3 Essential Design Approaches for Product Managers

Alex Borisenko
4 min readNov 24, 2022
Photo by Mohamed Boumaiza on Unsplash

As a product manager, delivering an exceptional user experience is essential for the success of your product. Why? In today’s world of online shopping and near-instant gratification, users expect a high level of engagement with any digital product they use or purchase. When you design software, good user experience is what sets your work apart from the competition and keeps users coming back. When done well, it can lead to better customer loyalty, more referrals and increased profits. However, even seasoned software product managers can miss out on important design principles. Here I’ll provide a detailed overview of several fundamental concepts so that you can build successful products every time.

1. Stand Out Through Innovation

Good design should always be innovative, as Dieter Rams famously stated. This is especially true in the world of digital products where competitors more often than not all seem to look and work the same to an untrained eye. Innovation in UX allows designers to craft truly remarkable experiences that provide value and make users’ lives easier. Through creativity, diverse perspectives, and a curiosity-driven approach, UX innovators can produce designs that stand out from their competitors and are seen as leaders in their field. They also investigate emerging trends to get ahead of the curve and anticipate what users will want before it is even realized. In this way, good design does more than just make digital products aesthetically pleasing; it fundamentally changes how people interact with each other using technology by being innovative. As our world grows increasingly reliant on technology, innovation will continue to be an essential factor in creating meaningful experiences that meet users’ needs around the world.

Take TikTok for example, compared to other platforms, it does not require a series of clicks or a pause before viewing the next video; instead, it allows users to continue through their timeline with an intuitive gesture. This dynamic feature has set TikTok apart from competitors and created a user experience unlike any before it. TikTok’s vertical scroll not only allows users to quickly move through multiple videos but also provides an immersive atmosphere that encourages them to explore new trends and challenges

2. Simplify And Expose The Essentials

Simplicity is often overlooked as a key ingredient toward product success, yet it impacts user engagement and conversion more than anything else. Simplified designs strip away all the distractions and focus users on only what’s essential. Keeping things simple enables people to quickly understand how to use an interface and become comfortable with its core functions.

When products are streamlined and free of unnecessary elements, users are better able to understand their purpose and feel empowered by the experience. Simplicity also builds trust and leads to increased engagement over time. Ultimately, a well-designed interface with simplified elements drives long-term success because people prefer aesthetically pleasing designs that provide the necessary tools without adding complexity. Simplicity in design creates an inviting atmosphere while giving users an intuitive way to engage with the product, making it more enjoyable to interact with. Simplified products ensure that users can always access the essentiality they need when they need it, leading to greater understanding among end-users as well as higher user satisfaction rates over time. Simplicity and essentiality go hand in hand when crafting great experiences — and make products easier (and more enjoyable) for everyone involved.

Simplicity is no longer optional — it’s now part of delivering an irresistible user experience. By keeping things simple yet essential, designers can sculpt beautifully effective products that just work.

3. Make Sure That Users Always Know How to Use The Product

Even if that means overcommunicating sometimes and risking sacrificing aesthetically.

As the father of User Experience Design, Don Norman famously said: “You Ignore Affordances, and You Guess Wrong”. Affordances refer to how something looks and how it is designed to work — letting people know what they can do with something without having to think too hard. Affordances are a key concept of great UX design; they provide users with hints on how to interact with design elements in an intuitive way. By understanding affordances, PMs can make sure that users quickly discern which actions they need to take in a given situation. This helps ensure that the user always knows what will happen next upon completing an action. Through careful attention to UX principles such as Affordance, designers can create great products that are easy for users to understand and use. Affordances help make sure that users remain engaged throughout their entire experience by ensuring that they always have a clear idea about what comes next. When designing for any platform or product, make sure that users always understand what happens after they perform a task. Affordance enables designers to achieve this goal easily, allowing them to create high-quality experiences for their users. With Affordance incorporated into their designs, developers can ensure their product provides a smooth and enjoyable journey all the way through.

Finally: Make Design Your Hidden Weapon.

Companies are placing more emphasis on great design, which may be your secret weapon for differentiating your company from the competition and revolutionizing the industry. Your product’s design should always be at the back of your mind, whether you’re working with the first prototype or the thousandth revision.



Alex Borisenko

Creating tools to improve readers’ efficiency and student productivity. Writing about reading, technology, and product management.