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.

Design
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.

Prototype
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.

Release
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.

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