Understanding the intricacies of digital product design is vital for any business that wants to stay ahead. With 12+ years of experience in innovative product design and development for clients worldwide, we wanted to share some of our secrets to successful product design.
We had the pleasure of speaking with Peter Bottomley, our fantastic Creative Lead, who brings his rich design experience, creativity and energy to every project he works on. His insights offer a unique perspective into the world of user experience, interface design, and the broader creative process in digital product design.
But let's start with the basics.
What is a digital product?
At its core, a digital product encompasses any software-driven solution or service designed to fulfil specific functions or address distinct user requirements. This broad spectrum includes, but is not limited to, websites, mobile applications, digital subscriptions and various software services. Consider the products and services that seamlessly integrate into our daily lives - Netflix, Spotify, Deliveroo, Amazon, Etsy, Slack, and even Google Drive. What binds these diverse entities is their unwavering focus on user-centric design, coupled with their efficacy in solving real-world customer problems, setting them apart in the digital landscape.
What is digital product design?
Digital product design is a multidisciplinary process that combines technology, business strategy, psychology, and layout to create user-friendly digital solutions. It goes beyond the mere aesthetics of a product. It's about understanding users' needs and behaviours and then utilising this understanding to create enjoyable, engaging and efficient user experiences.
Now that we’ve covered this, let's explore Peter's secrets to success.
Introduction: Meet the Digital Design Maestro
With his engaging personality and wealth of experience, Peter Bottomley is more than just a designer. He's a creative consultant at Calls9, shaping user experiences across websites, mobile apps, and digital products and services. "Working as a designer for over five years, I've seen the landscape change. Through innovative prototyping and development software, we've more freedom than ever to conceptualise our ideas," Peter reflects, giving us a glimpse into his journey that strikes a balance between creativity and new technologies.
Starting a new project: Going beyond the brief
For Peter, the beginning of any project lies in understanding and empathy. It's not just about the client's brief but about diving deep into their world. "We start with a consultative approach," Peter explains. "This phase is crucial in helping us understand the nuances of a project: the business context, the challenges the client faces, and really, their ambitions." He emphasises the importance of this initial immersion, which lays the foundation for a solution that meets the client's needs.
The Project Discovery Phase: Diving into the User's World
Project discovery is critical to informing the ideas behind a project. "It involves understanding the target audience and meeting their requirements." At Calls9, we start every project with our Fusion methodology, which involves the stakeholders of the project and members of our team. During these whiteboarding sessions, we define the project's purpose, build a strategy, evaluate the competitive landscape, and co-create a creative brief. "This is where we map out the user types and their needs. We want to create something with real purpose and create the most value possible. This ensures that we don’t add functionality without rationale, and this process really aligns us all before jumping in with both feet.”
Wireframing and Prototyping: Crafting the Blueprint
In wireframing and prototyping, Peter defines the user experience (UX) and interface (UI) of the product. "Using prototyping software, such as Figma, we can create prototypes that give a real sense of how the final product will look and operate", he says. This phase is about validating the design concept, ensuring the experience feels intuitive for the user, and that the requirements of the system are met. “It's all about bringing the concept to life in the most comprehensive way, without necessarily committing to it."
Visual Design: A Symphony of Elements
Visual design is all about bringing together colour, typography and imagery. "It's about finding that harmony where the design speaks the brand's language and resonates with the user." Peter delves into the psychology of colour choices and the importance of typography in setting the tone and personality of the product.
Collaboration and Communication: Conducting the Orchestra
For a successful output, collaboration with the delivery team is key. "By working closely with developers, business analysts and the quality assurance team, we ensure that the design concept is effectively translated into the final digital product."
Measuring Success: Present and Future
For Peter, aesthetic appeal is very important, and so is performance. "It's about how well the design performs - does it drive user engagement and conversions, and does it fulfil its intended purpose?" He believes in closely monitoring performance metrics to gauge the impact of the design and make informed iterations.
GenAI in Design: A Perspective on Creativity and Automation
Discussing Generative AI in design, Peter sees it as a tool “that can complement human creativity rather than replace it. "AI can handle repetitive tasks, but the essence of creativity lies in the human touch - the natural ability to connect, empathise and craft."
Peter’s insights into digital product design are a blend of creativity, strategy, and deep empathy for the user. His journey at Calls9 reflects a commitment to curating experiences that resonate and work for their audiences. His approach is a testament to the power of thoughtful design in the digital age.
How can you get started with digital product design?
At Calls9, we specialise in designing, building and launching disruptive digital products and services. From marketing platforms and customer portals to international sales systems and internal business tools, we combine technical and creative skills to create products that are optimised for usability and performance.
With our Team as a Service model, you will get access to a team of experts embedded in your internal one to extend your capabilities and speed up time to market.