Product Design

Design Thinking

Creativity

Innovation

Design Process

ARTICLE #41

Has Product Design Lost Its Way? Reinventing Its Future

FOR Product Design opinions

Product Design

Design Thinking

Creativity

Innovation

Design Process

Written by:

3 min read

Updated on: July 3rd, 2024

Toni Hukkanen

Head of Design

Creative Direction, Brand Direction

There has been a seismic shift in product design that could change its future in the world of business and technology forever. Once praised as the savior of user experience, design teams are now facing new challenges as organizations bring down their role in product development.

Critics argue that traditional methods of product design are outdated and teams are struggling to keep pace with rapid advancement of the digital age. But are these critics right? Is product design truly on its deathbed, or is it simply transforming?

Let’s find out where Product Design is headed and explore its journey towards reinvention.

The rise and fall of Product Design

Product design, which used to be touted as the solution to all user experience problems, now stands at a crossroads. Despite considerable efforts made by companies like IBM to sustain their internal design capabilities, the promised benefits of product design have not materialized as per expectations. Instead, design teams are overwhelmed by process heavy checklists and procedural frameworks which have disconnected them from the core principles and creativity of their design.

At many tech companies, design work is divided into multitasking, such as creating user personas, journey maps, and wireframes. Though the approach is good to help better understand and focus on users, businesses often compel design to be more about measuring objectives, following checklists, adding a barrier to their creativity. In the end, they spend less time on what really matters.

The traditional approaches to product design often prioritize perfection over speed. Designers spend excessive time perfecting every detail before a product launch which results in delays and missed opportunities.

Designers also feel stuck between planning and executing their plans without enough power to make a real impact. As ideas are supposed to be turned into products, designers end up just giving advice and can't question the big decisions. This holds back new and innovative ideas, resulting in all digital products looking the same.

The Rise and Fall of Product Design

The disconnection between Design and Technology

Modern product design is mainly plagued by designers who are hesitant to fully embrace technology. They prefer sticking to a limited set of tools and methods because they are afraid to try new things. They consider too much use of technology will take away the human centered aspect from their work. So, this fear of them has actually pushed design further away from the digital world, although it was supposed to be improved.

Even tech companies are losing interest in product design teams because they are not keeping up with the technology required for digital products. Having Chief Design Officer positions also does not help them achieve the design level at the top.

According to the research conducted by the Design Management Institute, companies that had strong design leadership performed better than their competitors by over 200%. But even with good design leaders, the executive level design roles have been declining in recent years.

The Disconnection Between Design and Technology

Reinventing the future of Product Design

Despite these challenges, there is hope for the future of product design. By identifying the flaws in traditional methods and adopting new skills, designers can reclaim their rightful place in the digital business.

Tech companies should find a balance between rules and creativity in design. Instead of only focusing on rules and checklists, they should encourage new ideas. Designers need more say in decisions, not just giving advice.

The days are gone when designers used to spend plenty of time making every detail perfect before a product launch. But now, in this fast world, waiting for perfection will be equal to the death sentence. Modern consumers want innovative ideas in the quickest possible way. Product design needs to change to meet this need for speed while still giving out excellent quality.

Reinventing the Future of Product Design

Final Thoughts

So, has product design lost its way? Definitely not! It's evolving, adapting, and growing even when things get tough. The long-standing limitations in product design highlight the need for a fresh perspective and new skills. Looking forward, there is a bright future where design will be central to digital businesses, driving both innovation and growth.

Final Thoughts
ARTICLE #41

Product Design

Design Thinking

Creativity

Innovation

Design Process

ARTICLE #41

Has Product Design Lost Its Way? Reinventing Its Future

FOR Product Design opinions

Product Design

Design Thinking

Creativity

Innovation

Design Process

Written by:

3 min read

Updated on: July 3rd, 2024

Toni Hukkanen

Head of Design

Creative Direction, Brand Direction

There has been a seismic shift in product design that could change its future in the world of business and technology forever. Once praised as the savior of user experience, design teams are now facing new challenges as organizations bring down their role in product development.

Critics argue that traditional methods of product design are outdated and teams are struggling to keep pace with rapid advancement of the digital age. But are these critics right? Is product design truly on its deathbed, or is it simply transforming?

Let’s find out where Product Design is headed and explore its journey towards reinvention.

The rise and fall of Product Design

Product design, which used to be touted as the solution to all user experience problems, now stands at a crossroads. Despite considerable efforts made by companies like IBM to sustain their internal design capabilities, the promised benefits of product design have not materialized as per expectations. Instead, design teams are overwhelmed by process heavy checklists and procedural frameworks which have disconnected them from the core principles and creativity of their design.

At many tech companies, design work is divided into multitasking, such as creating user personas, journey maps, and wireframes. Though the approach is good to help better understand and focus on users, businesses often compel design to be more about measuring objectives, following checklists, adding a barrier to their creativity. In the end, they spend less time on what really matters.

The traditional approaches to product design often prioritize perfection over speed. Designers spend excessive time perfecting every detail before a product launch which results in delays and missed opportunities.

Designers also feel stuck between planning and executing their plans without enough power to make a real impact. As ideas are supposed to be turned into products, designers end up just giving advice and can't question the big decisions. This holds back new and innovative ideas, resulting in all digital products looking the same.

