User experience (UX) design separates a good product from a great product.

Harnessing skills like user research, wireframes, and prototyping, UX designers have a unique perspective when it comes to understanding the interactions between users, business goals, and visual and technology elements. For companies, their work fosters brand loyalty and repeat business. For consumers, it means frustration-free online experiences, intuitive mobile apps, efficient store layouts, and more.

Watch or read below as design experts from The New York Times, PayPal, Zola, and other top companies share how they design simple, user-friendly, and beautiful products.

Research Methods for Product Design

Camela Logan, UX Research Consultant, shares, “Creating a product from scratch includes starting with a beginner’s mindset, so trying to begin with as few assumptions as possible.” Camela adds, “What makes user research really effective is when you’re having an authentic interaction with the users.”

Essential Factors

Nobu Nakaguchi, Co-Founder at Zola, states, “Research is such a completely important component to designing anything thoughtfully.” Jacob Cohen, Director of UX at Paypal, likes to keep it simple with essentially two factors. “The main factor is what the consumer needs, not what they say they need but what they actually need because we are really bad at figuring this out on our own, and then what are the business goals?”

Understand the Customer

Jeff Gothelf, Author of Lean UX, shares, “The most important things that I keep in mind when I set out to design a new product is the customer or the end-user… what is the pain point that they are trying to solve, and how can we solve it in a way that beats the incumbent solution they’re currently using.”

User Research

When it comes to User Experience, Dominic Propati, VP of Product at Ballstar, mentions, “Really effective user research starts with the user. We like to say talk to the expert. Who’s better at knowing how they interact with something or how they feel when they’re interacting with someone than the user, so involve them right away.”

Identify the Problem in Product Design

Product design experts conclude with what truly makes a good product design.

“Identify what the problem is… so any time you sit down to try to solve something, you got to really make sure you understand what the problem is exactly, and you can do that by talking to users and finding your target audience and listening to them. It’s simply irresponsible to build digital products and services without user research.”

Learn more about product design through our UX design short course.