Have you ever thought why customers buy something? The reason is simple: they purchase a product because that product can solve a real problem for them. It means customers see the product first and then review the design and other matters. The lesson learned here is to know that a product is a mixture of design and utility but all persons who are involved with a product especially designers should think about the utility of product in first and then other features.
Thinking about “Problem”
The first step in product thinking is to identify the problem that your customers are trying to solve. As long as a product could solve a problem in a practical and useful way for your customers, they are going to buy that product. If the problem you chose does not actually exist or the solution you suggest does not actually solve the problem, that service or product would became useless to consumers. Goods without customers end up in a scrapheap!
However, there is a chance if you find a wrong solution. The solution is simple: re-solving the problem from the first without any presuppositions.
But as all know, finding real solutions is the most challenging part of this process. Even if you’re doing a lot of work, it’s likely that you’re going to identify a problem that doesn’t exist. However, talking to potential users and customers is always the right place to start.
Don’t forget that your users may not be able to articulate their problems very well. Indeed, as Steve Jobs said “it is not their job”. So prepare yourself to enter the most challenging process: Thinking about Problems.
Process of “Product Thinking” at a Glance
You start with your users and determine what the problem is. Now, it’s time for next steps. You should demonstrate what your offered solutions are, why you choose those methods and how you really want to employ these methods.
You should keep your questioning by asking two important questions as below to complete the process of product thinking:
- What goals are we setting for this product/service?
- Which features could manifest by our specialized products/services?
Problem Solving at First
As we have discussed earlier, it’s vital that your process delivers a solution that could solve the problem at the first. Most of challenges at this step is interacting with designers. They want to optimize the visual design of your products and make them attractive and amazing while you should remind them to keep in mind that utility of the product is the main objective.
“Product Thinking” and “Design Process”
The product thinking doesn’t ignore design process but it allows you to create features that matter to the consumers of your products. This helps you to see the product as a mixture of functionality and development efforts. In other words, you should tackle concrete problems and reduce any associated risks and then focus on design process. In each step, designers should ask that their considered features could support the main solution or not. It would lead to leaner, more efficient products definitely. Indeed, this could be a right method during design process to focus on customers and their problems in the light of offered solutions. The relationship between UX design and product management begins from this point.
Nowadays, the discussed concept of product thinking and its relationship with design are employed by all companies regardless of their size or operating sectors. As a key matter of product thinking to remind, let’s review the below sentence as a final note of this article:
“Listen up to your customers and offer a best alternative solution to them that could satisfy your goals!”