Concepts of product design and product designer
In 2018, the phrase “product design” and “product designer” became so fashionable that many rushed to redo their portfolio and business cards just to add to the title “designer” the fashionable word “product”.
But changing the name is not enough. It is necessary to understand what is the design of the product, who does it and what skills should its designer have.
What is product design?
When we talk about digital design, then most often we mean pixels, photoshop and gradients. This idea of design appeared at the dawn of the Internet, when sites, programs and applications were so simple and of the same type that the main task of the designer was to choose colors brighter and draw original icons.
In 2017 we create such complex digital products that first of all we should not care about beauty, but about logic, user experience and business tasks. The first response to these complications was the appearance of interface designers. For a while this was enough: the interface designers thought about users and logic, and graphic designers – they drew screens and buttons. But over time it turned out that someone else is needed who will work with analysts, make prototypes, interact with the customer and solve business problems.
From images and pixels, design has evolved into a complex multi-stage process at the intersection of engineering, management and graphics. It turned out that design is not pixels and beauty, but a comprehensive understanding of what the final product will be, what tasks and what tools it will solve.
Who is the product designer?
When the design teams from a pair of graphs grew to a couple dozen of narrow specialists who solve specific tasks and work on individual sections of the same product, a need a specialist who could unite and coordinate all stages of product design appeared.
This person should have information about business tasks, users and their experience, understand prototypes, fonts and colors and have managerial skills to coordinate work and communicate with the customer.
None of the narrow specialists in design teams did not meet all these requirements and a new profession appeared on the market: the product designer.
The product designer has become the very person who understands all stages of design, is able to combine business tasks and user requests in one product, can coordinate the work of the team and is ready to communicate with the product manager or with the customer.
How does the product designer differ from the usual designer?
The usual designer – in the understanding of the majority – is a graphic designer. A person who knows how to draw and process graphics, understands colors and fonts and knows how to arrange the elements on the screen.
The product designer must also have a graphic design. But in addition, he must understand the user experience, be able to work with analytics, prototype and understand the business strategy.
Most likely, one person can not be equally strong in all these areas, and depending on past experience, the product designer will have one or two strengths, but the knowledge and skills in the remaining areas should be enough to understand what the team is doing, to have a complete vision of the product and process, see errors and know how to fix them.
In addition, the average designer is only responsible for his part of the work. Most often he draws and delivers mock-ups, and on this his zone of responsibility ends.
The product designer is responsible for its operability. This means that he is responsible for the success of each stage: design, development, implementation. And even after the introduction, the product designer collects analytics and offers product improvements.
Thus, the product designer has two main differences from other designers: a set of skills and a degree of responsibility.
What skills are needed for the product designer?
The product designer should know: business strategy, analytics, prototyping, interface design and graphic design.
Knowledge of the business strategy will help to understand the problem, find several working solutions to this problem and choose the best from them. The product designer is able to understand the customer’s business processes, find his real pains, set goals and achieve them using the proposed solution.
He understands analytics to be able to collect data about users and their experience of interaction with similar products, and on the basis of this data to develop a test plan.
He knows the prototyping enough to be sure that the designer has chosen the best ideas. Then he again turns to the analyst to form a working concept of the product on the basis of tests.
He knows UI / UX and graphic design so much to coordinate and guide designers, to notice errors in time, to find ways to correct them and eventually to present the product in the most presentable form, which guarantees to users the best experience of interaction.
We need a product designer, where can I get it?
You have four options: contact a design agency, find a ready product designer, arrange it in another company or grow it yourself.
Large design agencies, studios and bureaus usually have several product designers in their staff, complete with a team of designers and sometimes developers.
This solution has one significant drawback: the product designer will be responsible for the product only for a short period of time: before the launch or a maximum of several months after. When your product becomes obsolete, you will have to start all over again with a new team and a new product designer.
You can try to find a product designer on design sites and in communities on Dribbble or Medium or our site. But you need to carefully look at the portfolio and the summary of such candidates, because often ordinary web designers or graphics call themselves product designers.
Luring a trained specialist from another company can be a good, but difficult and expensive solution. There are not many worthy professionals on the market, and as a rule, the companies in which these specialists work, they appreciate them and try to keep them.
The most reliable option remains the third: to grow your product designer within the team. For this, the designer needs good abilities and the desire to develop and increase knowledge and skills.
The team needs a high level of trust, openness to opinions and well-established interaction between all the participants of the process in order to grow their product designer.
View Related Posts to Blog Posts:
From the blog
- CD & DVD Artwork
- All Flyers
- American Holidays Flyers
- Autumn/Fall Flyers
- Back to School Flyers
- Barbecue Flyers
- Community Flyers
- Country-Western Flyers
- Christmas Flyers
- Church Flyers
- Club Flyers
- Cinco De Mayo Flyers
- Easter Flyers
- Food Flyers
- Halloween Flyers
- Indie/Rock Flyers
- Drinks & Coctails
- Mothers Day Flyers
- Mardi Gras Flyers
- New Year Flyers
- Octoberfest Flyers
- Sport Flyers
- Summer Flyers
- Spring Flyers
- St. Patrick’s Day Flyers
- Thanksgiving Flyers
- Travel Flyers
- Valentines Day Flyers
- Winter Flyers
- Free PSD Templates
- Premium PSD Templates