Design Industry Insights that We Bet You Never Knew!
Being a design agency, we have a bunch of creative designers who have been working endlessly to produce designs that cater to the tastes of our clients. In this blog, we would like to answer some of the burning questions that many people have regarding product designers and share some industry insights on how working as a product designer really is.
What is a Product Designer?
This may be the first question that you have as you read the blog. As the job title suggests, a product designer is an individual who designs products. They are responsible for the user experience of a product. They work hand-in-hand with the production team to come up with product ideas that are suitable for end-users. To further explain, here are 7 stages of the design process that product designers go through before a product is produced.
7 Stages of the Design Process
Stage 1: Define
Before designers begin their design, they usually think of scenarios where end-users may have problems. Thus, the first step before they start with the design would be to establish what is the problem they wish to solve with this product. Thus, it is crucial that designers ask themselves questions before they begin the project. Some examples include the choice of target groups, how the product would be carried out, what are the resources required for the project, and so on.
Stage 2: Research
Next, designers would collect background research on the product they are working on. Vital information can include the possible pain points that people are experiencing, a specific product, or even reading case studies on similar products. Other types of market research could include demographics of the age group that the product is targeting, consumer behaviour, and even competitor analysis on similar products.
Stage 3: Ideate
In this step, designers start ideating products that could potentially be the solutions to these pain points. This is when brainstorming for products come in. This process could take hours, days, months, or even years before they could come up with a feasible idea. Moreover, this step is a large stepping stone for designers as this is where they establish a rough outline of what the product would do for its end-users. Brainstorming could include coming up with the right colours, features, and even the type of material that would be used for production. These ideas do play a big part in the production of different products.
Stage 4: Prototype
Prototyping is when the rough idea you have comes to life. A prototype is a tangible representation of your product idea and is a chance for you to test out the product. Oftentimes, it is difficult to convert your ideas into reality immediately. Hence, prototypes allow for user testing to check if the product serves its purpose. Additionally, it is used to make further changes if the features are not working the way it is supposed to or if there are better features that can be used to improve the product.
Stage 5: Select
Selecting a product is a crucial step in making choices that would lead to the final output. This step allows the designers to select the most suitable features and designs that they feel would serve their end customers best.
Stage 6: Implement
At the implementation step, designers return back to the design brief and use it to evaluate the products. They would have to consider if the product solves the problems that they were supposed to solve. The product would be thoroughly analyzed whether it has successfully solved the issue. Furthermore, it gives test users a chance to try it out and review the product.
Stage 7: Learn
After testing the usability and feasibility of the product, it is important to gather feedback. Feedback is usually received from the users of the prototype and the production team. Constructive feedback is critical in the improvement of product design. It also gives product designers a better understanding of the product- its functionality, areas of improvement, and safety.
These 7 steps do not just happen once. They may repeat the cycle many times until the final product is perfected. It takes tons and tons of time to make a single product so think about all the hard work product designers put in to make sure that their creations are truly useful to us, consumers.
So What Does a Product Designer Do?
Product designers make sure that their creations are not only aesthetically pleasing but functional and comfortable to use as well. They play a vital role in the initial and final stages of product development to ensure they meet the customer’s preferences. Moreover, they need to follow the specifications for various types of products- from products used in the kitchen (such as blenders, cutlery, coffee makers) to products used in the office (such as stationary) to toys for children, and even cosmetics.
How Much Time Does it Take to Design a Product?
This varies depending on various factors which include the client’s requirements and timelines. The amount of time to design and processes involved in making them differ for every product. They also require prior research. For example, for POS display design requests, it is essential to do research on POS displays in supermarkets, convenience stores, and retail outlets. Next, the advantages and disadvantages are weighed to see its feasibility. Lastly, these findings will be used to establish a solution that would fit the client’s requirements.
What Tools are Needed to Design?
We believe that research is important thus books, websites, case studies are extremely important sources of information for planning and brainstorming.
For technical tools, we usually use a series of Computer-Aided Design (CAD) tools. You can refer to this blog how to create technical drawings. From ideating to sketching to rendering, these tools are important for a product designer. Here is an example of a product that is being designed using design software.
What Makes a Good Product Design?
A good product design is one that accurately fulfills the purpose of the product. It must be easy to use, solves real-world problems, has great aesthetics, innovative, detailed, and are ideal for mass production. Mass production would mean that it is in high demand and would have extremely high usability.
Takeaways from Being a Product Designer
Here, we share some thoughts from our very own in-house designers.
“Being a product designer is not an easy job. It takes a lot of effort, time, brainpower and responsibility to follow the project till completion. It’s a long way from challenging patience with a client, solving problems to completing drawings. The biggest reward is seeing the product in the hands of consumers. “
“Product designers can find out the issues, take it as experience, and adapt for the next product in order to avoid mistakes. “
Being a product designer is an exhilarating job. One never knows when their product could be the next big hit. It is important for the industry to constantly innovate and come up with new ideas to meet the demands of customers. Moreover, product innovation brings about convenience to the daily lives of many.
How Can Mindsparkz help?
Mindsparkz is a design agency founded in 2013. It is the sister company of ODM Group, a promotional marketing agency. If you are looking for design services to make your dream product come to life, contact us. We have a variety of services such as graphic design, web design, and definitely product design. Additionally, we also do other design projects as well. Contact us to find out more. We are always willing to help!