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This article was inspired by Mitchelle Chibundu’s reel, a product designer at Wise. She outlines important questions every designer should ask when designing a product. The main goal as a designer is solving problems, and problems are essentially a collection of questions, in my opinion. So in order to solve the problem and help your users, you have to break it down into questions.
Here are some of them:
What do we want users to achieve with this?
This seems like an obvious question, but it’s an important one. As a designer who is passionate about solving problems and making users’ lives easier, it’s easy to fall into the trap of wanting your product to do everything. However, it’s important to delineate the exact problem your product aims to solve. This isn’t to say that your product can’t have secondary or supporting features, it just needs to be clear what it is and what it does. When you outline and highlight this, you can find out who your target audience is and who will benefit from the product.
Who is the target audience?
If you’re seeking to provide a solution for a certain group of people, it’s important to know who they are, understand their needs and pain points, before attempting to proffer solutions. This is why user research is so important. It’s not just about understanding your users, it’s also about finding out the best way to solve that problem for them. When you know your target audience, it will be easy to craft a solution that will work for them, and they will seek out your product when you use the information about them to create a solution that works. It is pure arrogance to assume anything about your users and discard user research.
How much time do we need to solve this problem?
When you’ve determined the problem and figured out who your target audience is, it’s important to be honest with yourself and the stakeholders about how long it will take to complete the project. This includes factoring in user research, brainstorming, wireframing, design, usability testing and beta testing.
What is the business opportunity?
While your users should be at the forefront of your mind when designing, the business side of the product is also an important thing to consider. It’s important to know what sort of business and profit opportunities your product can create.