Reflections on Product Design

This discussion on product design is part of my studies for DesignLab’s UX Academy.

What makes a product good? What makes a product great?

To me, good products are innovative, solve the problem(s) of the user and is easy to use. Great products do all of the above, but additionally provide a positive and pleasant experience for the user. Great products inspire the user to be more than they currently are and become so ingrained into the users’ lives, that they don’t want to live without it.

What personally attracts you to Product Design?

I read this quote somewhere of Jared Spool’s: “Good design, when it’s done well, becomes invisible. It’s only when it’s done poorly that we notice it.” This quote really resonated with me and is what made me really appreciate product design. It is so true that users don’t notice great design…it just fits seamlessly into their lifestyle and helps make their lives easier.

What is a digital product that you can’t live without? What problems does it solve for you?

A digital product that I cannot live without is my iPhone. Although I don’t often use it for the main purpose of a having a telephone (making calls), my iPhone is so useful and important to me that I really don’t go anywhere without it. My iPhone solves the problems of waking up on time and remembering to do things. Since I am currently working as a floater pharmacist, I travel to different locations that are unfamiliar to me on a daily basis. My phone reminds me of the location I will be working at next and takes the guesswork out of figuring out the best route to take to work and what time I should leave.

What is a digital product that you consider innovative? Why is it so?

Again, I will have to say the iPhone. It has replaced so many things in my life that I didn’t even think about replacing. My iPhone has rendered my actual alarm clock, calendar, mp3 player, camera, and Garmin navigator obsolete. It has made my life so much more convenient, such that I don’t need to have to refer to a physical calendar when planning my schedule or have to keep a pen and paper on hand when I go grocery shopping or have to lug around a bulky camera with me whenever I want to take a picture. Life is just easier with an iPhone in it.

What’s a product you feel “addicted to,” or otherwise feel negatively habituated?

You thought I would choose my phone again didn’t you? Although I usually have my phone with me everywhere I go, I don’t feel addicted to it. Having a smartphone is basically a necessity these days anyways. The product that I do feel addicted to is Instagram. I HAVE to scroll through the app multiple times a day — when I wake up, when I’m on lunch break, before I go to sleep, etc. If I don’t go through my feed several times a day, then there’s just too many posts to go through but I can’t NOT scroll through it all because what if I miss an important post? Instagram makes it so easy for me to see what my friends are up to and catch up with the influencers and celebrities that I follow.

Summary

Through this exercise, I have come to realize that great design very much influenced the items we use and take for granted every single day and I aspire to design great products that will help make people’s lives more enjoyable.

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