Design is the fundamental soul of a human-made creation that ends up expressing itself in successive outer layers of the product or service.
Product designer is a profession that entered the labor market not so long ago. It quickly became popular because the product designer combines UX designer and UI designer qualities and brings the product to a new level. You can also read about the differences between UI and UX design to be more aware of this theme. The main task of the product designer is conducting market research and finding and solving problems in the product. In other words, the product designer needs to make sure that the product satisfies the user’s needs and demands as much as possible.
But what is the main difference between a product designer and a UX designer? In this article, we’ll share the major aspects of a product designer’s job, trying to answer all the questions you care about. So here we go!
After having a look at this article, you also can read up about services we provide to help you with great design for your business.
What is product design? How does it differ from UX design?
Product design is an integral part of a successful product launch.
The work of the product designer is very versatile, so they can be called multidisciplinary designers.
A product designer is a specialist who identifies product problems, looks for ways to solve them, fixes them, and is involved in the launch and implementation of the product taking into account the company’s business plan and strategies.
If we take the profession of a product designer, it accommodates several narrowly focused specialties:
- UX designer;
- graphic designer;
- business strategist.
In other words, a designer’s product work is to lead the product to succeed in the consumer market.
The main difference between a product designer and a UX designer is that the UX designer’s work is focused only on the customers. They take care that the product would be easy to use and comfortable for the consumer. While the product designer pays attention to the needs of the client but also protects the interests of the company. To be more aware, you can also read about the importance of UX design for business.
So, let’s consider the main differences between the tasks and objectives of the product designer and UX designer below:
The work of both designers is based on design thinking. In turn, design thinking is entirely focused on the user. In this way of thinking, designers try to understand the user, their needs, and requirements and find solutions to problems that arise in work. Their work necessarily includes such an aspect as market research. Also, a product designer and UX designer use the same tools and software to design a product, for example:
- Balsamiq and Sketch for wireframing;
- Lucid Chart and Overflow as user mapping software;
The main difference is in their responsibilities. Product designers are more focused on a company’s needs, while UX designers leave the focus on the consumers.
That is the main question that the product designer will face:
- Will this product meet the goals and needs of a particular business?
- What problems does this product solve for the consumer?
While the question facing the UX designer:
- How user-friendly is this product for the customer?
Having clarified all aspects, we can conclude that the product designer is the specialist who accompanies the product from the very idea to its release on the market. And their main task will be to make sure that people like the product, but at the same time it will be profitable for the company and follow its business plan. UX-designer works directly with the product interface, making it as easy to use as possible, focusing only on the needs of the user.
Product design process
The product design process is meticulous work, which consists of certain steps.
- Define the product vision or brainstorming
- Product research
- User analysis
- Testing and validation
- Post-launch activities
Step 1: Define the product vision
What is the essential factor of product design? Planning is essential. We plan our day, our to-do lists, our future. In the same way, to create a product that will be successful on the market, it’s necessary to plan every step of its implementation carefully. The first and most important step in creating a product is to have a clear understanding of its purpose. The product’s vision gives the designer and the team a clear sense of what direction to take, for whom the product is created, and how.
That is why the first stage is writing down all the possible ideas, and clear understanding of the problem, which must be solved, is appeared.
Also written down strategy, which indicates the path to move that would eventually come to a given goal.
Step 2: Product research
The second product design step will be a study of the product and market.
To create a product that will have high conversion, it’s necessary to thoroughly study the user market, learn all the desires and experiences, and hear the needs of potential buyers.
Also, for the same success, it’s necessary to study the market itself, namely your future competitors, to determine how your product can stand out and what will attract your target audience.
Step 3: User analysis
After you have a plan,strategy, and product information, you can begin to analyze users. At this stage, gather as much information as possible about user needs:
- what they want,
- what they need,
- what they are thinking about,
- what they would like to see new in the market,
- what is missing for a comfortable use of your product.
Step 4: Ideation
Ideation is the process by which a variety of ideas for a future project are selected. To find as many ideas as possible, try one of the techniques below:
- Prototyping and others.
The result of this stage will be the most competitive idea, which was chosen in the process of the brainstorming. Profitable for the company and interesting for the consumer, solving one of his problems.
Step 5: Design
And so, when you have a ready scheme of the future product and a clear understanding of what to do, for whom, and why, you can start to design. At this stage, you create your application bringing it to a standpoint in which it can be shown to the public. As you go along, don’t forget about all the research you did earlier, remembering that you are creating it for the potential customer, making it as convenient and comfortable to use as possible.
Step 6: Testing and validation
This is the final and most important stage of product design. It will show how well your application works and whether it meets the requirements. This step should be taken very seriously because if you miss a mistake, a great idea or even the best application can fail.
It’s best to get as many people as possible, your friends and family, to test the app. More reviews and recommendations will help you make sure your product works great.
Step 7: Post-launch activities
Now that your product has been launched on the market, the continuous work of collecting feedback begins. Remember a product designer’s job is to be constantly involved in development and improvement. You need to follow all trends, present and promote your product in the market.
Our designer from Gapsy Studio is always on trend and they will help make your thoughts come true. Check out our services.
Having broken down the elements of product design, let’s look at another technique of the product design process as “The Double Diamond design model”
Double Diamond design model
It’s a four-step technique that gives us a sense of our future project. In other words, the 4D technique:
The first stage is market research. It means finding the problem that needs to be solved, gathering all kinds of information about the product, and research on the target audience.
The discovery stage combines the following steps of the product design process as defining the product vision, product research, user analysis, and ideation.
At the end of the discovery stage, you will have a list of the ideas selected earlier. So at the definition stage, you should choose the most profitable ones and continue working with them further. While at this stage, the product designer should clearly understand the goals and the essence of the project he is working on. And be well-versed in the business plan of the company, accompanying its goals and objectives, to create a product that will be equally useful to both the user and the company.
When we fully understand the project’s goals, it’s time to move on to the third stage: development.
Different companies call this stage differently. For example, Microsoft calls it “implement”, and Virgin Atlantic Airways calls it “design”.
So, we are developing our future product during this stage, preparing it for launch. Build the wireframes. In the process, we eliminate internal and external problems identified during the definition stage.
And the final stage is delivery. Now is the time to test your finished product: give it to a small audience to gather feedback. And finally, launch.
Then there is the continuous work of gathering consumer feedback and constantly improving the product.
After understanding the product designer’s work, we can conclude that it is a multifunctional designer who oversees many processes and studies out why a product design’s services are important for any business. They’re responsible for the user-friendliness of the application and making it as profitable as possible for the firm, keeping to its business plan. As a product designer, you create and promote your product, looking for ways to market it profitably. A good team and a clear plan of action will help you design your own product, so go for it!
Do you need expert help? Contact us: our designers from Gapsy will go with you from creating a high-quality UI to website design that will envy all competitors. Check out the finished projects on Behance and Dribbble. And also take a look at the services we provide.