Are you ready to embark on a product design journey? As exciting as it may be, you have to note that designing a successful product requires more than just creativity and technical skills.
First, it's about understanding the target audience. At BraveUX Platform, this always starts with user research. You have to put yourself in the shoes of your target audience, understand their pain points, and design a solution that truly solves their problems. You must also have the client's objectives and budget range in mind so you can work in sync.
As designers, we know that a design project can easily fall short of expectations without careful planning and consideration. It's frustrating to waste time and resources on a product that doesn't resonate with the audience. That's why we're here to help.
In this article, we'll explore critical questions to ask before starting a product design project to ensure your project is set up for success. So, get ready to take some notes as we explain all you need to ask before a product design project.
What Questions Should You Ask Before Starting a Product Design Project?
Great question! Before starting any product design project, it's crucial to ask the right questions to ensure that the final product meets the needs of your target audience.
Here are some categories of questions the Brave squads at BraveUX like to ask before embarking on any project:
Questions About the Target Audience
A product without the target audience in mind is a product designed to fail. The success of any product or service depends on how well it resonates with the audience.
Here are some probing questions to ask that can help you connect with your audience like a tuning fork.
Who is the product for?
Understanding your proposed users is essential to design a product that resonates with them.
You have to ask yourself or the client questions like: Who are they? What are their interests, hobbies, and values? The only way to find this out is by gathering market data. Your target audience's demographics, such as age, gender, and location, can help tailor the design to their preferences.
Is this for a feminine, masculine, or gender-neutral audience?
Trust us when we say gender is crucial in how people perceive and interact with products.
According to a report from the United Nations, there is a gender dimension of product design. For example, you have to learn to avoid some design elements that might read stereotypical, among other cultural concerns.
Chief of all, understanding the gender of your target customers can help you design a product that aligns with their needs and preferences.
What are their needs and preferences?
Understanding your target audience's needs and preferences is critical to designing a product that solves their problems and meets set expectations.
Ask questions like, what problems are they trying to solve? What design elements are essential to them? What is their budget?
Where will the design be used?
Consider the context in which the product will be used. Will it be used at home, at work, or on the go? This information can help you design a product that fits seamlessly into your target audience's lifestyle and environment.
Asking these questions and more can help you design a product that truly resonates with your target audience and sets your project up for success.
Questions About the Product Design's Goals and Objectives
Before starting a product design project, it's important to clearly understand the project's objective and what you want to achieve with the design.
By answering these questions, you can establish clear design and project objectives:
What's the inspiration behind this project?
Understanding the inspiration behind the project can provide valuable insights into what you want to achieve with the design.
Was there a problem that needed to be solved? Did you identify an opportunity in the market?
Knowing the inspiration can help guide the process and ensure that the final product aligns with the original vision.
What do you want to achieve with the design?
Defining your design objectives is critical to creating a successful product.
Are you looking to create a product that solves a specific problem or fills a gap in the market?
Do you want to design a product that is easy to use, visually appealing, or innovative?
Defining the design objectives can help you stay focused throughout the product design.
What problem is the product solving?
You have to understand the problem the product is trying to solve. This question helps ensure that the project is focused on solving a real problem that the target audience is facing. The answer to this question will provide the basis for the UI/UX design brief.
Questions About Product Features and Functionality
Determining the must-have and nice-to-have features of a product is critical to its success.
Here are some questions to consider asking:
How will the product be used?
Knowing how a product is going to be used is pretty essential. The answer to this question will provide insight into how the product should be designed, its features, and its functionality. This information can help guide decisions throughout the process, ensuring the final product is user-friendly and meets the target audience's needs.
What are the must-have features?
These are the essential features that the product must have to solve the problem or meet the needs of your target audience.
These features are first priorities and you should implement them first in the design procedure.
Ask questions like, what features are crucial to solving the problem? What features are expected by the target audience?
What are the nice-to-have features?
Nice-to-have features are additional features that can enhance the product's usability or appeal to the target audience. They are like the cherry on top of a sundae. The ice cream is the must-have feature, but the cherry adds a little extra sweetness and makes it more appealing.
By considering what extra toppings your audience might enjoy, you can create a product that meets their basic needs and also delights them with additional features that make it stand out.
These features can be added after the must-have features are implemented, and the budget allows for additional development time.
So, as the product designer, ask questions like, what features would make the product stand out? What features would provide a better user experience?
Questions About the Brand
Knowing the client's business and its competitive landscape is like navigating a jungle of opportunities and challenges! These are some questions that will guide you towards the treasure:
Who do you consider your competition?
It's essential to know the brand's competitors, their products or services, and how they position themselves in the market. This knowledge can help you differentiate the brand and create a product that stands out.
You may ask questions like, who are the top players in the market? What are their strengths and weaknesses? How does our brand compare?
