Every web designer worth their salt understands that we are now designing for a canvas which is infinite. One that is also accessible by default, even though we always threaten this accessibility with every line of mark-up and script we drop on our pages. However, we need to understand that we are no longer designing web pages, but systems meant to render our content in a variety of contexts.
Therefore, pristine pixel-perfect creations renders you obsolete since you will never know what device the user is using to view your site.
The old powerfully influences the new
We can progressively enhance our products, at the same time aligning with how people use their devices, and why. Of late, the phrase UX Design has been mentioned a lot whenever people gather to talk about building great products. Nevertheless, what most people mean by that phrase are really the qualities of good product design. Product design has been around for decades now, and has evolved from its roots in industrial design, which was pioneered by architect and designer, Peter Behrens in the early 20th century when he designed the entire corporate identity for a German firm, including the Logotype, product design, publicity, etc.
Product design captures a variety of work – prototyping, engineering, researching – done collaboratively, without ascribing it to one special individual. The success of design-centric companies like Facebook makes it clear that more and more companies are recognizing the pivotal role played by product design in the success of their business plans. Especially now, that digital product design is becoming important.
According to how some researchers defined it, “user experience therefore incorporates not only the traditional qualities like reliability, functionality or usability, but also hard-to-grasp concepts from visual or industrial design e.g. attractiveness, stimulation, fun, ‘coolness’, ‘sexiness’, or the successful delivery of a brand proposition.”
With all these concepts from different disciplines, we can begin to notice that this is not something that can be accomplished by a single individual or group of designers. User experience is the responsibility of everyone on the team. Some of the duties that product designers carry out are:
- Design Strategy
- Interaction Design
- Interface Design
- Product Engineering
All these roles form one highly collaborative group.
As designers we should focus on making sound design decisions that will simply allow users’ feelings to unfold. Not trying to design people’s emotions and feelings like what UX Design implies.
While critical-thinking has taught us to work through problems until we come up with brilliant solutions. Product design relies on design-thinking, which fosters collaboration and a culture of early prototyping. Since design-thinking steps are not linear, a team can easily go back to ideation and come up with more refined ideas from a brainstorming session.
After all, great design comes out of great collaboration, discussion and connections hence everyone in business can contribute in product design from marketing to business development.