esign Thinking as the foundation
When thinking about products or features, designers should understand the business objectives and be able to answer the following questions first:
What problem are we solving?
Who has this problem?
What do we want to achieve?
Answering these questions helps designers understand the user experience of a product as a whole, not purely the interaction (feel) or visual (look) part of design. Only after answering these questions does it make sense to move to finding a solution for the problem.
Learn about the people for whom you are designing.
One of the most important phases of product design is actually done before the design process even starts. Before you start building a product, you need to understand its context for existence. It’s the time when the product team must define the product vision and product strategy.
Have you ever worked on a project whose overall goal was not clear? In which the people involved in the design and development only vaguely understood the purpose of the product? Quite often this happens because there is no vision for the product. Unfortunately, this scenario happens all too often. In most cases, this has negative consequences. As the old Japanese proverb goes, Vision without action is a daydream. Action without vision is a nightmare.
Every design project needs a product vision that sets the direction and guides the product development team. Vision captures the essence of the product — the critical information that the product team must know in order to develop and launch a successful product. Vision helps build a common understanding of what we are trying to build here and why. Vision also helps you to define what you are not building. Being clear about the boundaries of your solution will help you to stay focused when crafting your product.
But vision is only half of the picture. The other half is strategy. Product strategy defines a product’s journey. Your vision helps you define a destination (the target condition) — the ultimate user experience toward which you’re aiming. You can plan your route toward the target destination by focusing on exactly what you need to build. By setting the goal (the challenge), you can adjust the direction of your product efforts.
Value proposition maps out the key aspects of the product: what it is, who it’s for, and when and where it will be used. Value proposition helps the team and stakeholders build consensus around what the product will be.
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