Why you should have a product designer in your product team

I have a super cool idea for a product. But now what?

We live in a digital era where digital product companies are emerging fast, giving their best to solve problems with cutting-edge digital products.

Success is hard — as in all businesses — there's no book with magic guidelines for that. But it can become easier with the right mindset and mainly with the right people by your side.

In the last few years, there's been a cultural change that requires organizations to challenge the status quo, experiment continually, and get comfortable with failure until the "aha" moment.

Having a cool idea is not enough. Success is achieved when the problem is properly identified, the solution cleverly created, and the value well delivered, so users can recognize it by using your product.

Is my idea solving any real problem? Can I turn it into a valuable Digital Product?

Digital products are a modern term to name products or services provided in a digital manner (computer-based) or a combination of physical and digital space. They don't sit still, and they aren't individual items; they morph continuously to meet users' needs by solving a problem in a particular way (having their own value proposition).

You might not know if your idea solves any real problem, and therefore, if it will turn into a great product user will use. That's why you need to validate your idea in the first place.

Talk to people, collect feedback, understand if the problem you are proposing to solve really exists. And even better, improve your idea taking into account what people say to you.

And don't forget: problems tend to evolve or change over time, as people's needs are constantly changing as well — that's why it must have an adaptable and agile mindset.

Now that I validated my idea, how do I materialize it?

Quick exercise. Look at your mobile phone or computer screen. In the last few days, how many apps did you use to turn your life easier? Apps that help you solve a specific need.

I need to send money to a friend.
I need to control my monthly expenses.
I need to talk to my friends and family

Web and mobile apps are created to solve a need digitally, even though they can act physically.

I need someone to drive me to the bar.

Uber is one of the thousand examples out there. They use a Mobile App to provide a marketplace where riders and drivers can communicate, coordinate and negotiate rides, under an ecosystem of the ready-made infrastructure of roads, car finance, and payment services.

Nowadays, consumers are looking to solve their problems through digital technologies, effortless — and that's when the hurry begins in the companies' world.

Shaping the path to success

First things first, you need to find the right folks to work alongside you. People who understand your business goals understand where your product fits in the market, but above all, someone that is there to shape a product foremost based on users' needs and expectations. Someone flexible and creative enough to make sure your product grows organically, iteratively, and in an aesthetically pleasing way, always with an eye on the users' reactions.

And ta-da — just find myself describing a Product Designer.

“Our role [as Product Designers] is to imagine products that don’t exist and guide them to life.”

Christopher Stringer, Apple Designer

When good design becomes good business

It's important to clarify that UI/UX is not the same as being a Product Designer — not the same role, neither the same responsibilities.

Product designers are problem solvers in charge of the entire process of creating products and usable experiences, who can go beyond production to work at a holistic level. Product designers are not someone who merely executes - they should be involved in the process at an early stage to help you go the extra mile. The more involved a designer is, the more powerful the solution will be.

As Bob Greenberg, Founder & Executive Chairman of R/G, said  — "it’s all about one thing: creative problem-solving to get the story out.

Product Designer: The Role

So how we, as Product Designers, will help you progress and, ultimately, succeed?

We'll work alongside you to:

Product Designer: The mindset

And, of course, the mindset is core when shaping a product. It's not only about how to get it done but how to communicate and think strategically.

Here are some principles we have on the back of our minds that we always aim to transmit:

Partnering with Pixelmatters

Given the current global moment we are facing, digital transformation is here to stay. Now more than ever, companies seek for digital presence with a good experience to keep users fulfilled.

At Pixelmatters, we have fully dedicated product teams ready to help you get your product off the ground. Not only our team of experienced Product Designers but also the most strategic Product Owners and a team of pixel-perfect Developers.

"Pixelmatters is by far the best design talent of any team we've worked with, which pairs with a rigorous project management and development process. We're thrilled with the results."

— Peter Lundquist, Chief Operating Officer at Village Capital

Check out some of our most recent product case studies, such as Abaca, DoneDone, and Porto. Mobile App.

This article was co-written by Luísa Ferreira, Product Designer @Pixelmatters.

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Eunice Costa
Product Designer