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Why Product Thinking Is Critical for User Experience

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

User experience can make or break a digital product. But what’s the secret ingredient that separates a game-changer from an ordinary product? It’s Product Thinking.

This article explains how to put yourself in the user’s shoes, taking into consideration their needs and crafting an engaging journey. Get ready to discover the essential strategies in UI/UX design that turn ordinary apps into user magnets and redefine the way you approach design.

What is Product Thinking?

Product Thinking is a way of making digital products, like apps or websites, with a focus on what users really need and want. Instead of just building something that works, it means understanding the problems users face and creating solutions that make their lives easier and more enjoyable.

Product Thinking is crucial in the digital world because it ensures that products aren’t just pieces of technology, they’re tools that cater to people’s needs and make them happy. It’s about asking questions like “What issues can we solve for our users?” and “How can we make our product more user-friendly?”

Product Thinking vs Design Thinking

These two notions are often mixed, however it is important to understand that these are distinct terms with different meanings. The following table exemplifies the differences between these concepts.

Characteristic Product ThinkingDesign Thinking
FocusBusiness and technologyUser experience
ApproachStrategic and holisticHuman-centered and iterative
MethodsUser research, market research, product strategy, data analysis, hypothesis testingEmpathy mapping, user interviews, prototyping, testing
OutcomeProducts that meet the needs of users and businessesProducts that are desirable, usable, and feasible
ExamplesDefining a product roadmap, prioritizing features, measuring product success, launching a new productDeveloping a new user interface, designing a new product feature, testing a product prototype with users
When to useWhen developing a new product or service, launching a new feature, evaluating the success of a product, or making strategic decisions about a productWhen understanding the needs of users, developing a new user experience, prototyping a new product or feature, or testing a product or feature with users

Why does Product Thinking matter?

Thinking about the product is important because it brings numerous benefits both for the development companies and for the customer:

It helps to identify and solve real user problems

The first step in being product-oriented is to understand the needs and wants of your users. This can be done through user research, such as interviews, surveys, and usability testing. Once you have a good understanding of your users, you can start to identify the problems that they are facing.

It’s important to note that not all user problems are created equal. Some problems are more common than others, and some are more important to solve than others. It’s important to prioritize the problems that you choose to solve based on their impact on your users and on your business goals.

Once you have identified a problem to solve, you can start to brainstorm solutions. This is where your creativity comes in. It’s important to think outside the box and to come up with new and innovative ways of seeing the situation.

It helps to create products that are valuable and desirable

Once you have a solution to the problem, you need to make sure that it is valuable and desirable to your users. This means that it needs to meet their needs and wants, and it should be easy to use and understand.

One way to do this is to create a product vision. This is a statement that describes what the product is trying to achieve and why it is important to users. The product vision should be clear, concise, and inspiring.

Another way to make sure that your product is valuable and desirable is to get feedback from users early and often. This can be done through user testing, surveys, and interviews. By getting feedback from users early on, you can identify any problems with the product and make necessary changes before it is released.

It contributes to better business decision-making.

Product thinking can help you to make better business decisions in a number of ways. For example, it can help you to:

  • Identify the right market for your product
  • Price your product correctly
  • Decide which features to develop and which features to eliminate
  • Allocate resources efficiently

By understanding your users and their needs, you can make better decisions about how to position and market your product. You can also make better decisions about how to invest your resources and how to prioritize the development of new features.

It promotes a strong product culture

Product thinking is not just about designing great products, it’s also about building a strong product culture. This is a culture where everyone is focused on the customer and on solving real user problems.

To build a strong product culture, it is important to hire people who are product-oriented and who are excited about solving user problems. It’s also important to create an environment where people feel comfortable sharing their ideas and where they are encouraged to take risks.

When everyone in the organization is focused on thinking about the product, it creates a more collaborative and innovative environment. This leads to better digital solutions and services for users, and it also leads to a more successful business.


Product thinking is critical for user experience, but not everyone gets it. In fact, many companies still focus on building products that they think users want instead of actually talking to users to find out what they really need.

This is a big mistake. In today’s competitive market, users have more choices than ever before. If they don’t like your product, they will simply move on to the next one.

So, if you are serious about creating a great user experience, you need to start with thinking about the product. This means putting the user at the center of everything you do, from design and development to marketing and sales.

But keep in mind that it isn’t easy. It requires a shift in mindset from a focus on features to a focus on value. It also requires a willingness to experiment and learn from your mistakes. But if you’re putting enough effort, product thinking can help you create products that users love to use. And that’s the best way to ensure a successful and flourishing long-term business.

About the author


Elena Remen