Paul Hill by Paul Hill

The Importance Of Designing With Intention In The Product Design Cycle

  • Design
  • Design Process
  • User Research

As designers, getting carried away with our creativity, opinions, and ideas can be easy. And while this can be fun and inspiring, it’s not necessarily the best way to create a product that lands with users. 

Instead, we want to turn our focus to designing with intention. This post will examine how intent fits into design, why it matters, and how you can cultivate it. 

Designing with intention meaning

Designing with intention is the process of setting a user-centric goal at the start of the design process and then working your way towards that goal consistently. It’s not that creativity and inspiration don’t play a role. Rather, they take a backseat to research and user-centric goals. 

Developing a goal that aligns with your customers’ needs will require research and empathy.

You need to understand your customers’ pain points inside and out and focus on solving those pain points.

Additionally, an iterative approach can help you design with intention. It allows you to adapt and check in with your goal(s) frequently. 

Why is designing with intention important?

We can see that designing with intention is important because it puts us in touch with what the user needs and is feeling. But to help you better understand why you should invest in this design methodology, here’s a breakdown of its key benefits. 

Create a long-lasting product 

Every designer wants to create a product that customers can use for a long time. That means creating a product that is both high-quality and genuinely effective. 

Designing with intention helps you reach this goal by making research a key part of the product design cycle. This research helps you pick the best materials for your particular product, develop an ideal solution, and create an aesthetic language that is, ideally, timeless. 

Additionally, spending more time with a product will clue you in to its weak points. This will, in turn, give you time to formulate ideas on how to compensate or solve these challenges. 

Make room for modifications

During the product design cycle, it’s inevitable that you’ll need to modify your initial design. There will always be problems you didn’t foresee. And somewhere along the way you’ll likely come up with a better way of doing things. 

If you’re using a typical trial-and-error process, however, you’re probably not going to have the time or resources to modify and improve your product. 

When designing with intention, you can sidestep many of the time-consuming aspects of a trial-and-error approach. This allows you to make more meaningful changes and improvements to a product, which will help you create the best product possible. 

Faster route to market

Designing with intention helps pave a faster route to market for your product. Careful research early on makes things faster in the later stages of the product design cycle. 

By being intentional right from the jump, you’ll spend time solving problems and making adjustments in the beginning that will help you avoid challenges, errors, and extended rounds of prototyping. This lets you hit the market faster, which is good for everyone working on your product. 

Give your marketing department an edge

Designing with intention can also give your marketing department an edge. They can use all the research and effort you put into your design to help build strong and unique marketing campaigns. This helps illustrate to your customers that you’ve carefully taken their needs into account during the design process. 

How to start designing with intention

Of course, you can only enjoy the benefits of intentional design if you’re actually designing intentionally. To get started, here are a few steps you can start following today to start creating products backed with more care and purpose. 

Do your research

Research helps you get in touch with your user base and create a product that they actually need and want. You should spend time talking to users, learning their needs, their challenges, and their preferences. And analyse your competitors’ offerings to find where you can fill gaps in the market.

Take advantage of iterative design processes

Iterative design processes are another important step toward designing intentionally. It allows you to make key modifications, subtle improvements, and other decisions that will elevate your product. Rather than solving problems through trial-and-error, you’ll be iterating with a guiding purpose. 

Have a goal and check-in regularly

And speaking of a guiding purpose, you’re going to want to have a goal that guides your product forward. Research is the best way to pin this goal down, so invest heavily in thorough research. 

Once you have a goal and are developing your product, ensure that you check in with that goal often. This will help you know where to go when it’s time to iterate, and it’ll help keep you on track, even during a long product design cycle. 

Start designing with intention and make Thunk your next design partner

Now that you know how to begin designing with intention, you’re ready to choose your partner for your next product design cycle. Thunk can research, build, and iterate on any ideas and goals your development team currently has. Reach out today and see what we can do for you.