My product design learning journal (part 1)

As a art school student, I got many opportunities to improve visual design skills in the class. However, we do not learn much about how you approach a problem and work with others as a designer. So I start my self learning process, and I would like to share with you what I learned by reading, observing, listening and making.

Part 1: Define problem

Different from a student project, a real product need to be rolled out and constantly impact on users. So understanding what problem we want to solve, and why is this particular problem worth solving should be crystal clear before start thinking about any solutions. “Wrong solutions can be fixed, but non-existant problems aren’t adjustable at all.”
The real problem is not just like “make it better!” or “simplify it!” you heard from your classmates, it need to be framed by relying on research and data, also involves all divisions of the team.

About users

Before we define the “what”, we need to figure out the “who”. The solution could go to totally different direction if the user shift.

The data may indicate the user segments on your platform, but it only comes from a quantitative dimension. The challenge for designer is how you manipulate the raw data and make it useful. I alway like to do some qualitative research like user interview, and it’s always surprisingly valuable for me and team. Here I would like to share two frameworks that help you take a deep insight of your user in qualitative dimension.

Your Goals

After collecting the information you need, it’s time to set up the goal. It’s super helpful on measuring success and synchronize with the whole team.
There are couple of methods, like Objectives and Key Results and Goal-Single-Metric method we can use as a framework.

The goal should be easy to communicate in a sentence or two and resonate with someone from your target audience.

Other things need to keep in mind

  1. Think holistically about your design process, the priority, the accessibility and also the scalability.
  2. Communication: It’s important to communicate with other design teams if you are working on a same product.