How To Design Products That Stand Out In Today’s Competitive Landscape: Three Tips To Get You Started

Look at the world around you today. There are millions of products, designed, manufactured, and stacked on retail shelves for one purpose only; to capture your attention and to make you buy. Now, imagine you are the organisation responsible for designing these products on behalf of your clients. What must you do to ensure your products get picked over any others in today’s competitive landscape? In this post I present to you, three things to help you make your products standout.

Stop thinking like a designer and start thinking like the user of the products you are designing

What do I mean by this? As designers and engineers, we are so hooked on to our technical abilities and our products’ technical superiority that we forget that our users do not speak our lingo or understand our jargon. Technical capability or superiority is what makes the magic happen under the hood. You must learn to translate the technical superiority of your product into a value addition in its users’ lives. Secondly, your products must be easy to use, with a simple learning curve.

User research alone will not suffice, you must get to the heart of the problem

Henry Ford famously said that if he had asked the farmers what they wanted; they would have said they wanted a faster horse. Whilst user research will give you amazing insights, it is not likely to get to the heart of the real issues faced by the users. To get to the heart of the matter you must probe further until there are no more levels to probe into. This is called root cause analysis. Once you get to the root cause, then you are in a much better position to build a solution that will work.

Do not forget natural law and nature’s lessons

Nature is one of the best teachers we have. Amongst all the things it teaches us is the concept of flow. Water always flows from up to down.  Temperature always flows from hot to cold. Air always flows from high pressure to low pressure. All these naturally occurring phenomena possess the common trait of following the path of least resistance. The human mind is no different. We like convenience, we like things to be easy, we like minimal resistance in our pursuit of comfort. Therefore, your product must align itself with the human requirement to follow the path of least resistance.

To summarise today’s post, if you want your products to stand out in today’s competitive landscape three things to get you started are:

  1. Stop thinking like a designer and start thinking like the user of the products you are designing
  2. User research alone will not suffice, you must get to the heart of the problem
  3. Do not forget natural law and what nature’s lessons

To know more about this, get in touch with the clever people at Equitus Engineering Limited who do this for a living.

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