According to McKinsey, companies that invest in design and innovation experience three times more growth compared to their industry peers. Thus, new product designs are the lifeblood of any business. Furthermore, they allow brands to stay updated and aligned with customer needs and expectations, increase their market share, and gain a definitive advantage over their competitors.
In this guide, we discuss some of the notable product design examples from successful companies. The objective is to not only inspire design enthusiasts to deliver superior customer experiences but also help them drive innovation and growth in their organizations.
What is Product Design?
Product design is the process of conceiving, creating, and improving products to address customer issues and meet the current market demands. For successful product design, it is important to know the end users’ habits, behaviors, pain points, needs, and goals. By placing themselves in the shoes of potential customers, product designers innovate products that are technically feasible, economically viable, desirable, and also solve real-world problems.
There are many product design examples of innovative creations that have resulted from a need felt among consumers. Moreover, such instances also highlight how companies gain an edge over the competition.
Skills Required in Product Designing
Before looking into some of the best product design examples, let us understand the skills required to create a successful design:
- Proficiency in visual design to make visually appealing prototypes of products
- Robust user research abilities to find out what the end users desire and how to create a product that meets their needs
- This should be enhanced with User Interference (UI) designing skills to make product interfaces look attractive and easy to use
- Additionally, User Experience (UX) design knowledge is necessary as well, to make a product enjoyable to use
- Strong communication skills to convey product requirements and business goals
- Problem-solving skills to be able to find flaws in product designs and fix them
- And finally, a creative flare is a must to develop new ideas and make improvements to existing products
Product Design Methodology
Some of the key aspects of product design involve user-centricity, collaboration, ideation, experimentation, and implementation. In this section, we break down the product design methodology into the following steps for a clear understanding:
In this phase, product designers observe and analyze a particular problem or situation without any bias. Thereafter, they create a problem statement to define the core problems that users commonly face. Product design examples, as you will see, are all about mapping out the problem before arriving at the right solution.
Based on the problem statement, a set of diverse perspectives and ideas are proposed in this phase. The primary aim is to develop as many ideas and solutions as possible to choose the most effective one based on experimentation.
The next step is the experimental stage where the aim is to identify the most practical and economically viable solution to a problem from a diverse range of solutions proposed in the previous phase. The idea is to find one that will be most desirable from a user’s perspective.
Then comes the final stage. In this phase, testing engineers test a prototype to make further refinements before releasing the product into the market. Based on user experience and feedback, the prototype may be further improved for a better market fit. All successful product design examples began with robust testing.
Product Design Examples
Many human-centered products, from health to technology, have been influenced by the product design thinking process. Some brands have successfully harnessed this process to create high-quality, memorable products. Let’s, therefore, look at some notable product design examples that met with success.
Established in 1964, Nike is one of the leading sports footwear brands in the world.
The challenge the brand faced as new players entered the market was losing out to newer brands. Even though it had loyal customers, bringing design innovation to its products was the only way to survive the tough competition.
With this understanding, the brand focused on gaining insights from its consumers. This, in turn, inspired the company’s product designers to improve their products and bring differentiation.
Nike combined sports and design thinking to launch the world’s first sneaker with technology in it. Notably, this was the first company to develop pressurized air technology in its shoes to help athletes perform their best.
Established in 1856, Burberry is a luxury fashion brand that designs and distributes ready-to-wear clothes.
The onset of the digital era disrupted Burberry’s business. Considered a legacy brand, the company was suffering losses due to the emergence of fast fashion players who started launching affordable clothing lines.
To deal with this influx of competition, therefore, the brand studied the customer mindset of Gen X users to gain more insights into their habits and behaviors.
Thereafter, the company invested heavily in its social media strategy to connect with a new generation of audiences in a way that appeals to them the most.
3. Project Bloks
Project Bloks is an interactive learning initiative by Google Creative Lab that teaches children how to experiment with code through physical blocks.
The main challenge while developing this product was to make coding interesting for young brains.
Consequently, Google’s product development team realized that to make coding simple they had to make computer science education fun and informative for kids.
To find out how kids play and learn, the team made use of materials such as foam, paper, Play-Doh, and 3D-printed models. As a result, they incorporated a children-centered approach to product design. By doing so, they developed a model for learning through physical building.
Additionally, some brands have also applied the product design paradigm to improve and highlight the quality of their service. Let’s look at two such examples:
Airbnb is a San Francisco-based multibillion-dollar company operating an online marketplace for short-term homestays and experiences. The company acts as a broker and charges a commission for each booking.
Back in 2008, when the company was founded, it ran at a loss for a considerable amount of time. This is because the listings in different categories and cities were unable to bring traffic to their site.
User research by their team led to the discovery that there was a repeated pattern in their advertisement pictures. The pictures of rooms were usually taken using a smartphone and had poor resolution. Since the photos were not appealing enough, users did not book using their platform.
As a result, Airbnb associates visited the owners who had listed their homes on the site to help them click high-quality pictures. This simple design thinking solution doubled their revenue within a week.
This subscription-based streaming service and production company. Currently, it offers a film and television series library through distribution deals as well as its own productions, known as Netflix Originals.
Founded in 1997, the company initially sold rented DVDs through email subscriptions. However, the company was facing competition due to movies and sitcoms being easily available on other platforms. The organization thus had to change its business model to meet user demands and needs.
Netflix used the product design thinking approach to develop new ideas and kept testing and experimenting with design concepts to attract new customers.
Netflix, therefore, established its brand value in the market with live-streaming content as broadband and Internet services began to grow. Moreover, the company has recently leveraged emerging technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) and consumer analytics to drive personalization through recommendation systems to enhance the streaming experience for users. Product design examples
Accelerate Product Design Innovation With Emeritus
We hope these product design examples have provided valuable insights into the critical role of good design in a company’s success. However, to truly create products that offer genuine value to end users, it’s crucial to integrate a robust product design and innovation strategy seamlessly. This emphasizes the importance of upskilling and continuously updating your knowledge in this domain.
Enrolling in Emeritus’ online product management courses presents an accessible and effective means of achieving this goal. By doing so, you can accelerate your career growth through the mastery of impeccable design thinking. Moreover, these courses will empower you to approach real-world problems with innovative solutions, enhancing your ability to make a meaningful impact in your field.
By Rupam Deb
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