11 Helpful Tips for Innovative Product Designers

11 helpful tips for innovative product designers

Impactful Solutions Coming Up

The future of product design looks uncertain, especially if we consider the tangible advent of machine learning, Artificial Intelligence, Big Data, and a complex array of other solutions and innovations which promise to change every single aspect of being a product designer.

Even so, one thing is for sure: product designers can always make use of a list of invaluable tips they should follow to ensure they create product design ideas that withstand the test of time, getting to use product design trends to the max.

By reading this expanded article on product design tips, both expert and newbie product designers will gain a new sense of what they need to have to ensure they get to navigate the unforeseen world of design in the years to come.

11 Helpful Tips for Innovative Product Designers

1. Function Matters

In design, there are elements which may be deemed useful. However, if they get in the way of a seamless design, product design experts shouldn’t feel sorry to throw them away.

Of course these guys are creative beings, guided by aesthetic sensibilities and perceptions. Even so, they should remember to stay focused on the function of the products, allowing only those functional features to be part of the design, and eliminating any unnecessary - albeit beautifully crafted - extra parts.

The temptation to include too much will always be there, right on the surface of the designer’s inspired artistic soul. But too many features can overcrowd the design, allowing functionality to be buried under a pile of features, consequently undermining product design goals.

It may be that designers want their products to be clever statements of their intellectual prowess. However, design in the real world takes people into account.

Products are not going to be used by the enchanting craftsmen who design them, but by people who must be able to understand functionality as seamlessly as possible. In order for professionals to always think about the most important aspect of product design, they must make sure to understand what their mission is.

Only by performing that introspective critical reasoning will they be able to create something that is both special and functional.

2. Stay Focused

This should be a product design philosophy. Indeed, focus is key and it’s actually all about aligning your tastes with the product’s goals.

What is the end game? What is the aim of this particular product? How will it effectively help people, solve a problem, and deliver something truly unique?

Products must forcibly be part of a fiercely competitive market environment. Once they hit the shelves or become live, they should be able to garner people’s attention, showcasing their valuable qualities and benefits in a simple yet clear way.

That’s why it’s essential for designers to stay sharp and focused. A successful product designer is always focused on the customer and their needs, offering a product which clearly satisfies every single user.

Niche marketing is all about focus, and that mantra should inspire professionals. The more focused they are when developing a product design, the better understanding they will have of the target audience. It’s time to design a product that can do one specific thing better than any other, focusing on the end result at all times.

3. Be Aesthetically Relevant

Functionality is important, and let there be no qualms or doubts about it. However, performance is only a part of the product design manifesto.

Why? Because aesthetics still play an important role in the future of product design.

Both the feel and the aesthetics of a specific product still manage to appeal to users, entrancing them with class and timeless style, always coupled with the aforementioned need for focused functionality. Whether it be digital products, software, apps, websites, or tangible products, a designer who wants to keep improving and developing skills should never abandon an aesthetic sense.

The trick? Even though the product needs to be as functional and easy-to-use as possible, it should also be able to beam with aesthetic power, since people want products that do wonders while also not looking awfully ugly and misshapen.

4. Design is Simple

What is the number one rule of designing for consumers? Crafting something so simple and functional that people immediately understand what it does and how they can use it. People should be intuitively able to get the product and know how best to use it on their daily routine.

This means a good product designer must always showcase aesthetic prowess, esteemed functionality, and intuitive simplicity. Products must be simple to use. Without simplicity, a product will never be able to garner a great number of faithful fans and loyal followers.

The key is for the product designer extraordinaire to try to perceive the specific product as if they were someone who has never been able to interact with it before.

In which ways could the product mislead prospective users? Is it as clear and seamless as it can possibly be?

Enthusiasts should always bear these specific questions in mind in order to create a successful product in the future.

5. Think Long-Term

The best product design examples all have one very special little thing in common: they’ve all managed to withstand the test of time. Longevity really is a huge deal in design thinking.

But how to ensure a product designer can create a product that beats time, regardless of product design types? The key is to design the product well.

Products which are designed to last are much more valuable to consumers, a testament to the designer’s wondrous skills, and they also ensure planet Earth gets to stay as unpolluted as possible, reducing waste.

The reason why antiques and vintage designs still look like cutting-edge solutions today? The fact that they didn’t only take simplicity and functionality but also longevity into account.

6. Good Ideas Don’t Mean Great Products

One of the most important tips for designers is quite simple: not every idea is going to represent a life-changing product. There are a plethora of experts who fail to understand this, even in digital product design.

They get addicted to a poetic idea of a specific product, not being able to understand it can never actually go from ideal to aesthetically realized production. One of the aspects all product designers should bear in mind is the following: even though this seems like a great idea for a product, does it really need to exist?

Is it just a vanity item which will never be able to stand the test of time? Once astute product design experts ask these questions, they will be able to clear the serendipity away and see things with a bit more insight.

