If Screen Product Designers Designed Physical Products

In the past, when someone asked me what my profession was, I would usually say Product Designer. They would immediately ask me what kind of product. Furniture, airplanes, radios, headphones, sex toys? Embarrassed, I would clarify that I meant digital products—“you know, like websites and apps.” To which I would receive a look of confusion.

“I like to call those things products because they make me feel important. But usually, I just work with pixels and make-believe stuff,” I would further explain.

Now I just say I’m a designer.

 

This hasn’t avoided questions, though. I still have to clarify that no, I don’t design interiors, clothes, or lamps (but I would love to!)

I often wonder what would happen if I got to design physical products coming as a screen product designer. Would I follow the same human-centered process or would I try to design pixel-perfect chairs?

Here are some comics exploring this idea.

Note: After each image, there’s a text version of the comic. This is so that they’re a bit more accessible, in case you wonder why the redundancy.

Designing a Chair

“We’ll wait for customer feedback before we add any more features.”

Frances and Paul stand next to each other. Between them there’s a wooden stick standing on the floor. Frances looks confused.

FRANCES: (Pointing at stick) Wasn’t this supposed to be a chair?

PAUL: Oh, this is just the MVP version of it.


Bicycle

“Do you even Dietar Rams, bro?”

Petunia and Paul stand next to each other. Between them there’s what appears to be a unicycle. Petunia looks puzzled.

PETUNIA: (Scratching her head) We needed a bicycle, not a unicycle.

PAUL: It is a bicycle. I just applied simplicity and removed redundant elements.


Coffee Mug

“Better for the user. So delightful. More accessible… well, if you have the latest mobile device with fast internet access.”

Gabs and Paul stand next to each other. Paul is holding a mobile screen near his face and is frantically moving his hand in front of him. Gabs seems upset.

GABS: Did you design the coffee mug?

PAUL: Better yet. I created a coffee AR experience. More realistic!


Table

“A GTM plan to get an MVP ready for a B2B GA based on our R&D so we can get an ROI on the IP of our SAAS.”

Frances and Paul stand next to a wooden table. The table has several buttons aligned horizontally. They have faces painted on them that go from angry to happy from left to right. Frances seems curious.

FRANCES: The dining table looks fine… but what’s with all the buttons?

PAUL: We need more CTAs to hit Q4’s NPS KPIs!


Guitar

Air Guitar—it’s not a flaw, it’s a feature!

Gabs is holding an odd guitar with a special coat of color. Paul seems giddy. Gabs looks annoyed.

GABS: You forgot to add strings!

PAUL: Yeah, but did you notice how delightful that gradient is?


Hola, amigxs. I’m Pablo Stanley, designer at InVision.

I usually post comics and design-related things on Twitter. Follow me if you’re into that stuff.

I also have a YouTube channel called Sketch Together with tons of design tutorials and livestreams.

Lumen Bigott and I have a design podcast in Spanish called Diseño Cha Cha Cha in which we interview creative latinxs working in tech.

Un fuerte abrazo. (FROM MEDIUM)

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