- Use analytical tools. Powerful tools such as Google Analytics and Hotjar can be used to understand user behaviors.
- Don’t rely solely on analytics. You can’t determine the effectiveness of a product’s design based solely on analytics. To validate the analytical insights, you should conduct further hallway tests.
Feedback from users
The best way to avoid having to rework a product is to inject feedback into the process. Regular user feedback (in the form of online surveys or analysis of customer support tickets) should be at the heart of the product design process. This information will drive product refinement.
- Don’t make it hard for users to provide feedback. Don’t hide the “Leave feedback” option. Make it easy and, if possible, rewarding for users to share their feelings and ideas about your product.
Testing changes in design
An A/B test is an appropriate testing method when designers are struggling to choose between two competing elements. This testing method consists of showing one of two versions randomly to an equal number of users and then reviewing analytics to see which version accomplished the specific goal more efficiently.
- Get into the habit of A/B testing your design changes. Knowing that all of your changes will be A/B tested will give you a tremendous amount of freedom to try new (and potentially risky) things. You won’t have to worry that some change you’ve made will ruin everything.
Four essential things to remember about product design
1. The process should morph to fit the project
When it comes to product design process, there’s no one-size-fits-all solution. The process employed should be tailored to fit the project’s particular needs, both business and functional. Here are just a few factors that can affect the design process:
- Customer’s needs or preferences.
- How much time you have (the project’s deadline).
- Project’s budget (for example, a limited budget won’t allow you to conduct a lot of interviews).
A process tailored to the capabilities of the business and of users is most effective. Thus, use what works the best for your project, get rid of the rest, and evolve your design process as the product evolves.
2. Product design is not a linear process
A lot of product teams think design is a linear process that starts with defining the product and ends with testing. But that assumption is wrong. The phases of the process often have considerable overlap, and usually there’s a lot of back and forth. As product teams learn more about the problem being solved, the users, and the details of the project (especially the constraints), it may be necessary to revisit some of the research undertaken or try out new design ideas.
3. Product design is a never-ending process
Unlike more traditional forms of design (such as print design), the design process for digital products isn’t a one-time thing, and designers should never assume they’ll get everything perfect right from the start. Implementation often reveals gaps in the design (for example, bad assumptions about product usage, which are hard to predict without shipping the product).
To design successful products, teams need to adopt a process of continual improvement. Iterative design follows the idea that design should be done in repeated cycles. It’s a process of constantly refining and improving the product based on both qualitative and quantitative feedback data from your users. This is a great opportunity for designers to see the bigger picture, improve their work based on user feedback, and make the product inherently more valuable to users.