When it comes to creating great products, one of the most important aspects is design. It is what distinguishes businesses and gives them a competitive advantage. But how do you go about creating great designs? Well, you need to remember that you are designing for people (humans) when designing products.
We have one of the best product designers at GudangAda. It's Meutia Parahita, our incredible Senior Product Designer. Let us now read her story!
Life as a Sr Product Designer
Every day starts with a stand-up meeting with the engineering team to discuss work progress. Following that, Meutia recaps her meeting agenda and prepares anything that will be discussed.
If Meutia only has a few tasks that day, she will evaluate how the current design can be improved, from rearranging the design components to analyzing what ideas she can implement to improve the product. It's as simple as examining some competitor or reference designs.
Meutia's role as a Senior Product Designer entails not only creating a good visual design, but also transforming a product manager's idea or concept into a product that users can use. She has to ensure that the initial concept from product managers is the proper concept as a solution to users’ problems.
In short, Meutia's primary role is to ensure that business and user needs are met. Of course good teamwork is required to accomplish this. Collaboration between product and technology teams is critical in achieving the goal of meeting both business and user needs.
Getting started with design thinking
The term "design thinking" is currently being used in the context of digital products. Previously, we solved problems by looking for solutions based on our perception of the problem rather than the actual field conditions. However, with design thinking, we start from the user's point of view.
Using design thinking, we try to understand who our users are and what problems they face. This framework can be used to develop some innovations that may be able to solve users’ problems.
The design thinking process begins with simple things. In everyday work, several common frameworks are used . Understand the issue first, then look for a solution.
Before the term "design thinking" became popular, people solved problems by gathering assumptions based on their prior experience. However, design thinking encourages us to see and understand from the user's point of view, so it's not just our assumptions. In a nutshell, design thinking is the process by which we put ourselves in the shoes of users and try to understand what kind of products or services they require.
To design the best product, we need design thinking
Design thinking can solve almost any real-world problem, not just those involving digital products or technology. If you own a restaurant or a small business, you can apply design thinking. Remember that design thinking is just a framework.
Assume you want to find a calculator app in the Google Play or Apple App Store. There are over 100 apps with the same features but a different look. What if we're asked to create a calculator app that stands out among the other 100? We must develop an application that truly meets the user's needs. In practice, a calculator designed for women who own small stores may differ from one designed for accountants.
Implementing design thinking in GudangAda
Working in GudangAda, Meutia always tries to see the problem from the user's perspective and tests the product first. Design thinking is implemented during discussions with product managers, during which Meutia will ask questions from the perspective of the users. It helps product managers understand that some features may not be very useful for the users and we want to work more effectively by not focusing too much on what doesn't need to be developed.
One of the more positive aspects of this process is that GudangAda's IT culture always encourages design thinking. For example, in the Product Design team, when there’s no testing for previously created features, Meutia can always propose using specific tools to test and see how well the features work. The team usually agrees and even provides constructive feedback.
A little advice
Product design entails more than just creating a product. What is frequently neglected are communication skills, particularly how we communicate the outcomes of our work to stakeholders. We frequently create a good design but are unable to communicate it effectively. This will render our efforts futile.
Additionally, there are a number of skills you can develop while learning design thinking and put into practice beforehand, which are as follows:
Empathy. Product designers who implement design thinking will be able to see how the problem they are attempting to solve can actually help users.
Critical Thinking. By implementing design thinking, product designers are encouraged to think more critically as the problems we want to solve are already more specific .
Creative problem solving. We become more creative in providing solutions because we already know who our users are, what they need, and what problems we want to solve.
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