Designing the right product is 1/3 the job

Designing the right product is 1/3 the job

Having a successful product takes more than just designing the right product. I always think of this in 3 phases, and it helps me and my teams simplify the design intent. Very early in the product development process, we are looking for a product that resonates with the user, is innovative and has the possibility of being highly successful. Later in the product development process, we are figuring out how to enhance the person’s life seamlessly. The value proposition that we set out to deliver needs to do so with minimal friction.


1. Is it the right product
Early in the cycle, the goal of product and design is to get to a value proposition that resonates with the end user. We have to answer some of these fundamental questions. Who are the core users? What are their needs, pain points, and motivation? Why do they care? Would they pay to satisfy the need? Who is the competition? Will we make money? The first stage is to know with very high confidence that we have a value proposition that satisfies our core user while being a source of income.

2. Is it the right experience
Later the goal is to design for the right contexts. We would all agree that Uber would have been a terrible experience if you had to open up the laptop for everything. In this stage, we have to answer some more questions about the scenario. What are the use cases? What is the users’ context? Do we have the data to prioritize the use cases and the context? What expectations do the users have? What data or input can the users give, what can we automatically collect? What feedback do we need to give the users? This second stage is about multiple iterations and having a constant feedback loop with the user.

3. Is it the right interaction
The last part of delivering a high-quality product is to have the right interaction. The goal of Design is to make our product usable and delightful. What is the users’ state of mind? What were they doing before and what will they do next? Is there enough information for them to proceed. Is there too much information? How can we make it faster, simpler and effortless.

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