Product design is where the rubber really meets the road — or rather, the pixel meets the screen.

From design workshops all the way to user testing, product design encompasses every aspect of how people interact with the product and the experience it provides. Using the findings from the research phase, the designer take a human-centered design (HCD) approach to structure an experience that solves the problem in the simplest way possible.

Co-Creating an Experience with Clients

Human-centered design workshops bring all the various design thinking and HCD tools together into one place. While they tend to vary by project and organization, they’re always an opportunity for us to co-create with clients. Journey mapping, stakeholder mapping, empathy mapping, research unpacking… All of the human-centered design activities are in play during these workshops. It’s during these workshops that designercan hone in on the user journey and pinpoint friction, ultimately allowing us to hypothesize and begin imagining possible solutions.

Fine Tuning the Experience

UX design outlines what the experience is actually like for people using and interacting with a product. Designer use several essential tools to finetune and perfect the experience. Beginning with experience mapping and defining user requirements, designer determine what the user journey looks like and start to add some structure to it. From there, designer move on to user flows, information architecture, and wireframes to hone in on the details.

Testing the Experience In Its Rawest Form

While user testing can be done at any stage of the product design and development process, designer prefer to focus on it while building wireframes for two main reasons. One is speed. Designer able to adapt to change and iterate much more quickly if something isn’t working in the wireframe than designer would if designer is dealing with a full display layer. The second reason for testing during the wireframe stage is that designer better able to test the experience itself rather than the users’ perception of the experience based on the visual layer.

Creating a Cohesive Design System

UI design involves everything in the display layer of a product. It’s what users actually see and interact with. Colors, fonts, grid structure, UX writing… designer design all of these elements into one cohesive design system. And designer don’t just design things because they look nice. Every design decision designer make is evidence-based and backed by thorough research to ensure that the UI is successful.

Putting the Micro in Micro-Interactions

As part of the UI design system, designer also pay thoughtful attention to how the various elements interact with one another. Small, micro-interactions elevate specific features within the product’s overall experience. The designer design them with intention and are considerate to keep them micro so as to not distract the user from the overall experience. Subtlety and minimalism is the key to successful micro-interactions.

See Your Product in Action

A prototype of your product is an extremely useful tool in a number of ways. It can serve as a proof of concept that your idea is viable and worth moving forward. Prototypes also assist in showing investors what your product can do rather than simply telling them. The prototypes take several different forms based on the needs of the client. In some cases, designer is building a clickable front-end only prototype with placeholder data to give an idea of the look and feel of the product. Other times, designer work with the development team to build out a more robust prototype to really show what the product can do.