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The 4 Stages of Product Design | The Design Process Step-by-step

Many people think of the process of designing a product as just creating something extraordinary and beautiful. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg.  The primary purpose of product design is to help us understand the problems of future users and create a product that will help them solve them. In this article, we will see the stages of product design process. 

4 stages of product design

The 4-step Stages of Product Design 

Whether it’s a new product development process or the redesign of an existing solution, the idea is always to follow a four-step design strategy: 

Step 1: Discovering needs

Finding needs is an integral part of product success. To design a product that helps many people, you need to know their pain points by getting product feedbacks.

Thus, to build a useful product, you have to know your future customers. To do this, choose a target group likely to use the product in the future and get to know them by carrying out research (interviews, online research, survey, etc.)

It takes time but will provide you with remarkable opportunities. Indeed, taking an interest in your future target can give helpful information. One of the most effective methods to obtain this information is to conduct qualitative interviews where you will have to ask open-ended questions to learn as much as possible about your future users.

  1. First, find out users’ problems
  • What three things give users the most problems in this area? 
  • What are the causes of these problems?
  1. Explore current solutions
  • Detail the last concrete example of the appearance of the problem
  • How did it happen? 
  • How are you currently dealing with the problem? However, do not directly ask questions about your future product. Never ask, “Would you use this product for this problem?”
  1. Do five or six interviews at a time

Generally, the first is enough to get an overview. You then only have to evaluate the results and find the questions that will answer the missing information. After that, it is interesting to do follow-up interviews to deepen specific topics.

Step 2: Sharing the results

After getting to know your future target, finding the problems to be solved, and conducting an initial analysis of the competition, the time has come to summarize the information acquired.

This phase is crucial because of the need to communicate the results. The goal is to have everyone working in the same direction on the product.

Remember that designers are not “autonomous”; their role is to support you in the management of this project to ensure communication of the progress of the latter between you and the designer.

Step 3: Finding solutions

When every team member is aware of the results, brainstorming sessions can begin!

The more people involved, the more ideas there will be. The goal is to know what the product will be and what features will solve your audience’s problems. Try to come up with as many feature ideas as possible.

Then, depending on market conditions, your resources, and validation tests, you must choose some of these ideas and write a plan for how you will bring them to market. This is how you will form your product strategy.

This will contain the list of features that you will create first. And only with this list can you begin the design phase.

Step 4: Prototype and iterate

Once you have the list of features, develop plenty of design ideas for each.

Start by creating hand-drawn paper sketches. More often than not, these sketches only require line art and plain text. You can then create wireframes and clickable prototypes made on software.

The goal of prototyping is to create something quickly and test it with real people from your target group. Do some user testing! You will get great feedback, and you can make sure people understand your product.

After testing the product and modifying your prototypes, finally, access the detailed design plans.

Stages of Product Design: Concluding Thoughts

To create valuable products, designers need to identify audience pain points. To do this, we recommend the four-step product design process, explained and detailed in this article.

Do you have a product design project in which you would like support and advice? Do you have any experience or advice on the product design process? Feel free to share them with us in the comments!

Odutolu Timothy

Passionate about technology and communication, Timothy Odutolu has more than 5 years of experience writing for various niches in these fields. He's more comfortable writing about the key trends in the business-to-business software-as-a-service (B2B SaaS) niche. He is also a generalist with interests in journalism, DIY and outdoor, and other writing services. He's reachable via Twitter, LinkedIn, and email through or

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