Did you know that around 95% of new products fail? This highlights the importance of effective product design without common mistakes that are mostly avoidable. Designing a successful product is a bit like constructing a building. Like how a poorly designed foundation by a developer trying to save money can lead to a crumbling structure, common product design mistakes can result in a failed product.
These mistakes can occur even when a product designer has the best intentions and strives to create something functional and visually appealing. But fear not! Relying on the experience of our product design squad and industry research, the Brave UX design team has drafted five of the most common product design mistakes.
These mistakes are not limited to novice product designers. They are committed almost all the time by seasoned designers too.
But don't worry. We'll provide you with tips on how we avoid them. We will also delve into the importance of user research, prototyping, user feedback, simplicity, and usability. By steering clear of these pitfalls, you can be sure your product meets the needs of its intended audience and enjoys instant and prolonged success in the market. So, let's get started!
What Is Product Design Failure?
Product design failure refers to a situation where a product does not meet the needs of its intended audience or fails to achieve its goals in the market.
A product that fails to meet the needs of its intended audience is likely to result in:
usage mishaps and a damaged reputation;
financial losses for the company that launched the product;
and a decrease in loyalty and trust, hence, customer base.
5 Most Common Product Design Mistakes and Tips to Avoiding Them
Here are the most common product design mishaps and tips for avoiding disasters:
Mistake #1: Lack of User Research
Think of user research as a treasure map that leads you to the golden pot of success.
Without it, you're wandering blindly through the jungle of product design, unsure what direction to take. It's like trying to hit a bullseye blindfolded - you might get lucky, but chances are you'll miss the mark.
Why Is User Research So Important?
User research is one of the best practices for successful UX design projects.
Without a clear understanding of the needs and preferences of the targets, it isn't easy to create a successful product in the market.
By conducting necessary consumer research, a product designer can gain valuable insights into the desires and pain points of their target users. They can use that information to create a product that will meet their needs and exceed their expectations.
The Segway Case Study
There are numerous examples of products that have failed due to a lack of user research.
One famous example is Segway, a personal transportation device hyped as a revolutionary new way to get around.
However, despite early excitement and media attention, the Segway ultimately failed to gain traction in the market.
Because the designers failed to conduct proper user research to understand how the device would fit into people's lives, meet their transportation needs, and ensure safety.
The tragic death of Jimi Heselden, the British millionaire who acquired Segway and died after running off a cliff with a Segway, highlights the consequences of a lack of user research. Segway was supposed to revolutionize transportation. But the product failed to gain widespread adoption due to its design flaws.
Segway's designers failed to ask basic user research questions, such as how the product would fit into people's daily lives and how to navigate an urban terrain built for cars, pedestrians, and bicycles. As a result, the product failed to gain traction in the market. It was seen as a novelty item rather than a practical mode of transportation.
The lack of user research also led to safety concerns. Segways were involved in a number of accidents, including the one that led to Jimi Heselden's death. Without proper user research, the company failed to anticipate the product's potential dangers and implement safety features to prevent accidents.
In hindsight, it's clear that Segway's failure was partly due to a lack of user research. The company failed to ask the right questions and gather feedback from potential users, leading to a flawed product in both design and safety.
The Segway also encountered regulatory problems in many countries where it was banned from sidewalks and roads because it did not fit any existing categories.
The lesson to be learned here is that user research is critical to the success of any product, especially one that is intended to disrupt an established market. By understanding the needs and wants of your target customers, you can design a product that meets their needs and is safe to use. Without user research, you risk designing a product that misses the mark and puts users at risk.
Tips to Avoid a User Research Disaster
So how can a product designer avoid the mistake of a lack of user research? Here are a few tips:
Define your targets: Before you can conduct user research, you need to know who your intended audience is. Define your target demographic regarding age, gender, location, interests, and any other relevant factors. This will help you to narrow your focus and conduct more effective research.
Use a variety of research methods: There are many different user research methods, including surveys, interviews, focus groups, and observation. Use various methods to gather a range of insights and perspectives from your targets.
Be open-minded: When conducting user research, it's essential to approach it with an open mind and a willingness to learn. Don't assume you know what your audience wants or needs – listen to what they say and be open to incorporating their feedback into your design.
Analyze and interpret your data: Once you've gathered your user research data, take the time to analyze and interpret it. Use new technologies like AI or augmented reality in your workflow which can help with this. Look for patterns and product trends that can inform your design decisions, and use your insights to create a product that meets the needs of your targets.
Iterate and test: User research is an ongoing process, and it's important to continue gathering feedback and testing your product throughout design or development process. Use feedback from real users to iterate and refine your design, ensuring that it meets the evolving needs and preferences of your target customers.
Mistake #2: Failure to Prototype
High-quality prototyping is an essential step in the product design process. It allows designers to test their ideas and gather feedback from users before committing to a final product design. In essence, prototyping is a way to build a rough version of a product that can be tested and improved upon before the final product is produced.
To avoid mistakes that lead to product design failures, product designers need to create effective prototypes. Practical prototypes are those that provide a realistic representation of the final product while still allowing for flexibility and experimentation. Prototype testing is an important step, especially when designing for the Internet of Things.
How to Create Effective Prototypes
One approach to prototyping is to create a series of low-fidelity prototypes that focus on testing specific features or functions of the product. These prototypes can be created using simple materials such as cardboard or foam and can be modified quickly and easily based on user feedback.
Another approach is to create high-fidelity prototypes that closely resemble the final product.
Regardless of the approach, effective prototypes should be designed with user feedback in mind. By gathering feedback early in the design process, designers can identify and address issues before they become major problems down the line.
Prototyping can also be used to test the usability and functionality of a product. For example, a website or app prototype can be used to test how users navigate and interact with the product. This allows designers to identify and fix usability issues before the final product is released.
