing
  • Wireframing

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A Product Designers Process

Product designers go through a process that closely parallels the design thinking process, which includes:

  • Design and prototype
  • Test with users
  • Implement feedback
  • Launch a product
  • Measure and iterate the product

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Required Skills Of A Product Designer

  • Product designers rely on technical knowledge balanced with their creative ability. 
  • They need a sense of visual and spatial awareness that’s balanced with commercial awareness, in order to know what looks good, functions well, and will be a viable product for business purposes. 
  • A product designer will use software like Sketch, Figma, Adobe Illustrator and XD, and prototyping software to bring their ideas to life. 
  • They use journey maps and user research, wireframes, prototypes, and high fidelity designs to inform their decisions and present their ideas. 

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