A Holistic Guide to Product Design

Product Design is the process of identifying a market opportunity, clearly defining the problem and then developing a robust solution to take to market. An effective Product Designer (in the software space) possesses multidisciplinary skills across business, user research, interaction design and visual design. Previous lessons focused in depth on some of the aforementioned disciplines. This lesson introduces some business concepts that broaden the scope from design to holistic product thinking.

  1. What is a Product Designer?

    The design profession is ever evolving and it can often be difficult to explain what it is that we do. The smorgasbord of job titles and misconceptions of the role of designers from hiring managers don’t help. Read this article and reflect on the importance of not only designing but doing what it takes to actually ship products to market.

  2. The Innovator's Dilemma

    In the book The Innovator’s The Innovator's Dilemma, Clayton Christenson presents a theory of how established companies can fail by continuing to develop sustaining technologies and not recognizing or developing their own disruptive technologies. Watch this video summary and think about what disruptive technologies/products you could develop.

  3. Minimum Delightful Product

    In the startup world, we’ve all been indoctrinated with the idea of MVP (minimal viable product). Recently, a new idea called MDP (minimum delightful product) emerged. Read this article and think about how you could build delight into your product from day one.

  4. Sometimes Good Design is Not Enough

    People often think that a good product sells itself. But sometimes a brilliantly designed product is not enough. It must be supported by robust distribution. Read this article and define the network effects of incumbent companies you are competing against and develop a distribution plan for your product.

  5. The Only Metric That Matters

    Once you launch a product, it’s important to measure its success. For Product Designers, the only metric that matters is how many people are really using your product. Read this article and define a metric for your product.

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