The Rise and Fall of Product Design

The disconnection between Design and Technology

Modern product design is mainly plagued by designers who are hesitant to fully embrace technology. They prefer sticking to a limited set of tools and methods because they are afraid to try new things. They consider too much use of technology will take away the human centered aspect from their work. So, this fear of them has actually pushed design further away from the digital world, although it was supposed to be improved.

Even tech companies are losing interest in product design teams because they are not keeping up with the technology required for digital products. Having Chief Design Officer positions also does not help them achieve the design level at the top.

According to the research conducted by the Design Management Institute, companies that had strong design leadership performed better than their competitors by over 200%. But even with good design leaders, the executive level design roles have been declining in recent years.

The Disconnection Between Design and Technology

Reinventing the future of Product Design

Despite these challenges, there is hope for the future of product design. By identifying the flaws in traditional methods and adopting new skills, designers can reclaim their rightful place in the digital business.

Tech companies should find a balance between rules and creativity in design. Instead of only focusing on rules and checklists, they should encourage new ideas. Designers need more say in decisions, not just giving advice.

The days are gone when designers used to spend plenty of time making every detail perfect before a product launch. But now, in this fast world, waiting for perfection will be equal to the death sentence. Modern consumers want innovative ideas in the quickest possible way. Product design needs to change to meet this need for speed while still giving out excellent quality.

Reinventing the Future of Product Design

Final Thoughts

So, has product design lost its way? Definitely not! It's evolving, adapting, and growing even when things get tough. The long-standing limitations in product design highlight the need for a fresh perspective and new skills. Looking forward, there is a bright future where design will be central to digital businesses, driving both innovation and growth.

Final Thoughts
ARTICLE #41

Product Design

Design Thinking

Creativity

Innovation

Design Process

ARTICLE #41

Has Product Design Lost Its Way? Reinventing Its Future

FOR Product Design opinions

Product Design

Design Thinking

Creativity

Innovation

Design Process

Written by:

3 min read

Updated on: July 3rd, 2024

Toni Hukkanen

Head of Design

Creative Direction, Brand Direction

There has been a seismic shift in product design that could change its future in the world of business and technology forever. Once praised as the savior of user experience, design teams are now facing new challenges as organizations bring down their role in product development.

Critics argue that traditional methods of product design are outdated and teams are struggling to keep pace with rapid advancement of the digital age. But are these critics right? Is product design truly on its deathbed, or is it simply transforming?

Let’s find out where Product Design is headed and explore its journey towards reinvention.

The rise and fall of Product Design

Product design, which used to be touted as the solution to all user experience problems, now stands at a crossroads. Despite considerable efforts made by companies like IBM to sustain their internal design capabilities, the promised benefits of product design have not materialized as per expectations. Instead, design teams are overwhelmed by process heavy checklists and procedural frameworks which have disconnected them from the core principles and creativity of their design.

At many tech companies, design work is divided into multitasking, such as creating user personas, journey maps, and wireframes. Though the approach is good to help better understand and focus on users, businesses often compel design to be more about measuring objectives, following checklists, adding a barrier to their creativity. In the end, they spend less time on what really matters.

The traditional approaches to product design often prioritize perfection over speed. Designers spend excessive time perfecting every detail before a product launch which results in delays and missed opportunities.

Designers also feel stuck between planning and executing their plans without enough power to make a real impact. As ideas are supposed to be turned into products, designers end up just giving advice and can't question the big decisions. This holds back new and innovative ideas, resulting in all digital products looking the same.

The Rise and Fall of Product Design

The disconnection between Design and Technology

Modern product design is mainly plagued by designers who are hesitant to fully embrace technology. They prefer sticking to a limited set of tools and methods because they are afraid to try new things. They consider too much use of technology will take away the human centered aspect from their work. So, this fear of them has actually pushed design further away from the digital world, although it was supposed to be improved.

Even tech companies are losing interest in product design teams because they are not keeping up with the technology required for digital products. Having Chief Design Officer positions also does not help them achieve the design level at the top.

According to the research conducted by the Design Management Institute, companies that had strong design leadership performed better than their competitors by over 200%. But even with good design leaders, the executive level design roles have been declining in recent years.

The Disconnection Between Design and Technology

Reinventing the future of Product Design

Despite these challenges, there is hope for the future of product design. By identifying the flaws in traditional methods and adopting new skills, designers can reclaim their rightful place in the digital business.

Tech companies should find a balance between rules and creativity in design. Instead of only focusing on rules and checklists, they should encourage new ideas. Designers need more say in decisions, not just giving advice.

The days are gone when designers used to spend plenty of time making every detail perfect before a product launch. But now, in this fast world, waiting for perfection will be equal to the death sentence. Modern consumers want innovative ideas in the quickest possible way. Product design needs to change to meet this need for speed while still giving out excellent quality.

Reinventing the Future of Product Design

Final Thoughts

So, has product design lost its way? Definitely not! It's evolving, adapting, and growing even when things get tough. The long-standing limitations in product design highlight the need for a fresh perspective and new skills. Looking forward, there is a bright future where design will be central to digital businesses, driving both innovation and growth.

Final Thoughts
ARTICLE #41

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  • FOR® Brand. FOR® Future.

Work with us

Click to copy

work@for.co

Copyright © 2024 FOR®

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