The key to successful product design is understanding the end-user customer, the person for whom the product is being created. Product designers attempt to solve real problems for real people by using empathy and knowledge of their prospective customers’ habits, behaviors, frustrations, needs, and wants.
Ideally, product design’s execution is so flawless that no one notices; users can intuitively use the product as needed because product design understood their needs and anticipated their usage.
Good product design practices thread themselves throughout the entire product lifecycle. Product design is essential in creating the initial user experience and product offering, from pre-ideation user research to concept development to prototyping and usability testing.
But it doesn’t end there, as product design plays an ongoing role in refining the customer experience and ensuring supplemental functionality and capabilities get added in a seamless, discoverable, and non-disruptive manner. Brand consistency and evolution remain an essential product design responsibility until the end of a product’s lifespan.
And it’s much more than just what users see on their screens. System design and process design are critical behind-the-scenes components that eventually drive users to see and interact with the interface design.