September 20, 2016 - No Comments!

Learn Killer Product Design: My 3 Favorite Sources of Inspiration

1. Psychology

I highly recommend the book Flow to all product designers. I loved it — and since reading it, I’ve been exploring a number of topics in psychology that entirely capture my fascination. It gives me insight into the human mind, with which I endlessly draw parallels to product design. I’ve found that understanding how the human mind works is vitally important for me as a product designer. It allows me to create exactly what the user needs; something that can most successfully “click” with them, often in ways they don’t consciously identify. I think understanding psychology is the difference between a designer who says “trust me, it’s better this way” and a designer who can back up a design decision with an intentional motivation stemming from a psychological principle that they are curious to test in their own products. Though — to be clear, I’m not saying I’ll always be right on the first go, but I am saying I’ll always be intentional.

Learn more in my most recommended article: 7 Rules Driving the Psychology Behind Great Product Design »

2. Experience Design Agencies

(or “Digital Experience Agencies”). These agencies build products and experiences for companies to strengthen their brands with consumers. They are solely focused on delighting the consumer. I try to find ways of bringing elements of delight even in to the kinds of apps — productivity tools and utilities — that I really enjoy designing. If a car company can use a college game day app to strengthen their brand, how much more should an app company be able to use their own apps to strengthen their own brand? I love checking out work coming from Chiat/DayCritical MassHornbill AndersonVaynerMedia, and plenty more.

Learn more in this resource-packed article: How To Delight Your Users »

3. Conversations About Problems

One of the things I most enjoy in social gatherings is discussing problems. Macro problems, or personal problems. I enjoy hearing people’s suggested solutions, ideal solutions, and assumptions about what makes those solutions impossible. I love asking people what their biggest problem is, or what the barrier is between them and the thing they most want to achieve. I love asking what someone’s most unnecessary time drain is, or most unnecessarily expensive expense is. As a product designer, boiled down, I’m a problem solver. I feed off of problems to solve. When I identify a common problem among a number of people, I enjoy brainstorming on potential solutions. This is where products and features are born for me; after lots of conversations solely about the issue at hand, not about proposed solutions — or at least, not yet. Iterating on potential solutions is equally as important, but it only follows after finding real, valuable problems that remain unsolved.

Learn more in one of my first articles: How To Innovate: The Dummy’s Guide »

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Published by: Alex Obenauer in Product Design

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