Being a product manager is not an easy task. You have to lead a team towards a unified goal, whilst balancing a multitude of varying factors. The definition of product management encompasses leading your team to a set vision. Competing opinions amongst your team members can cause issues regarding what a great product design may be. That is why basic design principles are so important. They can set a consensus amongst team members, and unify their efforts in a strategic, thought out manner that ultimately produces excellent results. Websites such as Google are great examples of smart initial ideas that came to a visual, as well as practical solution that is widely appreciated by users. Having clearly outlined design principles will aid the methodology of product management across the board. Here are some of the basics that will set you on the right path to achieving success.
What are Design Principles?
First and foremost, let’s define what design principles are. They are set standards for your product team by which the progress and quality of their work can be evaluated. Design principles can replace the subjective ideals that your team members may have. Instead, the principles guide the team towards a design that aims to be centered around the user experience. A lack of common ground can result in scattered efforts, sporadic decision-making, and other unfavorable factors. By setting straight what the essence of your design goal is, utilizing clear frameworks, the company can move forward in unison to achieve the outstanding results you seek in your ideal product management process.
The 7 Basic Design Principles to Help Your Product Management Strategy
As a company, you aim to satisfy the customers with your product. Surely there is room for explorative innovation, but the product has to generate revenue. That means it has to be of practical utility to the customer. There has to be an incentive to buy it. Before you start a new product management cycle, it is of value to consider doing research. Investigate what the market needs, as well as what already works. Thorough research may end up saving you a lot of money. By understanding what the market wants, you will be able to fill the gap and do that with fewer failed prototypes. Market research can happen in many ways. A few simple methods to start with could be as simple as looking for reviews that point out the lacks in your competitors. Also, conducting studies on social media is cheap, and can prove to be very effective.
Make it Simple for Your Customer
Whether you are designing a physical product or a software solution – simplicity is key. The easier it is to navigate an app, the more comfortable it is. Complex designs may seem like a big accomplishment to their creators, but product management of software solutions should always keep a user perspective in mind. By grouping functions and condensing complexity into general areas, you can accomplish to satisfy both aspects – an easily understandable, and navigable interface, as well as a multitude of functions. Websites with massive success, such as Amazon do that excellently. Looking at Amazon, it only takes a few clicks to take a customer from browsing for a product to completing a purchase.
Keep it Familiar
Whether it be remote controllers, apps, websites, or other products – very often there is a maintained sense of continuity amongst old and new generations of products. Certain elements, such as buttons, appear in similar places over and over. While it may seem boring, you can hone in on the elements that have worked well thus far. Coupled with an innovative design, certain base elements that look familiar can get the user to bond with a new product easier. If certain things work, there is no need of reinventing the wheel. It is best to keep your efforts on design solutions that truly need renewal, such as the infrastructure or aesthetic design.
Get User Feedback
In various stages of the product lifecycle development, it can be of great benefit to reference customer opinions along the way. By going into test phases and getting real-world feedback, you will have the ability to modify your product before the launch. Instead of presenting a product that may have details that do not translate, you can instead fix those in the developmental phase. Selected beta users can improve your workflow by giving honest feedback that ultimately will translate to a better end-product.
Less is More
In product design, less is often more. We can see that minimalism is becoming increasingly popular as an aesthetic direction. One of the most successful companies in the world, Apple, is a prime example of that in action. A clean, boiled-down design can look modern, and avoid being overbearing. A beautiful, yet simple and functional product design can inspire a sense of serenity in a customer. The visual aspect of a product can speak to customers on an emotional level. Avoid any unnecessary functions, buttons, or anything else that is not essential to your overall design. Comparing it to music – it is just as much about the silence in between the notes, as it is about the notes that are being played.
It is no secret that sustainable design and product management are getting increasingly popular. Keeping the production process, as well as the actual product eco-friendly is something that has to be kept in mind in 2021. Not only is it better for the planet, but it is also becoming a way to appeal to clients. Eco-friendly operations are the future, and therefore you should, by all means, consider joining the movement if you haven’t yet.
All things considered, there has to be a stylistic direction that makes your company unique. Standing out by means of design is a way to distinguish yourself in the vast amount of products out there, as well as a way to create a brand identity. Visual data can communicate your values, and it can achieve an emotional impact. Looks are one of the factors that can greatly influence a client’s buying decision. You can lean into whom you want to appeal to by making a product look luxurious, pragmatic, quirky, or anything else. The uniqueness of your product should not be skimmed over, as it can become a defining factor to its overall success. The criteria should be on top of your list in your system of product management.
While product management tools are important, all efforts must be united by a common ideology. These 7 principles can act as waypoints for you and your team to achieve creating a successful product. We would love to hear your thoughts on your design philosophy. What are some design principles that you find most important? Please leave your comments in the section down below!
Guest Author Bio: Thomas Glare is a passionate freelance content writer, always striving to inspire others and bring insight into the endless possibilities of the modern times we are currently living. He also spent a lot of time collaborating with some prestigious online casinos, thus being No. 1 expert in matters of gambling. He continues to improve his knowledge and is the co-designer of “Echtgeld Spielautomaten”, one of the most popular games from Novomatics.