It is a common misconception that a product designer should wear many hats. But in reality, they have to step into many different shoes i.e. product designers have to understand the product from many different perspectives.
At Design Edge, even before we start off with the designing process, we make sure that we understand the product from user’s perspective. This practice in designing is called empathic design. It is the idea of seeing the product from user’s eyes to analyze the value it can bring.
The empathic designing method instantly transforms the whole process leading to better design solutions and insights. Even in some of the most unconventional designing situations, adding empathy has allowed designers to come up with an excellent design.
In one sentence – empathic design helps designers in creating a product with a user-friendly design. And a user-friendly design is always the best design. Not only is it more successful, but also provides value and builds company’s reputation in the market.
When redesigning a product, it is important to consider what the user wants from the new design. By analyzing the user experience of the customers, designers can identify their needs and incorporate them into their designs.
If you think it is a waste of time to understand users want, you need to think again. Investing time to develop an empathic design allows reframing the problem and designers can come up with better solutions.
One of the most innovative designs is accessible design. Comcast has developed industry’s first talking TV guide. This voice-enabled television interface is very helpful for people with limited sight. The product can be extremely beneficial for aging populations and multitasking users looking for a convenient alternative to regular remote control.
Accessibility is at the core of this product. And product designers at Comcast quickly realized it through an effective R&D.
It is also important to understand here that what users say and what they actually do is different. When your product designing process is driven by R&D to add empathy, you can see through the fog of confusion. Users might not be deceiving on purpose. They think they are doing what they are saying. By stepping into the shoes of the user, you can easily spot disconnect between the two.
According to Product Development and Management Association, around 25 to 45 % of products fail in the market. Similarly, U.S Department of Commerce also found that 95% of products fail to achieve their performance goals. It is safe to say that risk of product development is high. In such an environment it is better not to limit your design research to the past and present. Although traditionally viable, this approach is losing its effectiveness in today’s competitive market. To understand user aspiration and to live up to their requirements, product design should focus on providing long-term solutions that are not only helpful today but also in future.
If you look deeper into the market trends, empathic product design has evolved as a cornerstone of successful products.