7 core digital product design principles for start-ups

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Design has always been an elusive and incomprehensible notion to non-designers, reduced to colours, shapes, and pretty pictures. But we know there is much more to that. Behind a remarkable design lies a complex thought process, comprised of many stages ending in a final design, supposed to meet both the client’s demands and the designer’s vision. This statement is especially true for digital product design.

A 2015 report shows that companies that were design-conscious (Coca-Cola, Nike, Apple, Disney, etc.) compared to those which are not. It shows the value that comes when integrating design right from the beginning of the product development process.

When it comes to digital products, design and functionality come hand in hand, because the final product which is delivered is not tangible. It can’t be touched. It can only be observed. That’s whereby design achieves its full potential and plays a critical role. 

Being an up-and-coming can be difficult in today’s oversaturated global marketplace. Competing with others, especially those who have an established reputation and an extended client record can prove to be challenging. It doesn’t mean that your start-up product design company can’t pave its way to the top. 

If you have gathered a talented and productive team, it’s just a matter of time when clients will come knocking on your doors. But there are some core principles you should abide by to make them stay.

 Listen carefully and ask the right questions

So you have closed the deal with the client, and they have chosen you to deliver what they have envisioned. How do you begin this process?

The first step should always be to determine the problem and research it as much as possible. To ask the client what it is they are trying to achieve.

Only when you have all the information in place can you start working on a suitable solution. Because that is what is, in essence, thinking of a formal resolution to a functional problem. 

Don’t simply think about the client 

When people are reduced to numbers and percentages and their feelings and emotions are not taken into account, especially when it comes to product design, it is easy to lose sight of the purpose of the final product. How people react and use, it is what is fundamentally important. 

Keep it simple

In product design, the phrase ˝Less is more˝ carries its worth. If your digital product is too complicated to use, it will soon be replaced by another one. The key to truly excellent user experience is simplicity.

You might be taken by inspiration and design many excellent features. Choose the core functionalities and make them exceptional. Minimalistic and reduced styling is more effective in holding attention and requires less of the user’s time and effort while using the product.

Focus on consistency 

Make sure that the whole design of the product – colours, layouts, texture, buttons, typography, interactions, etc. is consistent. Establishing a unique style at the beginning, which would reflect your product design agency’s identity, will make all your future design efforts more fluid.

Consistently implementing a pre-defined style throughout the product development process and in the final product as well will enable a far more enjoyable user experience. 

Clarity is the new consistency

Tend to present relevant information concisely and avoid over-cluttering with too much text. With our attention spans now to 8 seconds, it is imperative to deliver specific and useful information which is clear and easily understandable. 

Remain open for outside input

Having a great team in place is the foundation of a successful digital product. One of the advantages of a team that works together for a while is that it becomes well-coordinated so it delivers quickly. But at the same time, an organization that doesn’t change might fall into a routine and become less innovative. 

The challenge can be resolved with , where you could hire a one-time addition to your team for a specific project to introduce some new ideas and perspectives. This can keep your designs fresh with an element of surprise. 

Don’t be afraid of change

Human beings as creatures of habit naturally resist change and more so can be true for product designers. You work hard on creating and delivering original designs adjusted to specific functionalities, making it difficult to change or even part ways with them.

So if you are not a curious individual that is not afraid of taking a risk, introducing any changes into your product design routine might seem unnecessary. If it works, don’t fix it.

Well, not exactly. Even if your design generates excellent reviews, it doesn’t mean it should stay the same. The best designs are the ones that evolve and allow for improvement. If designing while keeping a change in mind, you will be ready to quickly adapt to new requirements and recommendations, enabling you to improve the design and functionality of your product consistently. 

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Image Credit:  NeONBRAND

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