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What Product Design really is

June 20th, 2021 / Design management

We are the piece that connects users and business.

In a product-based business environment, we have two main 'players' from our perspective as Product Designers :

● Users 🙂
● Business 📈

On the one hand, our mission is to empathize with our users to understand their needs and frustrations. In this way we will be able to design interfaces, experiences and solutions fully adapted to them.

It is very typical to find people who think that our work is based exclusively on that, that is, to design thinking only about the user, but if they have only explained that part to you... I'm afraid that you've been told half the movie.

Here comes the second part, and that is that our mission is also to help the company achieve its business objectives and strategies.

Let's look in detail at these two pieces that we need to put together, and why both are so important.

Designing for users.

One of the key pieces in a product-based business environment are the users, this is clear.

We can have a product with a great business model, but we need users to use it for the value to be real.

When designing for users, what we are doing is building a customized product for them. We achieve this by researching and empathizing to get a deep understanding of their goals, needs, frustrations, mental models, etc.

A very common mistake is to think that we already know what our users need "because we are users too". This is totally incorrect for the following two reasons:

01

You know too much about the product

We are the ones who are designing the screens, the flows, the interactions.... In the end we know perfectly well how it all works, and that's cheating. 😉

02

You are biased

Confirmation bias, sunk cost bias, availability bias... We are subject to a multitude of biases. To avoid falling into them and to design correctly, we must follow the Data-Driven Design methodology, which consists of making decisions based on data.

In the end the following happens, and that is that in all sectors there are several companies offering the same thing, that is, there is strong competition among them, and what will the user do? Choose the product that he perceives that best has been designed for him.

— "If users don't achieve their goals on our product, they will do so on another one."

Designing for users

Designing for business.

Keep in mind that a Product Designer has to have a product mentality (as the name suggests), and therefore has to take into account the business objectives and strategies of the company.

In the end we are working on a product that must be profitable in some way, so we cannot forget to help the company meet its objectives and goals.

For the company, users are of vital importance for its growth, but so is making its product profitable and allowing it to stay in the market. Our job here is to help the product team improve different KPIs that are key to the growth of companies, such as:

01

GMV

Total value of sales during a given period of time.

02

Add to cart

Number of users who add a product to the shopping cart.

03

Conversion

Number of users who have completed a given goal.

— "If a product is not profitable, it will probably end up disappearing."

Designing for business

Finding the perfect balance.

These two aforementioned 'players' are of great importance to the company, and it is here where the difficulty of our work as Product Designers lies, in finding the perfect balance between business requirements and user needs.

From time to time, it is quite typical to feel pushed due to excessive business requirements, and this usually results in a lousy user experience.

How to solve this? Sit down and talk to business and product.

Balance between business and users

Here, our task is going to be to listen to them, understand them and finally show them all the knowledge obtained during our user research.

Yes, it's time to put the data on the table and.... Negotiate with them the perfect balance! 🤘

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