The role within the big picture. What to expect.
Design is a generic term that confuses most people. Over the years, it has grown so much that we came into a point where we need to inform ourselves in order to understand all the pretentious definitions and many subdivisions across this industry, each with their own methodologies and beliefs.
Digital product designers create interfaces to help people interact with products, participating in all phases of the development, from scratch to the delivery point. They constantly collaborate with the product managers and the developing team in order to bring value to the customer’s experience.
The role of a product designer is not only for the aesthetics and interactions, but the entire user experience. Web products like Facebook, Twitter, Etsy, Pinterest or any other apps that require creating an account and complex features and interactions, are in fact the work of product designers.
Product design is all about solving problems and requires skills like: research, prototyping, business strategy etc., to create a platform where users feel comfortable to work with.
The goal of a designer is to listen, observe, understand, sympathize, empathize, synthesize, and glean insights that enable him or her to ‘make the invisible visible. Hillman Curtis
We are now speaking about more than just a simple task of making a product look pretty and work properly. They play a key role in the creation of digital platforms, being entirely responsible for establishing the purpose of a product, the targeted users and their natural way of interacting with your app, the market segment and also the platforms in which it will be available.
Product Designers must detach themselves from their creations.
The design process for digital products isn’t a one way path and designers should never stop their iterative process. Products are constantly changing and require multiple revisions and brainstorming. There will be times where your designs will end up in the trash, so that the next best idea can be implemented. But remember, you must not take it personally, it’s just part of the process.
Because technology trends vary as well, users need change. Iterative design is a permanent process of refining and improving the product based on feedback & data from your users. This is a great opportunity for designers to see the bigger picture, improve their work based on that feedback and make the product inherently more valuable to the user.
This is a slow process, that requires a lot of patience to obtain the best version of the product, after a long time of planning, learning from your users, and having the strength to keep iterating. Any product should fulfill only the functions for which it was created for, then be improved by adding new features in order to evolve to the next version of the product , with the purpose of improving user experience.
The users, yourself and the team are all playing a very important part in the evolution of the design process. The real key to success is to keep pushing forward, and question everything. It is no longer the value of design that we are fighting to get recognized, but the value of the product.