The common notion about User Experience Design is that it is only about creating features that are simple and easy for users. However, that is now regarded as a limited way of thinking about UX. Experts now explore UX Design with a Product Thinking approach. Here is why it has become important.

UX design has always emphasized features, but they are merely small, and indeed one of many possible parts of the solution. What makes a great user experience is not a set of features, or great design and functions, but the product’s ability to solve the user’s core problem. For example, when you make an online purchase via a brand’s shopping app, there will be a feature that enables you to track your package. This is nice to have, but it is not crucial in the shipping process.

UX Design and Product Thinking

UX Design tends to focus on the frontstage – the design aspect and the needs of the end-user. Product thinking is a more comprehensive approach to solving problems that go beyond UX and design aspects, and therefore considers backstage processes to achieve the front stage. Product thinking also must consider business goals, the competition, and the marketing of the product.

UX design experts urge UX practitioners to move out of the silos they often work in, in order to have a more significant role and impact on the product. By shifting to a product design project model and mindset of working, UX teams will have more access to defining and implementing end-user solutions. UX experts suggest a few ways to think about this strategy:

Talk to people to understand their needs

Identifying and defining the user problem is a key step in the process, but often UX teams can get it wrong and design a product that does not solve a user’s problem in any meaningful way. This results in a product that will be quickly abandoned by users and risks becoming irrelevant.

To identify the user problem, it is necessary to go beyond just research and talk to people who are potential users. This will require some extra work on the part of the UX team because people are not always able to easily articulate their needs in terms of functionalities and features. Once the inputs are given, it is equally important to analyze user behaviour to get a better understanding of their needs to create the right product.

Ask the right questions

The Product thinking approach helps identify the right questions like: Why are we creating this product?” “Who has these problems?” Why are we doing this How are we going to achieve it? (This defines the strategy) All these questions can be used to define the target audience, solution, company vision and strategy, respectively.

Product thinking as part of UX design is fast gaining popularity for UX designers and companies alike. It enables UX designers to approach each solution in the right context, by asking the right questions. Ultimately, it helps companies to create superior products that will be relevant and necessary for users, which will make all the difference in highly competitive marketplaces.