Sep 10, 2020

Entering product design – Chapter 1: Silver bullet

This is part of series: entering product design

As a product designer, you will work as a team with an objective to empower the human with technology that will work for the business as well. If you notice, there are 3 important aspects there: human, technology, and business.

The good news: It’s super rewarding if you can accomplish that.

The bad news: It’s really complex to actually connect all of those 3 aspects.

We will explore more about how complex it is in the coming chapters. But, let me loosely describe the complexity for now. You will need to understand the real customer problem, in a specific timeline as a constraint, while considering which solution best yet feasible to build without taking too long, and, most importantly, must create value for the business.

Because of this complexity, product designer will face a lot of ambiguity throughout the process. Because there are too many variables we can anticipate.

However, when I talked to junior product designer, they’re trying so hard to find the silver bullet formula, give me a checklist that I can follow to make sure my project success. Unfortunately, there’s no such thing.

This is the biggest blocker for junior product designer to grow among others. When I coached product designer, the turning point is when the designer starts to realize there is no silver bullet and be comfortable in the process without any specific steps.

Just like a professional chess player, you should constantly reassess the situation based on the new context or new information you gain and fluidly alternate the next step accordingly. Imagine if a chess player follows certain steps, surely she will lose.

To make yourself arrive at that turning point easier. You should believe, there is no silver bullet or formula that will always make your project successful. In case you’re wondering, what about Design Thinking have step: Understand, Define, Prototype, Test, Build? Yes, including that.

What I recommend is to start rely on principles instead of steps. Which I will cover in the next chapter.

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