So, you have an idea for a perfect application. Or a vision of building an amazing digital product your customers will love. A strong concept in your head is the first step towards succeeding online, but at the same time, without a strong process of design in place, the project can collapse before users see your product.
There are many great ideas that have been executed poorly or even not actioned at all. At BrainForge IT, we know a lot about product design. Let’s explain this path for developing a successful product.
What is product design?
Product design is the process of finding a market opportunity, defining the problem properly, creating a working solution for the problem, and validating it with real users.
As a process, product design and development cover the end-to-end creation of software that answers real problems your users have. It requires a deep understanding of the user – the better you understand them, the more effective and relevant your product is.
Product design is based on design thinking – an innovative way to solve problems creatively. Software design product and development are:
it includes a wide variety of tasks from ideation and research to testing.
it is based on the needs of the business and market situation.
it’s not just a clearly defined set of steps. Product design development may include an unexpected number of iterations that are necessary to find the best solution to the problem.
What does software product design development involve?
Now, when you know what product design is, let’s jump to the definition and phases of the design process. It’s a series of steps our product team follows during the formulation of an app or software from start to finish.
At BrainForge IT, we take care of your project during its whole product life cycle, from ideation to prototyping and usability testing. Let’s explain the phases that form the foundation of our digital product design and development process.
Product design consultancy
Before we delve into the design process, we always define why you want to build your product. It’s crucial to have a clear vision and purpose if you want your end product to meet the needs of your users. We organize a workshop to get to know your product vision and strategy – this is one of the most important phases of the entire process. If your goal is not precise yet, we help you understand your idea’s context for existence. Having no vision for the product always has negative consequences. We are a product design and development company that has its customers covered – we’ll help you build a product strategy that will be a perfect combination of a vision and achievable goals working together to create the ultimate user experience.
Product based on user behavior research
There are several ways to gather information about user needs and expectations. We usually use:
- Interviews are the most straightforward and quickest way to collect data from users. Those may be face-to-face or online interviews. Interviews allow us to find out the customers’ problems and pains and to come up with effective solutions.
- Surveys can be easily created by using simple tools. Surveys are less intensive than interviews and they are usually liked by users. The most challenging part is to ask the right questions.
- Focus groups allow us to validate particular ideas with a chosen target audience. We select a small number of demographically similar people who have common interests or experiences and test the chosen features or tools.
- Customer journey maps are a great way to visualize the ideas we develop while brainstorming. The map displays the points between the customer and the product that needs to be designed.
- Field studies – an opportunity to silently observe users doing tasks and processes that help us understand what they do and how they do it.
Time to work on UX/UI design. The role of a designer is to consider the customer’s journey, as they engage with the product at each touch point and answer some questions like ‘what will the onboarding of a new user be like?’ or ‘How different user types may interact with the product?’, or ‘What can I do to increase user willingness to upgrade?’. At this stage, we usually work with wireframes (a low-detail representation of a design that clearly shows the main elements of the app, its structure, and user interaction with the UI and its visualization). Wireframes are based on the product design specification that covers everything the designers need to begin work. During the visualization phase, we start working on the list of features that should be included, and prioritize them based on users’ needs.
Adjustment of moving parts
The product design process may differ depending on the industry. Each journey to a finished product is different and every industry has its set of quirks involved in building something new. When it comes to product design and process development, figuring out where all the moving parts go and how to structure a project are huge considerations. Adjustment of moving parts helps us ship your app faster because we have a great ready-to-use baseline for designing and building for both web and mobile. They allow us to move fast, maintain less, and prioritize features that actually matter.
At this stage, we further narrow down to choose one main goal to solve. To get enough insights and refine our previous assumptive deliverables or create new ones, we build user personas based on user research. User personas are fictional, yet realistic representatives of your key user groups with certain goals and characteristics. They help us understand and map out the main segments of your users. Our personas are always based on real-world data, reflecting real-world users. In some cases, we also create empathy maps that facilitate the empathetic design and empower ourselves to create more user-centric experiences.
Estimates and data on user interests
When we already know the user in detail, time to estimate if the idea is worthy, if people want to buy the product, and if they don’t – define what needs to be changed. To find out, we usually conduct usability testing to identify any usability issues upfront.
Once we’re happy with the design, we use prototyping tools like Figma, Sketch, and Adobe XD to create a clickable prototype. The prototype is the basic layout of the product that visualizes all elements and functions. It’s a great way to visually illustrate all ideas and make changes with minimal effort and cost. For us, prototyping synchronizes your and our ideas about how the design should look.
Controlling the progress of the work and distributing sentences
Finally, at any stage of the product design process, it’s crucial to control what’s going on. The software should be tested in every single iteration. It is important to collect feedback and iterate so that the progress is evaluated up to speed. No worries, we’re there for you so that you can focus on running your business, not running the project yourself.
Product designer vs UX designer – what’s the difference?
At first glance, they can look the same as both rely heavily on UX tools and methods. However, a product designer is usually involved in the entire design process of a product. It includes brainstorming, UX, project management, and business-related processes. On the other hand, a UX designer focuses on making products pleasant to use and navigate. They have a narrower focus than product designers. Product designers tend to be more business-oriented and usually take the lead. UX designers are more design-focused.
Ready to start designing your product?
We’ll be happy to turn your idea into an amazing and feature-rich product. Let’s estimate your project!
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BrainForge IT Software & Consulting Sp. z o. o. with its headquarter in: 53-125 Wrocław, al. Kasztanowa 3a-5, Poland, VATPL: 8992879435, registered in the Regional Court Wrocław-Fabryczna VI Commercial Division of the National Court Register, registered in the commercial register (KRS) under no. 0000840335, with share capital: 5.000,00 PLN.