Why Product Design Is More Than Good UX [And Why Great Product Designers Are Rare]

A great founder starts a startup with a great taste in product design and a vision that is built through engineering a user experience that elevates the product to new heights and creates an improvement, an order of magnitude, better than any other product in the market.

Good design is not just about pushing pixels and creating sleek interfaces. It’s much more than simply designing the look and feel of the product. It’s about designing how the product will work.

The Importance of Product Design

A great product designer unlocks the potential of a product from a business standpoint and constantly works to achieve business goals by engineering a user experience to match those goals and deliver profitable outcomes.

No matter the product or service, design plays a crucial role. It can make or break the customer experience and ultimately have an impact on the success of the business.

When a product just works because of a great user experience, people rarely notice it, but people notice when something is designed poorly because it doesn’t work.

Obsessing over the user experience and interfaces of the product can give a business an advantage over its competitors.

The Cost of Poor Product Design

Founders and business owners need to be obsessed with the design of their products. Every single detail of the product should be scrutinized and carefully thought through.

Whoever is brought on the team to help with this effort in the early days of building the company needs this same obsessive attitude when it comes to designing the product.

The other day, I was talking with the head of product design at a successful startup, and he said that hiring average product designers is one of the worst mistakes a startup can make. And he is absolutely right.

Hiring average product designers is one of the worst mistakes a startup can make. Click To Tweet

A startup needs an entrepreneurial product designer who can communicate ideas and solutions through well-designed products that people want to use.

An average product designer has the ability to make a simple product seem complicated, whereas a rockstar product designer can take a complex product and make it seem simple and easy to use.

If you’re a startup founder who isn’t the main product designer, you need to surround yourself with designers who have the ability to take complex ideas and integrate them into the product to make it simple and easy to use.

The cost of poor product design is extremely high. It will cause customer loss, create additional work for the team, delay product development, and impact the company’s reputation.

Customer Loss

If a product is not designed to effectively solve the user’s problem, it will fail. You will lose customers. And if the design is not fixed, your business will fail too.

Creates Additional Work

Having to continually redesign and rebuild a poorly designed product will create additional work for the team (especially engineers), which can significantly impact team morale and motivation in a negative way.

Product Development Delays

When you struggle to get the basic design right, it also delays additional feature work, and you won’t be able to move forward with the rest of the product development.

Stains Reputation

Your company’s online reputation is extremely important for your brand, marketing purposes, and user acquisition. Frustrated users may post negative reviews about your product, which could damage your company’s reputation and make it hard to gain users in the future.

Finding Product Design Talent

There are a lot of designers out there these days, but finding a truly great product designer is difficult. And because of the cost of poor design, you cannot pick just any designer.

When hiring for design in the early days of a company, you need someone who not only has exceptional design skills but also someone who can communicate and sell their designs to the rest of the team.

You need someone who can build a vision for the product with the founders and then create a story of how the product will work and deliver value to the end user.

Having a vision for the product and being able to visualize it through wireframes, mockups, and prototypes will attract and motivate great engineers to bring the design to life. It will also help in the process of raising funds if needed.

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