We, therefore, recommend setting up 10% of the total project budget on usability.
In addition, prototyping can be used to test the visual design and aesthetics of a product. By creating visual prototypes or mockups, designers can get a sense of how the product will look and feel before committing to a final design.
Mistake #3: Ignoring User Feedback
Ignoring user feedback can be one of the most detrimental mistakes a product designer can make. User feedback provides valuable insights into how a product is being used and what changes need to be made to improve its overall performance.
However, many designers overlook this critical aspect of the design process, leading to a disconnect between the product and its intended users.
Importance of User Feedback
User feedback is essential in designing digital products that meet the needs and expectations of the users. It allows designers to identify potential issues and areas for improvement, ultimately leading to a more user-friendly product.
Gathering feedback is a great idea and can help designers to stay ahead of the competition by incorporating innovative features that users are looking for.
Tips on Collecting and Incorporating User Feedback Effectively
To effectively collect and incorporate user feedback, designers should follow these tips:
Conduct User Testing: Conducting user testing allows designers to get feedback from users in a controlled environment. This feedback can be used to identify potential issues and areas for improvement.
Create a Feedback Loop: Creating a feedback loop allows designers to gather feedback continuously. This feedback can be used to make iterative changes to the product, resulting in a more user-friendly product.
Use Analytics: Using analytics allows designers in keeping track of user behavior and identifying areas where users struggle. This information can be used to make changes to the product that will improve its overall performance.
Listen to Your Users: It is essential to listen to your users and take their feedback seriously. User feedback can provide valuable insights that can be used to improve the product.
Prioritize Feedback: Not all feedback is created equal. Designers should prioritize feedback that will have the most significant impact on the product's overall performance.
Mistake #4: Overcomplicating the Design
When it comes to product design, less is always more. Overcomplicating the design of a product can lead to confusion, frustration, and, ultimately, failure.
Customers want products that are easy to use and understand, not ones that require a user manual or release note just to navigate.
Importance of Simplicity in Product Design
Simplicity is critical when it comes to product design. A simple and intuitive design can make a product more accessible and appealing to a broader audience.
A simple design is like a well-marked trail, with clear directions and intuitive navigation. An overly complicated design, on the other hand, is like a maze, with dead ends and confusing twists and turns.
Just like how a hiker would prefer the simplicity of a clear trail, a user would like a product that is easy to navigate and understand.
An overly complicated design can alienate users and lead to frustration. When designing a product, it's essential to keep the end user in mind and ensure that the product is easy to use and understand.
Tips on How to Simplify the Design Effectively
When designing a product, it's essential to keep the user experience in mind. Here are some tips on how to simplify the design effectively:
Focus on the core features: Identify the core features of your product and focus on making them easy to use and understand. Don't overload the product with unnecessary features that can confuse users.
Use familiar patterns and interfaces: Use familiar patterns and interfaces to make the product more intuitive for users. For example, if you're designing a mobile app, use standard icons and navigation patterns that users are already familiar with.
Test the design with users: Test the design with real users to identify any areas of confusion or frustration. This will allow you to change the design before the product is released to the public.
Keep the design consistent: Keep the design consistent throughout the product to avoid confusion. Use a consistent color scheme, typography, and layout to create a cohesive and intuitive user experience.
Use clear and concise language: Use clear and concise language in the product to avoid confusion. Avoid using technical jargon or complex terminology that users may not understand.
Mistake #5: Poor Usability
Usability is a crucial aspect of product design that cannot be overlooked. A product may look great and have all the necessary features. But if it is difficult to use, users will quickly become frustrated and seek out other options.
Importance of Usability in Product Design
Usability is all about ensuring a product is easy and intuitive to use. A product with good usability can be navigated effortlessly and seamlessly by users, allowing them to accomplish their tasks with minimal effort.
On the other hand, a product with poor usability can leave users feeling confused and frustrated, leading to a negative user experience and potentially damaging the reputation of the product and its brand.
Tips to Improve Usability Effectively
Improving usability can be achieved through a variety of techniques and strategies. Here are a few tips on how to improve usability effectively:
Conduct user research: Understanding the needs and preferences of your target audience is crucial when designing a product with good usability. By conducting your due diligence on user research, you can gain insights into how your product will be used and what features are most important to your users.
Simplify the interface: A cluttered and confusing interface can quickly turn off users. By simplifying the interface and making it easy to navigate, users can use the product more effectively.
Test early and often: Testing is key to improving usability. By testing the product early and constantly, you can identify issues and make changes before the product is released.
Incorporate user feedback: Listening to user feedback is essential when it comes to improving usability. By incorporating user feedback into the development process, you can ensure that the product meets the needs and expectations of your users.
Product design is a critical aspect of creating successful products. But even the most well-intentioned designers can make mistakes. We've explored five common mistakes that can lead to a product's failure. These include a lack of user research, failure to prototype, ignoring user feedback, overcomplicating the design, and poor usability. By avoiding these pitfalls and following the tips provided, designers can create products that meet the needs of their intended audience and achieve success in the market.
It's important to remember that effective product design is an ongoing process that involves continuous user feedback and iteration. By focusing on simplicity, usability, and meeting the needs of the user, designers can create products that are not only functional but also enjoyable to use.
At Brave UX, we understand the power of effective product design and how it can make or break a product's success in the market. Our design squads are experts in creating intuitive and user-friendly designs that meet the needs of your target audience and exceed their expectations.
If you're looking to create a product that stands out in a crowded market, our team of skilled designers can help you achieve that goal. Don't let product design mistakes hold you back from achieving success. Send us a message at Brave UX Platform today to help you create a product that truly resonates with your audience.