The Covid-19 pandemic has changed many things in the world. Product design is definitely one of those things. Before this epidemic, no one was looking for making transparent masks that could also show the human smile. If you remember, at the beginning of the epidemic and the nationwide quarantine, all the people were making pizza at their homes.
It didn’t take long for the pizzerias to adapt to the new situation and offer a new product (selection). A ready-made pizza that the customer only has to put at home in the oven to cook. Special sauces and side dishes were also sent with it. Of course, this happened to other dishes as well (like lasagna).
Companies that provide home and workplace cleaning services have added a new service (product) to their list of services: disinfection of homes, offices and cars. These days, all kinds of virtual and online training courses and classes (in different subjects, for example, online sports classes) are designed and marketed.
Products and services that did not exist until yesterday or were very few, suddenly filled the market. Because solving the needs and problems of me and you, the consumer/user, which makes us worried and anxious, is considered essential for businesses and in the design of products and services. Knowing the needs and problems of the consumer and designing a product to solve them is the work of product design. Product design has a simple definition. But it is not a simple process at all, it is also very complicated. Because each product has its own design process.
The process of designing future generations of jet engines is different from the process of designing software. Online training courses cannot be designed in the same way as the next generation of dishwashers. Of course, it should also be remembered that usually the goals, tools, expertise and design steps are the same in the process of designing most products. Future generations of jet engines must not have the problems of current engines and adapt to future needs, just like software.
But what about the principles of product design? Does product design have principles? What is the need to have principles in product design? Are there general principles that must be followed in the design of any product or service?
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Product Design Principles
First, let’s answer the more important question: why should principles and values be observed in the design of any product? What is the use of specifying those principles and values?
In the product design process, different specialties must work together and make decisions together. When every company or startup defines principles and values for the design of its products and services from the beginning, it actually gives the design team a basis for making decisions.
Should the beauty of the product be sacrificed to make it more practical? Is the beauty of the product more important or the user experience or both? These questions are answered based on the principles of product design.
The third question was whether the principles of product design are general? For example, there are 5 principles that must be followed in the design of any service or product in all companies and startups in the world.
No! Every company, every product or every service defines (writes) the principles of product design for itself. Therefore, when we talk about product design principles, we are actually talking about product-specific design principles.
5 principles of product design
You probably have this question now that when there are no common product design principles among all companies and designers, what are the following principles introduced as product design principles in this article. It is true that every company and every product has its own design principles, but you can find principles that big companies usually follow in the design of their products.
For example, the company Litslik (which does software design) has declared that this combination of these 3 types of design is the original in the design of its software:
Functional design, beautiful design and user experience.
After studying and reviewing the product design principles of large and successful companies announced from reliable online sources (nngroup.com & Productplan.com, UXdesign.cc), the following 5 principles were selected for introduction in this article.
Following these 5 principles will be helpful in designing any product or service. You can get inspiration from these 5 principles to write product design principles for yourself or your startup.
The first principle in product design: being human-centered
When the users/consumers of your products are humans, the first and most important principle and value you should consider is the human-centeredness of your designs and services. Human-centered design is an independent and broad concept in product design and user-experience design. Considering people, their needs, concerns and feelings and empathizing with them should be a value and principle in the design of every product and service. If you are going to design an application to help treat depression, an application that is going to improve a person’s condition. So, deep understanding of the depressed person, empathy with him is the first and most important principle in designing this product.
The second principle in product design: clarity
Imagine you are going to design a website about product design. Your product is a specialized website that aims to raise awareness about a specific topic. So it has a specific audience.
When you have an image of people related to this product in mind, you know that people will come to your site with questions about product design. So the principle is that you provide them with clear answers.
So attracting the maximum audience is not the main point in your product design. The principle is that the specific user should read regular, up-to-date and clear answers and content, the content of your site should be properly categorized, and he should not get lost trying to find something on the site.
The third principle in product design: beyond expectations
Design a product that people will remember. Surprise them and create experiences beyond the usual expectations of the user.
Consider Pinterest, which has introduced 3 principles as its design principles:
- Lucid: which is kind of the same as the second main one we introduced. This clarity makes the content more enjoyable for the user.
- Animated: The meaning of this principle is quoted word for word: it is colorful. It is visually responsive. It is unpredictable. (Surprises the user!)
- Unbreakable: does not allow the user to make mistakes. It is not possible to press a wrong button. Everything is reversible in it.
The fourth principle in product design: practicality and quality at the same time as beauty
Should the beauty and visual appeal be sacrificed for the higher efficiency and quality of a product or vice versa? No! You can define the main one that forces you to pay attention to both and have both together.
For example, among the design principles of Firefox, an interesting principle can be found:
- Finely Crafted: The product must be finely crafted. Because the quality that the user understands and understands is essential in the product, any product. And of course, the user’s appearance and feeling of interacting with the product are also connected.
The fifth principle in product design: Do not create a new problem
A designed product should not solve a problem and at the same time fix another problem, of a different kind. This principle can also be said that the designed product should not be harmful to the environment or the mental and physical health of humans.
For example, if you want to design an application to help you lose weight and control eating; you must be careful and make sure that the programs offered by the application do not harm the user’s health.