Good design can only be good if it is needed design. Needless design is only going to waste the product designer’s time, ensuring they get to come up with yet another product that’s going to rest in a dustbin somewhere.

The key aspect is to always go through a thorough amount of factual research, especially user-experience testing with real audiences to ensure the product envisaged really is a crucial need. Without going through these product design steps, experts won’t be able to create a complete product design that is not only appealing but also necessary.

7. Feedback is of the Essence

One of the most common mistakes in product design is to ignore the target audience. When masters forget to bear the needs of the target audience in mind, they fail to create a product that can really be a helpful addition to the list of best products.

What to do? It is crucial that intelligent product designers get to facilitate brainstorming sessions, go through user experience research, and gather focus groups.

User experience research allows craftsmen to effectively understand how a specific audience wants to use a product. As for focus groups, they are collections of potential customers that can enlighten different aspects and contribute for the best possible product design.

Only through factual user experience research and the creation of focus groups can designers empower products and get to create something valuable. 

8. Advantages aren’t Features

Features are everything, so they say. Features are those special aspects of a specific product that ensure customers love using it. The features will be responsible for the creation of benefits: the actual advantages of using a specific product with particularly amazing features.

But what can designers never do? Make the mistake of confusing advantages and features. When designing a specific product, product design experts should be able to think about the specific advantages that the product actually provides the end user.

If the professionals manage to create a product which contains remarkable advantages, that product will be more easily sold to customers.

The key? To ensure the product actually improves people’s lives, guaranteeing they get to do something more easily or more quickly because of that particular product.

9. Stay Useful

This is probably the most obvious tip product designers must follow. In fact, it should be considered as one of those product design guidelines every product designer should see as incontrovertible truths.

Products which aren’t useful will simply disappear from the landscape, their creators running away in shame. Useless products shouldn’t really be called products.

Utility really is the utmost important value, and that is applicable to every single aspect of design. This means that every product component must be able to serve a valuable purpose.

If there’s no point to that button, why is it there? If that app notification doesn’t need to pop like that, why does it do so?

By always taking usefulness and utility into account, designers will be able to craft works of art that allow customers to be empowered by a product that is simple and that actually improves their lives. Experienced product designers should always remember that the product isn’t being designed for themselves and that it must consistently take the end user into account.

If the design contains an aesthetically gorgeous element that fails to be useful, enthusiasts shouldn’t be afraid to remove it, ensuring the customer experience is a priority at all times.

10. Create Prototypes

There still are a lot of pros who simply refuse to accept it: prototypes are the only way to be sure the product has what it takes to succeed and they really should become a product design methodology. A rendering alone won’t make the cut. The experts should go ahead and go through the process of creating a prototype.

With the advent of AI, this task will become simpler. For now, the prototype could be a functional mock-up that’s able to showcase the core features of a beneficial product. It can also be something that shows the results of the first testing phases.

By creating a trial of 10-15 prototypes, product designers will always be able to see what is lacking, what are the main characteristics of a specific product, and even estimate production costs. There are many prototyping companies they can explore, which means there’s no excuse to do shoddy work.

By prototyping, designers will always be able to ensure that the simple, intuitive, and timeless design has what it takes to be a successful product that can shape the future of the user experience.

11. Get Websites Right

In the past 20 years, people have had to contend with an obviously eternal truth: website design matters and web product design is of superior importance. In fact, the UX product design process is now a seasoned aspect of the visual design framework, which means designers should follow certain steps to make sure everything’s done as it should be.

But how can designers ensure they create a website that takes specific helpful tips into account to create a seamless digital product design process that elevates their work? How can they be sure to create a future that’s filled with pristinely crafted pages that appeal to users and allow them to quickly find what they need in umpteen digital platforms?

It’s simpler than it may seem. The first thing specialists should do is to answer the user’s fundamental questions with a powerful headline.

The headline should contain the value of the product or service, the main benefits and advantages users will get from it, the different features that make the product or service so valuable, and also showcase a clear Call-to-Action that allows people to rapidly get the product or service. Moreover, designers should make sure to be user-centric, highly-targeted, and never forget to describe the offering in a simple and clear way.

Another key aspect product designers should focus on when it comes to the creation of websites is to be able to value the user’s time by actually providing intuitive navigation. This means it’s important to link only the most relevant sections, be congruent with design’s most basic conventions, and be able to create something that’s efficient for all devices.

In addition, product design experts should be able to reward users for scrolling down by providing secondary points of entry to the product’s conversion funnel. Last but not least, designers should always remember to engage users with specific visuals that are both emotionally persuasive and able to create contrast with the headline.

Tips for a Better Product Design

From devising a thorough research process to creating focus groups and valuing the simplicity of design, the product designers of the future must never forget these impeccably useful tips and should focus on the wonderful characteristics of good product design.

By perceiving some of these key product design tips as a motto, product designers will be able to effectively create highly-successful products, improve the user experience taking real audiences into account, and craft aesthetically invaluable articles that will become a ubiquitous presence in people’s lives.