The image of creative people staying up late and working into the night is a widespread cliché. Certainly, creativity also needs a level of freedom. But designers are highly specialized creative service providers and impulse generators for new product ideas and innovations. Design is not created quickly on occasion, but is rather the result of a structured design process.
I am often asked how it is that I have such a wide range in my projects. “There is no specialization to be seen at all…”. Just because I design everything from biscuits to machines or plants? My specialization is product design!
I usually give the example of the master carpenter who has a good knowledge of his craft and the corresponding tools and not only makes tables, but also many other things out of wood. If you as a product designer have mastered the tools, design process and communication, you can master almost all design challenges with these “universal tools” – a little creativity is of course also part of it.
Good design is more than what you see at first glance. Design, or here more precisely product design, is not something arbitrary. Behind it is a consistently followed design process that makes the results comprehensible and explains them. This process is an iterative cycle in which each step is compared with the initially identified requirements and run through until these requirements are fulfilled.
Integrated early in the product development process, design makes the product and brand sustainably identifiable. It helps to save development costs and makes imitation more difficult. In addition, special product qualities and features are emphasized, essential services and values are made tangible and positive purchasing decisions are promoted.
There are a variety of tools, techniques and procedures at each stage of the process that are used to assess and develop the design. These include, for example, personas & scenarios, prototypes, user interviews, usability testing, focus groups and role-play.
Even if the content and scope of the project are individual, the procedure and process are almost always identical.
The clean process, including documentation, not only leads to good results, but also to a high level of transparency of the project for all those involved.