Post by
Nasir Uddin
February 14, 2024
Read time
5 min

Let’s say you want to design and develop a product, and you need user research to achieve your business goal. Also, your goal is to learn about the user’s pain point and come out with an effective solution to provide the user with a seamless experience.

But hold on, did you hire a product designer? What is the point of suddenly bringing this up?

No need to be confused too much. Hiring a product designer is important for all the things I mentioned earlier.

Not only that, hiring a product designer is essential for developing products. They create new features, work on existing and new products, and team up with sales and marketing to find business opportunities. They help products stay up-to-date and competitive by following trends and user needs.

So, let’s go ahead and dig deeper to understand better why you must hire a product designer for your business.

1. They Enhance the User Experience of the Product 

A product designer improves how a product feels for users. It might surprise you, but they're only responsible for about 10% of the design work. They focus more on researching what users want. By studying users carefully, they really emphatically get what users need. Then, they use this research to make the product better. That's how a product designer makes your product more user-friendly.

2. They Help to Reduce Development Cost

You might be aware that changing a product's design after it's been developed can be very expensive. Even small adjustments to design, materials, or prototyping during development can lead to high costs. This happens because developers have to do a lot of coding and programming work to do this.

The designer also helps make product development easier by minimizing the required components. That's where a product designer comes in. They can also divide the product into simpler modules to save on development expenses.

3. They Are Pioneers In Streamlining Workflows And Enhancing Productivity

A product designer typically sets clear goals and expectations, working together with the team to achieve them. If your organization has product designers, they'll automate tasks that repeat often, making things work more smoothly. They also understand how to save time by keeping design parts that can be used again.

A product designer is someone who knows when things need to be finished and takes the lead in making workflows efficient, getting tasks done on time. What's crucial is that they can find an effective and innovative solution to solve problems. This is why having a product designer can really help your business a lot.

4. They Foster Innovative Mindset

A product designer is someone who's really good at coming up with new ideas. They don't just think about things in the usual way, but they look at problems from a different angle. This kind of thinking helps the whole team become more innovative. 

For example, small businesses and startups need someone who can make brave and creative decisions. A product designer is like a leader in making sure the team starts thinking in new and innovative ways.

5. They Enhance Brand And Authority

Everybody knows about Apple these days, right? It's been a big sensation all around the world. But did Apple become so famous just because of ideas or business plans? Nope, not at all. This is where product design becomes super important. Think about the iPod, iMac, and iPhone – they're like symbols of Apple. These things are what put Apple where it is now. But guess what? Do you know who's the real hero behind making it all work?

It's Jonathan Ive, the main product designer at Apple. His special and creative designs have a huge role in making Apple a strong brand with lots of authority.

6. They Build Strong Relationship With The Consumers 

The main aim of a product designer is to fulfill consumer needs. As we talked about earlier, a product designer improves user experience, leading to a better connection with consumers. They concentrate on user interactions by foreseeing how users will use the product. This boosts customer engagement, a crucial part of consumer relationships. This is another important ground where they can add value to your business. 

7. They Contribute to Increasing Market Reach

You know, when product designers want to make something people will love, they do market research. It's like figuring out what users really want, how they act, and what they like. This is super important because it can totally make a product successful. Imagine if you just put out a product without checking if people actually want it – it might flop big time. So, skipping on hiring a product designer would mean you're ignoring this really important stuff.

The main aim of product research is to help a business grow by getting more customers interested. Therefore, when you hire a product designer, you're basically saying, "Let's make sure lots of people notice and like what we're offering!"

Should You Hire In-House Designers or An Agency or Studio? 

Both offer advantages and disadvantages; you must choose based on your organization’s needs. The following considerations will help your decision:

  • Depending on your design requirements, engaging an internal designer incurs a consistent annual cost. If you do not have enough work for an internal designer, it is likely more cost-effective to hire freelancers or a ui design agency, which will cost you less on an annual basis.
  • A designer cannot do everything. You’ll need to assemble a team of designers if you want to satisfy all of the design requirements that most businesses have (brand, digital, performance, email, etc.) This is when it’s better to consult with agencies because they have the right people for the right jobs
  • If you have a business like eCommerce or any sort of business that constantly needs changes for seasonal or festivals, you should hire in-house designers. They will always be present to fulfill the requirements, and on top of that, they are well-aligned with companies objectives and values. 
  • When it comes to reliability, agencies are better than freelancers. Because doesn’t matter how professional a freelancer is; if unavoidable circumstances like sickness or emergencies, your project will be delayed.  Where agencies have a team, others can back them up if something occurs.

