Product design is an Integral part of product development cycle. Designing a new product requires analytical process and problem-solving approach. The Goal of designing any product is to get things done, easily for users. It is about problem-solving, about visualizing the needs of the user and bringing a solution.
Startups usually have limited resources and time. At First Entrepreneurs would think, is it really a good idea to invest resources in product design? Yes, it is. We’ve been in Industry very observant and we can say that very confidently. If you have an Idea for a Product which needs to be developed from scratch, here’s why you must consider product design for your Startup Product.
Entrepreneurs are generally very curious about the End product once they’ve an Idea. Which is not good practice if you want to make a great product. With Design Thinking, you go beyond your normal vision and define each problem first. This gives you a clear idea on how to begin your product development process further. Later you can explore the multiple solutions to solve that specific problem.
For example, you realize in an urban area, polluted water is an issue for the people living there. Now think about that why it might be happening. You might think that Water bodies i.e. River, Stream used for Supply is polluted or Government Supply Pipeline is broken or It’s your tank which has gone uncleaned for a long time. Similarly, In Design thinking you analyze a problem and its roots carefully.
Now that you find out the problems, you can very easily find the measures to fix them. As in this case, getting a water filter from your obvious thought is not a solution. Design Thinking is all about defining possible problems and dealing with them through strategic and Practical Process.
Nothing comes out Perfect in the first time. At least, That’s a very practical statement in Product Development Process. One might be a Naive to not think that. A very practical approach for your new product development should involve hand drawn or graphical concept sketches. It includes the design of interactions, experiences, processes and strategies. It involves an understanding of people's needs - and how to meet them with products, services, & processes. Here’s why you should consider concept design in your early stage of design process. Below is a concept design of the First iWatch. In one Picture, it explains concisely what’s the product all about, which component goes where and how user will interact. These simple explanations answers the bigger question and doubts of your product.
If you begin your product development directly from your mind to computer to Prototype, Chances are you might end up with something unexpected – which your consumer are not going to like it. Now you have exhausted enough resources in this prototype already, that going back and doing things over again is likely impossible. With Concept design, you can avoid this from happening. Once your Concept is on paper, you can check whether it’s how imagined, it has all the features, symmetry. If not, go back and recheck again and again, until you are satisfied. This all can be done without overusing resources.
Technology allow to think futuristic and Design allow you to think user-istic. We made up that word :). Tech startups always put users on side, because they feel they have an edge with new emerging technology. Google glass is one fine example of such misthought. It is even considered as one of the biggest flops of all time. So, what goes wrong at such giant company’s project? Answer is Simple, Product was designed for their developers thought, not for the users needs. It was Awkward device to carry, highly priced for mainstream market and has low goal achievement in daily life.
In a startup, it is important for entrepreneurs to understand their users. And That understanding comes when you start thinking as a general user. With Design Process, you add the Usability factor. You make sure that product is not only meant for your business goals, but for the user’s goals of making their life easier. Daily Activity Circle of your User and Usability Circle the product must overlap for a Product to be great. If you look back to some great tech Products, you will realize they were User-centered, technology was only the medium to provide a solution.
We all know, startup world is hard, and launching a perfect great product in very first attempt is a myth. Even Steve jobs were not able to launch a perfect Macintosh in his very first attempt. It has many bugs and issue which they later refine during the next generations of the products.
So, as we know there is some issue in our first product, but with help of Design we can reduce the number of errors with use of concept development process & mockups. Design will leverage you to refine your product faster and rectify the issue first. This saves your resources for final development
Nothing sounds perfect, unless you give your end users the best experience. No product had ever been successful with a bad user experience. Samsung might be the biggest electronics company in the world, but it still has some terrible products. One of such Products is their Conventional Microwave Oven. It’s bad mostly because of bad user experience and Poor navigation. Let’s consider this Oven from our Office
Unlike Typical Microwave Oven, it doesn’t have a Door Handle, which obviously makes the product slick. But Problem is, you can’t just find out how to open this. Anyone using for the first time will find it very frustrating until you figure out the push button in right bottom corner. The Reason why companies like IFB & Murphy Richards has better Microwave ovens than Samsung and LG, is their attention to User Experience.
To have any product successful is the biggest task for your startup. And In current competitive market, you need an edge for your product. That edge will come from only when your user’s loves your product. It doesn’t matter if it has all the technology and features. It just needs to deliver perfectly, everything it meant to.
Does your new product has gone through design process? If you are convinced with the importance of the design process, and have a product idea, let us know. From past five years, we’re working everyday with startups and helping them with product design. Not only we’ve designed great products, but we’ve helped many startups in bringing their ideas to life.