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Product Design vs Product Development

07
Jun
2023
Product Design vs Product Development

Many people use the "Product Design" and "Product Development" terms when creating a successful and innovative product. But while these two processes have some similarities, they're different! This article dives into each term's meaning, its elements, and how they work. We'll also provide a handy comparison chart to help you see the differences.

What is Product Design?

Product Design involves creating a product that meets the needs and preferences of the people using it. Designers decide what the product looks like, what it can do, and how easy it's to utilize. They build up sketches, wireframes, prototypes, and mockups to show their ideas. Designers must also conduct User Research and check competitors to improve their designs!

How does Product Design work?

Product Designers go through a process that closely parallels the Design Thinking process. This process starts with the design and prototyping phases, followed by user testing. Once those are done, there’s the feedback implementation and later launching. Finally, there's always product measurement and iterations. 

Product Designers make sure the product works for the customer. To do this, they need to understand what the customer wants and needs and then make the product to solve those problems. They use Design Thinking and user research to focus on the user's wants.

Product Design Key Elements

The concept of Product Design involves incorporating the elements of aesthetics, function, and quality into a product. That improves it, increases sales, streamlines production costs, and minimizes waste. Product Design’s three critical elements are Functionality, Aesthetics, and Quality.

The first one, functionality, ensures the product works as intended and meets customers' needs. While aesthetics guarantees the product looks attractive and appealing to potential customers, quality assures the used development components are reliable without issues.

Why is Product Design Important?

Product Design is like the secret ingredient in a recipe that takes a dish from zero to hero. It's not just about making products look good but also about creating functional, reliable, and enjoyable products. As a brand, it's your responsibility to add value and address the customers' pain points. Product Design can be the key between success and failure by enhancing User Experience, improving product efficiency, driving innovation and creativity, establishing brand recognition, and reducing costs. Next time you're wondering why Product Design is essential, remember: it's the secret sauce that can take your business to the next level!

What is Product Development?

Product Development is the cycle of turning an idea into a product your target customers can buy. Developers plan, make, and launch products that meet business goals and customer needs. They use Project Management, engineering, and Testing Software tools to manage the production process. They work with engineers and everyone involved to ensure a high-quality and viable product.

How does Product Development work?

The Product Development process is a six-stage plan that involves taking a product to market while helping break down tasks and organizing cross-departmental collaboration. The six stages of the Product Development process are Ideation, Definition, Design, Development, Launch, and Review.

The process begins with the ideation, generating new product ideas based on customer needs, concept testing, and market research. Once you’ve completed the business case and discussed your target market and needs, it’s time to define your product.

Next, the design stage involves designing the product’s form, functionality, and User Experience; and the development step encloses bringing the final design to life through engineering, testing, and quality control. While launching involves the product to potential customers, reviewing the product’s performance through customer feedback and satisfaction is key to make necessary changes or improvements.

Product Development Key Elements

Product Development is an iterative fusion of different disciplines to meet a specific goal. The fields are design, engineering, market positioning, marketing strategy, and sales. That includes identifying a market need, researching the competition, ideating a solution, developing a Product Roadmap, and building an MVP (Minimum Viable Product).

Why is Product Development Important?

Product Development is a superhero power that can take the Development Cycle to another level. It's the strategy for reaching product success or adding new features to existing ones. Thus, your product development team can provide a competitive edge and make your company stand out.

Product Development vs Product Design

Product Design Product Development
Focus Aesthetics and User Experience Engineering Processes
Areas Conceptualization and Prototyping Bringing the final design to life
Steps Ideation, market research, concept creation, prototyping, and testing Engineering, developing, testing, and quality control
Goals Develop the product’s form, identify the user’s needs, conduct market research, and produce the design Satisfying design requirements, allowing multi-platforms, and having business profitability

Product Design and Product Development

You can do a few things to ensure your product design and development go smoothly, like building a good relationship among the team. In Product Development, it’s one of the most important things. Some other tips can help you create good relationships among the product team. For example, don't get attached to one specific design or engineering idea! Allow for the exploration of different POVs regarding design and functionality. Keep communication going at a steady pace as much as possible. Efficiency is essential on both sides. Lastly, be open to getting feedback and suggestions from designers and engineers! They have valuable expertise that can help improve your product.

Final Thoughts

While Product Design and Product Development get used interchangeably, they are two distinct processes equally crucial for creating successful products. Product design involves the creative and strategic side of making a product. On the other hand, Product Development involves the technical and engineering side of bringing that product to life. While both processes require collaboration and communication, they involve different skill sets and areas of expertise. Are you ready to get the best of both worlds to create successful products?