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Product Design (UI and UX)Filippo Decotto
What is product design? As the name suggests you come up with a new concept, put the idea into action and then bring the product into the market so that customers can use it. Obviously then there is a need for the product and that need is satisfied when customers find that it’s exactly what they lacked and what they wanted for a particular task.
That’s exactly why design or user interface (UI) is important. If a product is being made for customers then common sense tells us that it should make life easier, simpler and more efficient for them. Regardless of whether it’s a physical product or a software service, the end result should be the same. Remember, while the user interface (UI) is important what also matters is how good the user feels when he uses the product – user experience (UX).
A product may look good on the face of it but if it doesn’t do what it promises to do for the user (what he/she expects it to do) then the product design is flawed. After all the user is keen on getting something done and expects the product to help him do it. If it fails this test then the user experience is not good and there is no user acceptance.
Good product design should have a good UI so that it can help users have a good UX. In a sense then UI is a part of UX, therefore without good, innovative user interface, there is no way that users are going to have a good user experience.
Imagine a website that has been designed for children. Having pictures and cartoons and all the things that children like is the first step towards designing a good product. Then comes the most difficult part of making those cartoons come alive using animation. Children expect this to happen when they click on those and if it doesn’t happen, they are disappointed—they have a bad user experience. Also, navigation through the site should be made easy with arrow and directions so that children can understand what has to be done. If that works well then it means that the user interface has lived up to what it’s supposed to do and the user experience is good. This analogy holds good for any product -physical or Web-based.
The question begs- Is user experience so important? Well, yes- if you’re trying to get a product into the market and want it to sell like hot cakes then there’s no getting away from the fact that how people feel about the product matters a great deal. After all you’re trying to get a message across to the people through your product, you’re trying to make them see that you are giving them what they wanted—you’re trying to bridge the gulf between what is there and their future expectations.
Your product will do that only if the user interface is good and if they have a good user experience. Remember, the two are not exclusive by themselves, they fit into each other.
A good designer is creative, he/she knows what users want and designs interfaces that respond positively to customer needs.