Creating a digital business goes beyond doing interface design. And you, as an entrepreneur, director of a company or area manager, know it too.
"Digital product design". It must be an expression that you have read hundreds of times in the last few months. It is the buzzword in the sector but... what is digital product design?
Although, as always, we will start from the very beginning.
Designing is, fundamentally, solving problems in a certain way. Let's move away from that vision that designing is only about aesthetic form. When we design we are developing a solution for a specific problem of someone, be it a user or a company.
Lately, we often hear about the importance of digital product design. But do you know what digital products are and how many types are there? Today we are going to delve into this topic to help you know the main characteristics that they must have to be successful.
General design and digital product design
All the objects that surround us are conceived starting from design. Design is not only the aesthetic part, that is, what makes a product more or less attractive. Designing is a complex process that encompasses issues such as functionality and usability.
This is easy to understand with a simple mental exercise. How many times have you bought something because it was very nice but then realized that it was impractical? Well, that product did not have a good design.
Designing implies finding a solution to a specific problem. The design phases are the identification of the problem, the conceptualization, and the search for a practical solution.
If we transpose this same concept to the digital world, a good design is not one that has attractive colors and fonts. On the contrary, the digital design should favor the use of the product, be it an app, a video, a web page, an e-book, or e-commerce.
To succeed with the design of digital products, two essential factors must be taken into account: usability and user experience.
Let's think about an example again. Do you remember how office programs were years ago? The main functions were certainly the same as now, but they were much more difficult to locate and configure. Its usability and user experience have evolved to facilitate our daily work.
In a strict sense of the concept, "product design" is understood as the process of imagining and creating physical objects for mass production. This process includes both physical aspects and the functionalities that the product should have.
It is a process that includes a multitude of phases: identifying, investigating, and validating the existing problem and, after that, creating, designing, testing, and producing the solution.
Our idea at ESKA has always been that function comes first and then form, in the sense that first, you have to investigate, conceptualize and define the problem and then think about fonts, color palettes, and icon style.
The product designers understand that they work for a company that must achieve specific objectives but must also think about the users who will use that product. They must, in short, find the middle ground between company and user, without ignoring either party.
For some time now, we have seen the concept of "digital product design" being used more and more, which encompasses everything that belongs to classic product design and leads it to digital (mostly applications and web pages).
Principles of digital product design
We leave you with 12:
- Define the problem first
- Create more value by simplifying features to the maximum to offer just what is needed
- A design is successful if it helps conversion and can be measured well
- Be consistent
- Focus on the ability of the user to perform a single action at a time
- Minimize the number of inputs requested from the user
- Use the way your user talks, don't be too technical
- Make decisions for the user and reduce the amount of cognitive load and decision making
- Design with a good visual hierarchy
- Align elements
- Don't go for the "WOW effect", go troubleshoot
- Iterate and improve the design based on the metrics obtained
Phases of digital product design
Usability and user experience are two of the keys to a good digital product, but more elements participate in this process.
Let's see what they are:
- Identify the problem
- Create the solution as an added value
- Simplify the product by providing only what the user needs
- Design a consistent product
- Facilitate actions
- Lead the user to perform only one action at a time
- Minimize the amount of information the user must provide
- Use natural language without technicalities
- Facilitate decision making
- Reduce cognitive load
- Establish a good visual hierarchy
- Align the elements
- And finally, create a measurable product that allows you to iteratively improve the design
Sounds easy, doesn't it? Well, in reality, many digital products do not follow these principles. This occurs when creators seek to design the best possible product instead of a product that solves the user's need in the best possible way.
This is the reason why many digital products fail. And, paradoxically, those who succeed are not the best but those who have the greatest acceptance. Why? Because users are looking for ease of use and simplicity.
Within the universe of digital business, product or service design is just a star in a galaxy.
Even so, the importance that digital product design takes to increase the value of your business is very high. This is exactly where we can help you: to design the future of your company, through the design of products or services.