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    User Experience: Product Thinking
    James Nagy
    / Categories: Development, Design

    User Experience: Product Thinking

    What do you think when you think “User Experience”?  For me, I think of a simple and easy to use interaction with a product.  So, what’s the most important? The features that make the product easy to use or the product itself that solves a problem for the user?  If you think the latter, then you are using product thinking.  So, why is this important to user experience?

    From Interaction Design:

    It can be easy to get bogged down in developing features when we get into user experience design. It’s not that features aren’t important but that they are often secondary to the reason a customer or user buys our product. That reason is simple; the user buys the product to solve a real world problem for themselves.

    Features are a very important part of any product.  But they are just a part of that product.  The product itself is what solves the problem.  Product thinking is a way to consider the core user experience.  The Core experience is why people use the product in the first place.  So, what exactly does this have to do with building features?

    Well, once you’ve identified the core user experience you can use product thinking to create better features.  This is accomplished by defining the problem or problems that the product tackles, so you can then create the solution (in the form of features).

    Let’s consider a company like Hootsuite for instance.  What is the core problem they are trying to address? People trying to manage multiple social media accounts at one time.  Product thinking then considers specific problems experienced by people trying to accomplish this goal.  Once you’ve identified those problems –you can create some great features to solve these problems and create a great user experience.

    Nikkel Blaase on Problem-Solution-Fit:

    Products become meaningful when the provided solution fits the uncovered problem.This solution describes the way a problem will be solved. Thus, the problem-solution-fit defines the core user experience of a product. The concrete features are extending this experience and support the core experience, but they cannot replace it. Interaction design and visual design can make a product beautiful, easy-to-use, and delightful, but it can’t make the product meaningful. This is why a proper problem-solution-fit is so critical for the success of a product.

    Product thinking is truly instrumental in helping designers to build the right features that lead to an amazing user experience.  This is because you have to see the user experience of a product as a whole, including why that product exists in the first place. It also helps designers to ask the right questions about features that are or aren’t necessary to the product.

    What is your opinion on product thinking? Do you think that it is instrumental in helping designers accomplish a great user experience for users?  What do you think the most valuable part of product thinking is?  How else do you think designers can use product thinking to improve user experience? Comment below!

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    James Nagy

    James NagyJames Nagy

    Need a consultant today, how can I help? As Co-Founder and Managing Partner of J&S Tech Designs, I have three decades of experience and expertise to share with you and help your business, product, or idea thrive. If you like this article, please sign up for our newsletter!

    Other posts by James Nagy
    Contact author Full biography

    Full biography

    James Nagy is managing partner and co-founder of J&S Tech Designs - a business consulting organization that specializes in providing software and website design, development, and management expertise to organizations. He is also Managing Director and one of four co-founders of Sprocket Websites, Inc. and Chief Executive Office and one of four co-founding members of Clinical Collaboration Software, LLC.

    James has over twenty-five years of experience in the information technology field, spending twenty years in software development, sixteen years in executive management and the last six years as a serial entrepreneur launching and running several successful technology organizations.

    Throughout his career, he has led companies, divisions, departments and teams to successful outcomes. He has executed process reengineering within organizations that were struggling to produce. He has provided strategic vision and organization planning in situations that needed direction. He has built complex systems in several unique marketplaces that required thorough knowledge and expertise to be successful. It is his passion for excellence and desire for success that has enabled him to meet the challenges presented and continue to exceed expectations.

    James’ passion for delivering innovative solutions and creative strategies enabled him to develop strong business foundations for long-term success. He is an active member of the Conejo Valley Chamber of Commerce, the North of the River Chamber of Commerce and the Naperville Area Chamber of Commerce where he served on several teams, advisory committees, and legislative groups. He is a founding member of the Chicago Area DotNetNuke Users Group that has held several large, successful Website design and development events. James has donated time, money and expertise to many volunteer, fundraising and charitable organizations like KidsMatter of Naperville, The Naperville Film Festival, Summer Place Theatre, TEDxNaperville, Neuqua Valley High School Senior Spectacular and many others.

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