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Top 12 product design mistakes you should avoid

Avoiding these unintentional yet straightforward design mistakes can help you take your product to the next level of perfection and acceptance.

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The design phase of a product is one of the earliest and most vital phases of product development. This phase takes a considerable amount of time to build a good design, which can reduce the likelihood of producing a defective product later on in the product development cycle.

A fault in the product design could mean a loss of many person-hours and considerable expense in correcting that mistake in the subsequent phases of the product life cycle. Each use case of the design is countered with a corresponding user acceptance test case to ensure that the design complies with user requirements. A design sign-off is an early milestone in the product development life cycle. 

A good design creates a valuable product within the available budget and time. A good design is an outcome of following established industry-standard design principles. Failure to follow these principles can cause pitfalls and, eventually, a bad design. 

This article discusses some of the standard design mistakes that one should avoid while designing a software product. 

  • Concurrency – refers to the simultaneous sharing of resources by multiple interactive users or application programs of the system. The design should deal with efficiency, synchronization, and scheduling. The software should ensure that none of its processes are holding up resources and no two processes are claiming access to system resources simultaneously. Concurrency issues can lead to loss of data, which is a significant concern. 
  • Control and Handling of Events – the software should have a suitable listening mechanism to trigger responses when certain events occur. The system should know how to handle reactive events and temporal (time-related) events. Data organization and flow control are crucial to addressing this issue with the help of implicit invocation and call back functions.
  • Data Persistence – is when data continues to exist even after the process which created it has ended. The software should store the data on a non-volatile storage device to retrieve it for later use. For example, when you design a web page that takes some data as input from the user, the data should be present on the page even after the user leaves the page and returns to the page. 
  • Distribution of Components – here, the issue arises when there is heterogeneous software. The software should be designed in a way that it should deal with varied hardware and middleware. The components should be able to communicate across heterogeneous systems easily. 
  • Error and Exception Handling and Fault Handling – The software design should include exception handling criteria. In case of any errors, fault, or an exception condition, the software should not abort or hang; instead, the error handling routine should gracefully end the process. Ensure that you address this aspect while designing the system. 
  • Interaction and Presentation – while designing the software, take care to manage user interaction and presentation of information. Presentation is not the same as user interface design. Abstract the data presentation and business logic from the actual user interface design. For example, in the MVC architecture pattern, the model, view, and controller modules are abstracts and interconnected. Abstraction separates the internal representations of data from how the system presents it to the user. 
  • Security – data security is the most critical aspect of any software design. Data is of utmost importance to the user, and your software must safeguard it by all means. Make sure to prevent unauthorized data disclosure, change, and deletion/creation of data. The product should be robust to withstand security attacks and violations by limiting the damage, repairing the damage, and continuing service. 

These are some of the design issues that need to be taken care of while designing a new software system. 

UX/UI design has its own set of design principles and issues to handle. UX/UI is all about user interactions. UI is the look and feel of the interface, whereas UX deals with the user experience. Therefore, the designers must ensure that the interface should be visually appealing and the navigation experience should be easily understandable and smooth for users. Here are some of the issues that one can face with a UX/UI design.

  • Unintuitive Navigation – a website should be easily navigable by the user. Website navigation should be straightforward and a satisfying experience for the user. Avoid complicated flows, and ensure that the navigation experience is the same across multiple browsers. 
  • Haphazard Design: When designing a website, ensure that the right colors are used and moderated. Too many shades make the website gaudy and an eyesore. Also, take care to use moderate font sizes and adequately align the various components on the website. 
  • Not Incorporating Feedback – is one of the biggest mistakes that will prove detrimental to your product. Your users are the best judges of your product. Any feedback from the user should be evaluated and implemented with utmost importance, as it will decide whether or not your user is satisfied with your product. 
  • Inconsistent Design – Avoid lack of consistency and repetition in your design. Building brand value entails consistency in all aspects, be it service, application, or website. Keep the color scheme, page layout, and other visual elements consistent throughout all the website or application pages.  

Conclusion

Your product defines you and your credibility. Avoiding these unintentional yet straightforward design mistakes can help you take your product to the next level of perfection and acceptance. Remember that the earlier you catch the bugs, the less expensive they will be. Therefore, go over your product design with a fine comb to avoid mistakes and make your product the best that it can be.

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Chris has been blogging since the early days of the internet. He primarily focuses on topics related to tech, business, marketing, and pretty much anything else that revolves around tech. When he's not writing, you can find him noodling around on a guitar or cooking up a mean storm for friends and family.

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