Imagining a product and brainstorming on what it should do can bring your mind to a million places. “What features should it have? What should it look like? Who would use them? What would their experience be like?” are all questions you should think about, but we suggest concept designing to help you streamline those questions and focus on areas that matter most - areas that will make your product outstanding.
From idea to concept, concept design is what helps you further realize your ideas - to think of the big picture of your product, its purpose, and how it can be done well. Investing proper time into thinking this through will only help keep you on track and direct your team to designing your product with purpose. All you’ll need, is your thinking hat and research drive 😉
Here’s how you can get started with concept design:
The key to outstanding product design is 1. being able to solve pain points and 2. solving them well. This comes down to understanding who you’re building the product for, and how they interact and react to such solutions. Think about:
When these are thought through, it will help keep your design focused on the users. You can do this by doing research online, or conducting your own through surveys, interviews, coffee chats and other ways you can connect with your audience!
If there are certain pain points you want to solve, it’s important to take a look at how other people or companies are solving them. Ask yourself:
These findings can actually present opportunities for you and your team to design your products more effectively and uniquely. Search online and look around your targeted areas, know what works and doesn’t, and how you can make it even better.
If your product is a different take on similar products that are already available, this can be easier to break down. But if you’re presenting a new product with advanced tech features, it’s worth checking with friends who might help or field experts who would be able to give you their thoughts and suggestions on making it a reality.
After you’ve found a good amount of information to help you design your product, the next step is putting it on “paper” like a Google Doc (or whatever works) for your team. At Sparkmate, we love using Miro - which is essentially an online whiteboard that you can collaborate with your team on. You can also start to sketch out your ideas, especially if it will help you, your team or even investors better visualize them.
Inspiration is key for designing innovative and purposeful products. Make a Pinterest board, follow product blogs and social media accounts, look at new trends on magazines like TechCrunch and Wired - anything you can think of that could give you lightbulbs for your product!
Concept design is a fundamental step in bringing your ideas to reality. It’s an investment that will direct you and your team to design and build your product in ways it is needed by your audience, better than and unique from your competitors, and realistic to create. Keep your concept design close!