Everyone has their own definition of what a product designer does. Learn about how the Lattice Design team defines product design, what our processes are, and how we get the job done.
Product design is an extremely general term that encompasses a lot of different design roles and skills. At a high level, product designers are problem solvers that synthesize the inputs of the customer, the business, and the team, in order to craft a solution that strikes a balance between every group's needs. Many product designers follow a process known as the "double diamond" framework in some form, which helps us identify a problem and develop a solution through cycles of iteration. There are 4 distinct stages in the process, and the diamond shapes represent the divergence or convergence of ideas in each.
The first divergent phase is problem discovery, in which we cast a wide net and gather inputs to help us understand what pain points exist for users and evaluate how the product isn't meeting their needs. Learning and context-building is key, so research skills, deep curiosity, and an open mind are crucial in this stage. In partnership with UX researchers, we study any documented knowledge, analyze competitive offerings, and conduct interviews with customers, stakeholders, as well as internal experts.
After the discovery stage, we synthesize the learnings to converge on a clear problem to be solved. During this phase, designers collaborate with cross-functional teammates to determine where we should focus and what we should de-prioritize, taking into consideration the constraints of our team's priorities, capabilities, and timelines.
Once the problem is defined, we go wide again and explore different potential solutions. This involves mocking up ideas in Figma (the design tool we use at Lattice), validating with user testing and internal feedback, iterating, and repeating. There are many smaller "diamonds" or loops here within the iteration cycle as we're generating new ideas, eliminating those that don't work, and experimenting with different combinations.
The cycle continues and the iterations get smaller in scope and more refined as we hone in on a final solution and work with engineers on functionality and interaction details. Once designs are finalized, we shift our focus toward making sure the designs are translating as intended for development, making small adjustments, and answering questions until the product or feature launches.
This double diamond framework can easily be applied to solving problems outside of product design as well. And although the concept is frequently used in design, projects are often not linear in this way and every designer works differently. In reality, design is usually messy and imperfect, but it helps to have the structure of a framework to guide your process.