High-performing companies don’t just build products to address known customer needs. They delve into their unspoken and evolving needs and look for new ways of adding value.
With experience design at the center of this shift, companies expand their customer views to better manage the end-to-end product experience—reducing time-to-value, increasing engagement, and improving chances of product success. It should be no surprise that design-focused firms see increased revenues and shareholder returns at almost twice the rate of their peers.
Despite the obvious commercial value of customer-centric product design, consistently realizing this goal is extremely challenging. Yet, with the right approach, tools, and continuous focus on improvement, businesses can build a loyal fan base faster.
In parts one and two of our Design for Impact blog series, we’ve already discussed the CX imperatives for 2023 and the keys to omnichannel success. Now let’s talk about ways to accelerate the product’s time-to-value and deliver lasting business impact.
Eliminate Guesswork by Solving the Right Problems
Your product's time-to-value is measured by how quickly it delivers expected value.
The faster a product solves a problem, the better the customer experience and the higher the ROI. This is impossible without eliminating guesswork at every step of the product development process.
Framing the right problem by exploring your audience's unmet needs is the only way to create the right solution. Still, more than 40% of companies aren’t talking to their end users during design and development. Without understanding their problems, interactions, and current state of things, it’s impossible to create products that are relevant for the audience and justify their value.
Uniting design professionals and developers in a single prototyping and collaboration machine eliminates the disconnect between product vision and implementation. By embracing a collaborative approach, designers empower the rest of the team with insights to make quick, evidence-based decisions and iterative changes that eventually mold the product experience for the better.
Only a well-crafted experience, based on in-depth customer research, analysis, user testing, solid information architecture, effective visuals, and relevant interactions, can turn a prospect into a loyal, repeat customer.
Reduce Redundancies by Creating a Shared Language and Visual
When we talk about great product design, we talk about relevant, consistent, and seamless customer experiences. Design systems are key to achieving this — providing a set of standards and principles to reduce redundancies and create a shared language and visual.
They help product teams scale their design decisions and apply consistent terminology, interactions, and design patterns to improve the overall customer experience.
Yet consistency and enhanced experiences are not the only positive outcomes of a design system. Based on our experience, design systems can have a massive effect on the product’s bottom-line with the potential of:
- Accelerating speed-to-market by up to 40%.
- Increasing development efficiency and reducing time spent on the design by up to 30%.
- Facilitating product agility and ensuring alignment between different parts of the product.
- Keeping visual recognizability of the product(s) by eliminating brand inconsistencies.
- Reducing repetitive work for designers, allowing them to focus on creative challenges instead of reinventing the wheel.
To unlock this value and ensure the design system addresses the right needs, the company needs to define its “WHY”. This requires uncovering pain points in designers’ and developers' daily work, creating a vision based on existing challenges, establishing success metrics, and defining the initial scope.
Reducing a product’s time-to-value is impossible without shifting from product-oriented to customer-value-oriented thinking. This involves analyzing and researching customers’ unmet needs, eliminating redundancies across the product development lifecycle, and ensuring relevance at every step of the customer journey.
Digital leaders that focus on customer-centric product design and continuously improve experiences based on end-user insights will derive the most value, potentially increasing profits by up to 15%.
What does customer-centric product design mean to you?
How are you ensuring your product addresses the right needs and delivers value?