Having a good product design—the execution—is what will make your brand shine in the market. People will be more inclined to buy your products, provided it enhances their lives in some way. Here are 8 tips for making a stellar product design.
1. Plan the Process
Planning is such an important part of the process; products will fail if every little detail isn’t mapped out beforehand. This means planning for obstacles that will occur. Having a simple product development process that finds a way of assessing high risks is key. Plan for employees/members/partners who may bow out of the project. Plan for negotiating fees and charges.
2. Visualization of Ideas
Visualizing ideas will show you a blueprint of what needs to be done during the entire process. It will show you what the design looks like. From digital illustrations to drawing by hand, there are many easy ways to iterate your vision. You won’t know how to design your product if you don’t create a visual representation of what your product will look like – including what goes on into making it.
3. Know Your Needs
What does your product need? What does your team need? The development cycle will be easier than ever once you know—ahead of time—what skills and team members you have at your disposal. Take stock of your resources before even beginning the dev cycle. Planning ahead will help you see, for example, how many members you need with CAD skills.
Any story behind a product’s design must resonate with the user and their concerns and beliefs. This is why it’s important to identify the overall problem of your target market, and then weave a story about how your product solves that problem. Be sure to include true anecdotes of your design team using the product to eliminate problems and solve issues.
Products that are made with the sole purpose of generating sales quickly put organisations out of business. I have no qualms about getting rid of products that don’t serve me anymore, no matter how much it initially cost. If your business develops products that people find useful, you won’t have problems creating loyal customers.
Create help documentation for using your product. You can use knowledge base software to offer this assistance, as well as online FAQ pages. This goes beyond a mere instruction manual; for example, we don’t need an instruction manual for driving a car. However, we do need help documentation for figuring out how to replace a flex-pipe or broken rotors.
7. Know Your Market
Do not skimp on early development and market research. Otherwise, you’ll spend most of your budget designing (and manufacturing and distributing) a product that nobody wants. During this phrase, be responsive to the demands of your market; this can be as simple as asking existing customers what they expect from you.
8. Solve Problems
Never forget to solve existing problems that people have. I wear prescription glasses and I love swimming. Unfortunately, this means I’m often swimming blind, because my glasses will be lost in the depths of the river and pool. Swimming goggles that comfortably fit over my glasses would solve my problem. Find problems in your own life and devise products that would solve them.
These are several basics that will make your product design a bit friendlier and easier to use for customers. This must be reiterated: your customer is who your products are being made for. Keep them in your mind at all times.