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.

Insights on My Marketing Strategy

Market Your Creativity

I recently released my first paid crochet pattern on My Creative Blog, which is another blog I run targeted towards my creative hobby side. The pattern has been a huge success despite the little literature out there on selling a crochet pattern. Therefore, I would like to provide a little insight on how I ran my marketing strategy to sell my crochet pattern.

Building Your Reputation
Let’s start with the fact that you need to build up your reputation. You likely do not want to just jump straight into selling patterns. People won’t know what to expect from you and won’t know if they can trust your pattern. So I started my blog by creating free patterns. This will build traffic to your site and followers to your brand.

Test Your Product
Once you create your pattern or product, you will need to have it tested. This is important, do not skip this step. Testing your pattern gives your pattern another few set of eyes to find any issues or anything hard to understand. Having your pattern tested will also give your customers some faith and peace of mind in your product.

Run a Giveaway (Free Advertising)
It is good to build up a following prior to any release of your product or pattern so that way you have people to promote your product to. The best way to build up this following is to offer a giveaway that requires people to follow your brand and share your brand with others. Giveaways also help people to feel good about your brand because they can possibly receive something for free.

Build your Fanbase
Again, find ways to build your following. This way when you release your product or pattern, people will actually see it as opposed to just stumbling across it. A great way I found to build my brand, besides the giveaway, is to find groups on facebook that are targeted towards what you are selling and promote your brand there. In my case, crochet groups.

Offer Discounts
When you release your product or pattern or around special occasions such as holidays, offer discounts. It will almost always create more sales as people will want to take advantage of the discounted price. It may even entice people to share your product with others so they may take advantage of the discount, as well. It will also build your reputation and make people feel good about your business.

Broadcast to Multiple Networks
Advertise your product or pattern through multiple networks. Everyone has a different preference on what social platforms they like, so try to broadcast to lots of different types. Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, those are always some good ones, but some of the ones people also may not think about are ones like StumbleUpon, Tumblr, and Imgur, as well.

Make people Feel Good
Make people feel good about your business and product, as well as, themselves. If people comment on your posts, always try to respond, even if it is just liking their post. Address their issues whether big or small. Always try to be positive, nice, and energetic in your responses to them. If they make a request, try to find a way to address it. Show them that you care. It can seem like a minor thing, but can make a world of difference to your customers.

Have a Product worth Buying
When it is all said and done, the success of your product is still dependent on having a good product to sell. Something that people are genuinely interested in and something well executed. No matter how much you master the rest of these tips, it won’t help if your product is crap.