Product Designer vs. Product Manager: Who Should Come First?

When it comes to building a successful product, the collaboration between a product designer and a product manager is crucial. They need to work together as a team to ensure a customer-centric approach and a seamless user experience.

A product manager takes care of the entire product lifecycle – from planning the roadmap to bringing the product to life. They're responsible for making sure that the product aligns with the business's goals and objectives. User experience (UX) and product experience (PX) are key areas they focus on to achieve this alignment.

On the other hand, product designers also need to understand both UX and PX. However, their primary focus is usually on the design and user interface (UI) aspects. They work to ensure that the product's design matches the goals of the customer experience (CX). For instance, if a product manager spots an increase in customer churn, they would delve into product issues that directly contribute to customer dissatisfaction and unsubscribing – all to ensure the company meets its revenue targets.

Similarly, product designers play their part by observing if users are bouncing between different product pages without taking any meaningful action. They look into user navigation and accessibility concerns and suggest design improvements to enhance the overall customer experience (CX).

So, to answer your question, it's not about who comes first – the product designer or the product manager. Instead, they both need to be part of the process from the start, collaborating closely to ensure the product's success. Their combined efforts ensure that the product is not only well-planned and aligned with business goals but also finely tuned in terms of design and user experience.

Wrapping Up

As you can see, being a product designer entails more than just design. To discover a competent specialist, you must first establish your requirements and select a platform that can provide you with what you require. 

Whether you choose an agency or in-house, first look up their portfolio; their work will help you decide whether they are fit for your organization or not. For varieties of work, you can look in Behance and dribble as well. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What benefits of hiring a product designer for startups or small businesses?

Hiring a product designer for a startup or small business offers several advantages. They can create a user-centered design, enhancing the user experience and engagement, leading to a loyal customer base and revenue growth. Additionally, they can differentiate your product through unique and memorable designs while also preventing costly design mistakes, saving time and money.

What is the product designer's role in differentiating our product from competitors?

A product designer differentiates your product through user research, creating unique designs, and ensuring consistent branding, leading to a strong brand identity and increased recognition.

Challenges in hiring a product designer for startups/small businesses and overcoming them?

Challenges when hiring a product designer for startups/small businesses: finding skilled designers, budget constraints, and cultural fit. Solutions: consider freelancers/agencies, conduct thorough evaluations, and communicate expectations effectively.

Key skills and experience to seek when hiring a product designer for your business?

When hiring a product designer, prioritize skills such as a robust portfolio, expertise in user research and design thinking, proficiency in design software, excellent communication and collaboration skills, and relevant industry experience.

Collaborating effectively with a product designer to realize your vision in the final product?

To collaborate effectively with a product designer, establish clear communication, set milestones and deadlines, involve stakeholders, provide feedback, and maintain involvement throughout the design process to achieve your vision in the final product.

Product designer's role in improving user experience of digital products and metrics for measuring success?

Product designers enhance user experience through user research, intuitive design, and iterative improvements. Success can be measured using metrics like user engagement, retention, and conversion rates, enabling further optimization.

What are some of the benefits of hiring a product designer for a startup or small business?

Product designers bring significant benefits to startups and small businesses. They create user-centered designs, enhancing user experience and engagement, leading to a loyal customer base and revenue growth. Additionally, they differentiate your product with unique and memorable designs. Moreover, they prevent costly design mistakes, saving time and money in the long run.

How can a product designer help to differentiate our product from competitors?

A product designer differentiates your product through user research, creating unique and memorable designs, and ensuring consistent branding, strengthening your brand identity and increasing recognition.

Key skills and experience to seek when hiring a product designer for your business?

When hiring a product designer for your business, it's important to look for specific skills and experience that are relevant to your company's needs. Some key skills and experience to consider include a strong portfolio of previous work, experience with user research and design thinking, proficiency in design software, and strong communication and collaboration skills. Additionally, it can be helpful to look for a designer who has experience working in your industry or with similar products or services.

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Nasir Uddin
CEO at Musemind
Nasir Uddin, Co-Founder and CEO at Musemind, brings over a decade of experience in dynamic UX design. With a background at prestigious companies like Panther, On Deck, Microsoft, and Motley Fool. His leadership has transformed Musemind into a trusted destination for comprehensive product design solutions.
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