This is the first article of our new Guide to Design. We have collected the fruits of our personal experiences as professionals and those experienced as a Whynot Design team in 3 articles. We wanted to express our vision, knowledge and skills, to help you understand the importance of design and to let you design and produce better products.
The role of the designer and how it helps you to succeed in the market
Product design is everywhere but you don’t realize. When you drink a nice coffee right after waking up, when you write an email on your new pc, when you put on a pair of running shoes you are fond of, well, you probably have to thank a designer.
What a designer does and how he helps you
A designer makes projects, designs and creates solutions and functional products, beautiful, exciting and above all salable, taking into account many variables: context, production conditions, function, brand, marketing, sustainability and more. To simplify, the design of a product has three goals.
1) Must make a product FUNCTIONAL
It is useless to beat around the bushes: the designer’s work is to make sure that a product meet the customer’s needs, wishes and requests, guaranteeing the safety of those who produce it and uses it, and for it to be aligned to the productive possibilities of the company and that the product is reliable and durable.
All this is called “functional value” and answers the following question: “Does the product performs the function I need?” Developing a functional product means creating a useful, intuitive and memorable user experience for the consumer: interacting with a product means living the experience that the designer has created for you.
2) Must make a product EMOTIONAL
Fortunately, the products are not all the same, even those that do the same function. Why? Because the designer can and must design products that are not only functional, but also beautiful, aesthetically appealing and pleasant, which activate emotional connections with the consumer.
All this is called “emotional value” and answers some very simple questions: “What do I feel when I use this product? Does it make me feel good? Do I have a positive memory of it?”. An example that never goes out of fashion is about Apple products. The various iPhone, Mac and iPad have (more or less) the same functions as other similar devices. What makes them unique, desirable and pricey? The fact that they move people, that they offer them the opportunity to have a beautiful object in their hands (beyond functionality), an object in which they can recognize oneself and be recognized by others. Apple doesn’t just sell products, it sells emotions: and the merit is (also) of the product designers who design them.
3) Must make a product ETERNAL
Now you will wonder: if I create an eternal product what do I sell in two / five / ten years from now? If the question is legitimate, the answer is very simple: you will sell even more and better.
Designing an “eternal” product means launching a product that lasts a long time and that it never goes out of style. Durable and strong materials, an aesthetic that holds well against the challenges of time and a positive use experience: a combination of factors that improves the trust and appreciation for the brand and favors the user’s inclination to new purchases.
4) Must SELL a product
We heard you when you thought “Designers make products that are good only for the magazine covers”. WRONG! A good design project is a strategic tool that moves numerous assets and creates added value also from a commercial point of view.
A smart design can, and sometimes must, be mass market, and keep costs down and optimize at the same time technical specifications or production lines, while being able to create a beautiful, useful and easy to sell product.
Why in 2019 you cannot live without a designer
Do you have a new product idea that wants to revolutionize the market? Call a designer. Are your competitors eating you up and you don’t feel competitive? Call a designer. Are sales collapsing and you need to re-launch your brand and products? Needless to repeat it, call a designer. And we explain whY.
1) The market is always more complex
Consumers more and more fragmented, demanding and unpredictable, a market that launches, consumes and forgets products faster and faster, trends that change over the time of a click. You have to think of a thousand things and you don’t have time to keep up with everything: the product designer uses their intelligence to understand and connect phenomena and translate them into useful and convincing products. And they do it for you and your company.
2) The market is always more competitive
The market is strict and hyper-competitive: so many companies, so many brands and many products to choose from. Then the challenge becomes that of winning the consumer over and guiding him in the choice of your product. Since you can not follow them like a shadow you have to make the product speak for itself, taking advantage of one of the advantages of a well-made design: the design is the compass that directs the consumer in the choice, bringing him closer to the product that most appeals to them. Yours.
Design is crucial and now you know it
For companies that sell mainly consumer goods, the designer is an important tool: just as much as engineers, brand managers, marketing manager or machines. IT IS CRUCIAL. Many companies resort to “do-it-yourself” design, with all the risks and consequences it entails. An “in-house” design process can only be possible when considerable investments on specialized figures and a clear strategy in the medium and long term are present (a path that, however, can be taken almost exclusively by large groups like Google, Apple, Pepsico …). Repositioning figures inside the companies, such as for example engineers or other employees, can be a fatal mistake.
The success on the market of a product depends largely on the capacity of product designer. A “wrong” product will never sell, even if you spend a lot in marketing and communication.