What do you like or dislike about your previous branding?
Reflecting on the previous work can provide valuable insights into what works and what doesn't.
Consider the strengths and weaknesses of the previous designs and what you want to improve or change.
You may ask questions like, what aspects of our previous branding were successful? What could have been improved? What new direction do we want to take our brand in?
By answering these questions, you can better understand your brand and how it fits into the competitive landscape.
This knowledge can inform your product design and ensure it aligns with your brand's values and goals.
Questions About Budget and Timeline
Understanding the budget and timeline for a product design project is critical to its success.
Here are some questions to consider:
What is the budget allocated for the project?
It's essential to know how much money is available for the project. Apparently, this will affect the scope and complexity of the design.
Ask questions like, what are the budget constraints? Are there any cost-saving measures that can be implemented without sacrificing quality? How can we allocate resources effectively to meet the budget?
What is the timeline for completion?
Knowing the timeline for completion is critical to managing resources, scheduling milestones, and ensuring the project is completed on time.
Ensure you ask questions such as, what is the desired launch date for the product? How much time is required for research, design, and testing? Are there any potential roadblocks that could impact the timeline?
By answering these questions, you can get a realistic budget and timeline for the project. Your client or the brand can allocate resources effectively and ensure that the final product meets the objectives and goals within the available budget and timeline.
How will success be measured?
Knowing how success will be measured is crucial. This question helps ensure that the final product meets the client or stakeholders' expectations and provides a way to measure its effectiveness. The answer to this question can help guide decisions throughout the process, ensuring that the final product meets the desired outcome and is a success.
Questions About the Design Process
There are a couple of questions we believe the design team needs to ask themselves. These ensure the process of designing is well-planned and executed correctly:
What is the design process?
You know, it's really important to understand the design methodology if you want your project to be successful. Do you know why? If everyone involved in the project understands how the process works, then they'll all be on the same page and working towards the same goal. Makes sense, right?
So, the product designer has to ask: How do you plan on executing the process for your project? This is a really important question because it'll give us insight into the steps involved in the design. You know, stuff like research, ideation, prototyping, and testing. Understanding these steps is key to ensuring that the design goes smoothly and that we end up with a successful project.
What is the design philosophy?
Understanding the design philosophy of a company is important to make sure a product matches a company's values and beliefs. So, what does that mean? Well, basically it's about making sure that the design team is creating something that not only works well, but also looks great and matches the company's brand.
One way to check if the design team is on the same page as the company is by asking a simple question: "What's your approach to design?" This question gives you an idea of how the team thinks about design - whether they focus on simplicity, functionality, minimalism, or something else entirely.
How will the design be tested and evaluated?
So, have you ever thought about why testing and evaluating a design are so important? Well, it's because it helps ensure that the final product actually turns out the way it's supposed to. And let's be honest, and nobody wants to end up with a product that just doesn't meet their expectations.
One question that's super important to ask during the design phase is whether or not there's a plan in place to test and evaluate the product. This is where things like usability testing, focus groups, or surveys come in. By figuring out what methods will be used to test and evaluate the design, it can really help guide the decision-making process.
Basically, having a good testing and evaluation plan in place can help make sure that the final product is not only what you intended but it's also well-received by the people you're targeting it towards. And at the end of the day, isn't that what we all want?
The Importance of a Good Design Brief
A good design brief is like the blueprint for the whole project. And without it, things can get really confusing.
A design brief basically lays out all the important stuff, like what the project goals are, what we're working with (like time constraints or budget limitations), and what everyone expects from the final outcome.
That way, everyone on the team is on the same page, and there's less room for misunderstandings.
Plus, when we have a well-crafted design brief, it makes the whole process much smoother and more efficient. There's less back-and-forth, less wasted time, and we can focus on creating the best possible outcome. So, never underestimate the importance of a good design brief!
Have you ever heard the saying, "There's no such thing as a stupid question"? Well, that definitely applies to product design projects! Asking the right questions before you start designing ensures everything goes smoothly and the final product meets everyone's expectations.
When starting a new project, a product designer must ask questions to understand the client or stakeholders' needs and goals. It's also important to know the design team's approach and testing methods to ensure everything is aligned. This helps set clear goals and expectations, guiding decision-making throughout the design procedure.
And let's not forget about the target customer! By asking critical questions, designers can design a product that not only looks great but also solves a real problem and meets the audience's needs. Because, let's face it, a visually stunning product that doesn't actually work or solve anything isn't very useful.
If you're looking for a product design team that can help you create an amazing user experience, you should definitely check our Brave Squads out on the BraveUX platform! The team of experts can help you with everything from designing a prototype to conducting user testing, all to create a product that truly meets your needs. Get in touch with a Brave squad today!