Here’s the last bit of my notes from the Refresh Austin July Meetup. This is from Adrian Taylor of Pushstart Creative’s talk “From Idea to Product”. Adrian discussed the process of transforming an idea into a great product. Often times we start out with a great idea that we absolutely fall in love with. At this point we can’t see the forest for the trees. Yet when we take a step back we can understand that it’s not the idea that we were in love with but, solving the problem that we adore. Onwards to the notes:
- Satisfy a real end-user need or desire
- Enable an experience or outcome greater than the required input
- Have the potential to generate profit
- Support the broader company goals & brand promise
- Identification: find & articulate an unmet need or opportunity
- Validation: rapidly confirm your product theory with a research sprint
- Research: user audit & context research builds deep understanding
- Strategy: clearly define key elements of the solution
- Ideation: explore a wide variety of possible executions
- Design: refine concepts based on brand values & user profiles. A lot of people think their first ideas are what they love but in actuality they are in love with solving the problem.
- Prototyping: initial development & testing of solution
- Refinement: resolve open issues, explore potential optimizations
- Production: build out remaining elements or move into manufacturing
Case Study: Deskrail
The dilemma was to organize the analog vs. digital tools a designer uses that encompass the space on their desk. They started off by developing a model customer based on market research & decided what items the designer will have on their desk. Then they look at analogous products that are solving similar problems, not necessarily in the same field. Some of these products include culinary organizers, machinists, tools, etc.
Once the research phase is done they:
- Identify key considerations: aesthetically pleasing, hold a wide variety of objects, quick access, accommodate cords/ digital devices, etc.
- Through usage understood more about the key components. The angle of the v, material it’s lined with, etc.
To make a great product we need to get over the fear of showing our folks to others. Just do it & see what the response is. Bring your ideas to people as early as possible. It’s a good way for future leads/ relationships. This provides invaluable feedback as to whether the product will succeed or fail, sheds light on potential changes that could make for a better product, and can even provide leads for future customers.
Ask yourself: What’s the cheapest thing you can build that will yield quality feed back?
Lastly comes the creation of near final prototypes which finishes off in refining the minor details. Attention to detail is key in developing a superior product.
- Make sure your products’ goals are focused & clearly articulated
- Get to know your end-user and their context early on
- Collect feedback from potential users early & often
- Continually review your products goals, user profiles & brand values throughout the process to validate decisions
That’s it for my notes from the Refresh Austin Meetup. You can check out Adrian’s presentation slides here. While Adrian’s talk was particularly focused on product design, I feel that the tips conveyed therein are equally applicable to the entire spectrum of design. All in all, it was a highly engaging & informative meetup with not only knowledgeable but fluid, engaging speakers. I look forward to the next one.