Creating a Pattern is a lot like Building an App: The Product Design Process

The Product Design ProcessI have been creating patterns for my other blog, MyCreativeBlog, which is targeted towards my creative hobby side and as a software engineer, I have learned through this process that creating a pattern is a lot like building an app.

– Design
– Prototype
– Testers/Quality Assurance
– Release
– Customer Feedback

Allow me to elaborate.

Much like building an app, when creating a pattern, you generally start by sketching out your idea or jotting down ideas that you would like to see in your end product. The design process can take on other forms, like researching different techniques or in the engineering world, different technologies.

Next, you might work out how to create the product by working up a prototype. A prototype can take many forms, a visual representation of the product, such as a wireframe, or it could be a proof-of-concept, which showcases the overall idea of the product, but not how it might actually look in the final design. Another type of prototyping is a presentation prototype, which may be ultimately how the product will look and function, but use different material or have different functionality from what your final product may look like or how it may function. Through the process of creating a pattern, you might create many of these prototypes, but ultimately, you will end up with presentation prototype, so that you can showcase how the pattern will look in the end. This can still end up differing somewhat from your final product after you have gone through the process of having it tested.

Testers/Quality Assurance
To produce any quality product, it should be tested or passed through quality assurance. Adjustments should be made based on feedback from this process and tested again until a quality product is produced free of errors. In the case of creating a pattern, a quality product means one that is clear and easy to understand, has no typos or grammar mistakes and can produce an item similar to your prototype.

Once you have gone through the testing process and feel happy with your final product, you can release it to your consumers. This doesn’t necessarily end the process. More often than not, you will have requests and recommendations from your customers. And any good business owner wants their customers to be completely happy with their purchase, which brings me to my next subject, customer feedback.

Customer Feedback
Any vested product owner will value the feedback from their customers. They want their customers to be fully satisfied with their product. So when customers make requests or recommendations, this may have you re-evaluate your product and possibly make alterations, updates, and improvements if the requests or recommendations add value to your product. For example, I created a pattern and had a customer request a print-friendly version. I personally, had never given that idea a thought, but I was happy for the request as I knew others would likely appreciate that improvement, as well. Thus I created a print-friendly version and that customer was very happy to have their idea heard and acted on. And a happy customer can translate to a solid product.

Having worked this process many times in engineering, I found this process could easily be applied to creating patterns, as well, and produced amazing results.

I Believe in Empowering Women, but I’m not a Feminist

I am a woman in the technology field, and I am all for empowering more women into technology fields or science fields. There certainly are not enough of us, but I refuse to call myself a feminist. I believe in equality for both sexes. A feminist by today’s standards seems to be a way to bash men and as a mother of two boys, I can not support that. It should be about being a decent human being and treating one another with respect.

I hate these new terms being thrown around, “manterrupting”, “bropropriate”. Why do we have to victimize ourselves against men? It’s hard to be taken seriously when we are throwing around made up words where their only purpose is to bash men. How can we take a stand for equality when we are drawing a line between men and women ourselves?

I think to be in this field, especially if you are looking to grow in your career, you have to have a strong backbone, that goes for men and women. You need to have a strong, supporting argument if you want to make an impact. You also have to have the confidence to speak it and keep pushing on the subject if you stand firm in your opinion.

The fact is people interrupt people. It’s disrespectful, but it isn’t always meant to be. Sometimes people are just passionate about their view and want to get that across. Unless someone directly says, your point isn’t worth listening to, I don’t think we should be reading so much into it. The fact is that people of both sexes can be rude and impolite.

Finally, I don’t want to be referred to as a feminist because I enjoy being feminine. I can have it all. I can be smart, well-groomed, trendy, a super-mom, a geek/nerd, I can be all of it. I don’t need to hand in my heels and red lipstick because I want to viewed as one of the men or because I’m in a technology field. I’m just going to do me. I have never been one to conform to labels. I hate labels. And I think that is what we really need to rid ourselves of to start having equality between the sexes.

Source: Kathleen Edison’s illustrated guide, inspired by Jessica Bennett’s article
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