There are a lot of stages when it comes to designing great websites. From concepts, to design, to providing feedback with your Creative Team, there are many processes put in place to ensure a great product design experience. If you’re looking to improve your product design process, take some notes from Randy J. Hunt, who literally wrote the book on it.
Product Design for the Web by Randy J. Hunt, Creative Director at Etsy, provides an interesting view of designing for a digital experience — especially in regards to eCommerce sites (ahem, I mean products).
To clarify, a website is not necessarily a web product. Frequent usage, user participation, the presence of accounts and flows (dynamic views, as opposed to pages) define a web product. According to Hunt, “…a website is often a consumption-only experience, whereas a Web product is a creative or participative experience (Hunt, 9).”
Design for user flow
As a participative experience, a web product uses flows to guide the user through the digital landscape. Just like the layout of a house (or an eCommerce website), there are multiple paths or flows people can take to navigate through it. A flow is a process that takes place over time. Thus, to ensure a usable flow, the UX should be pleasant, and the UI easy to understand.
Assume a product has solid UX and UI designs. What happens when the user reaches the end of the flow? More importantly, is there an end to the flow? Not necessarily.
Consider an eCommerce product page or checkout page. In addition to being able to purchase the product, provide other ways of extending the flow. Present the user with social share links, cross-sells or upsells. Keep the user interested and interacting with your web product.
Consider the “invisible features”
Don’t forget about the “invisible features” of a web product, which include its performance, speed, reliability, community, support and security as well as how they affect the user experience and interaction.