The process of product design starts with identifying a problem that requires a solution. Product designers have the skills and knowledge to conceptualize a product that can solve a problem, identify market opportunities, and create the actual product through an iterative process of product testing and modification.
In the U.S., the product design and development market was valued at $8.6 billion in 2021. Furthermore, it is expected to have a compound annual growth rate of 12.5% from 2022 to 2030. Thus, we can say that product design is an emerging market.
Product designers can come up with innovative and useful products for consumers. And this is the reason why businesses and companies hiring product designers. They are professionals in the field with specific expertise in conceptualizing beneficial ideas and turning them into actual products.
If you are interested to know how product designers come up with a product, here are the five main techniques they use to design a product:
Design thinking is an iterative and non-linear process that intends to understand the users, test assumptions, redefine problems, and create solutions through innovations. It has a five-stage process: (1) empathize, (2) define, (3) ideate, (4) prototype, (5) test – where each process has its own contribution to solve a problem and develop the product.
Furthermore, design thinking promotes thinking outside the box. Product designers who practice this technique dig a little deeper into problem-solving by having the intention to improve products, services, and processes; answer significant questions; and challenge assumptions.
As its name implies, user-centered design (UCD) aims to prioritize users’ needs, preferences, and behaviors. All the decisions in the product design process are for the benefit of the users.
Design thinking and UCD may sometimes overlap as they both deal with the users’ problems. But design thinking focuses on the iterative process of innovation or the creation of the product, while UCD is all about the improvement of the usability of the product and user experience.
According to an Adobe article, intentional and strategic user experience can increase conversion rates – the percentage of users who have completed desired action – up to 400%. Thus, prioritizing the user experience is a must.
Another technique for product design is rapid prototyping. Product designers don’t just generate ideas for products and create them right away. Rapid prototyping allows the quick creation of the preliminary version of a product. In this step, product designers and the development team can evaluate the design, test the prototype, and provide product specifications.
Since this is an essential technique for product design, rapid prototyping even has its own market. In 2018, it was valued at $400.9 million and is expected to grow until 2025 based on a market analysis report of Grand View Research.
Product design might be responsible for solving a problem by creating a product. But we cannot deny that companies produce them not only for the users but for their benefit as well.
Product designers, developers, and managers incorporate the technique of value engineering. To generate the best product cost, value engineering is responsible for finding alternative and affordable materials which can be put into the product without compromising its functionality. This balances the business and purpose sides in creating a product.
The last of the main techniques in designing a product is the integration of sustainable design. As consumers have become more aware of climate change, they tend to choose eco-friendly and sustainable products that are eco-friendly and sustainable.
In fact, according to Businesswire, about 85% of consumers have shifted to sustainable and eco-friendly products in recent years. Moreover, more than a third of global consumers are willing to pay more for sustainability. Thus, this demand must be incorporated into the product design process.
Product designers use different techniques to design a functional product for consumers. In this article, the five main techniques presented are design thinking, user-centered design, rapid prototyping, value engineering, and sustainable design.
Whether you are a business owner, project manager, product developer, or product designer, these techniques can help you understand the product design process better. Moreover, you can definitely apply these techniques when you want to create and develop a product.