How to Build a Good Product Design Team

Building a successful product design team is vital for exceptional user experiences and business growth.

In today's competitive market, the success of a product relies heavily on its design. A well-executed product design can captivate customers, enhance user experience, and drive business growth. However, designing an exceptional product requires the collaborative efforts of a skilled and cohesive product design team. In this article, we will explore:

  • What is a Product Design Team?
  • The Most Important Aspects of a Product Design Team
  • How to Get Your Product Design Team Structure Right 
  • How to Train Your Team
  • Team Building Tips 
  • Summary 

What is a Product Design Team?

A product design team comprises professionals responsible for conceptualizing, designing, and developing innovative products. It typically consists of individuals with diverse skills and backgrounds, and bachelor degrees including industrial designers, UX/UI designers, engineers, researchers, anthropologists, philosophers, industrial engineers and project managers. They all need to have the same mentality: diverse thinking, cross pollination skills and common sense. The primary goal of a product design team is to create products that meet user needs, align with the company's vision, and deliver a competitive advantage in the market.

The 5 Most Important Aspects of a Product Design Team

Skill Diversity

  • Problem-solving skills: The team members should possess strong problem-solving abilities to address various design challenges effectively.
  • Creativity: Creativity is essential for generating innovative and out-of-the-box ideas, leading to unique and appealing product designs.
  • Expertise in different domains: The team should consist of individuals with diverse areas of expertise, such as industrial design, user experience (UX) design, graphic design, engineering, etc. This way, they can cover different aspects of product development.
  • Collaboration and teamwork: Effective collaboration is crucial for ensuring that team members can work together cohesively, exchange ideas, and build upon each other's contributions.
  • Communication skills: Clear and open communication is essential for sharing ideas, giving feedback, and ensuring that everyone is on the same page throughout the design process.

Remember that the skills required for a product design team may vary depending on the specific nature of the products they work on, the industry they operate in, and the complexity of the projects they handle. Therefore, it's essential to tailor the skillset according to the team's unique requirements.

Collaboration and Communication

Effective collaboration and communication are vital for a product design team to function optimally. Encourage open dialogue, promote the exchange of ideas, and establish channels for seamless communication to foster a culture of collaboration.

User-Centric Mindset

A product design team must place the user at the center of their design process. By empathizing with users and understanding their needs, pain points, and preferences, the team can create products that resonate with their target audience.

Iterative Design Process

Adopting an iterative design process allows the team to continually refine and improve their product. Encourage experimentation, prototyping, and user testing at various stages to gather feedback and make informed design decisions.

Design Mindset 

A successful product design team should possess a Design Mindset for several compelling reasons. Firstly, a Design Mindset places the user front and center, emphasizing empathy and understanding of user needs, resulting in products that genuinely address users' pain points and preferences. This user-centric approach fosters a continuous iterative process, enabling the team to refine and improve designs based on user feedback. Secondly, designers with a Design Mindset possess a unique blend of creativity and problem-solving skills. They can think outside the box to generate innovative solutions and break down complex problems into manageable components. Their ability to integrate technology with functionality ensures that the final products not only work well but also offer an aesthetically pleasing and emotionally engaging experience for the users. Ultimately, a Design Mindset empowers the team to create products that stand out in the market, driving customer satisfaction, loyalty, and contributing to the company's overall success

How to Get Your Product Design Team Structure Right

Define Roles and Responsibilities

Clearly define the roles and responsibilities of each team member to establish accountability and prevent overlapping tasks. This clarity ensures that everyone understands their contribution and aligns their efforts toward a common goal.

Cross-Functional Collaboration

Foster collaboration between team members from different disciplines. Encourage interaction between designers, engineers, marketers, and other stakeholders to ensure a comprehensive understanding of the product's requirements and constraints.

Agile Methodologies

In order to get your product design team structure right, it's crucial to implement effective project management methodologies like Sprints and Dual Track. Sprints involve breaking down the design process into short, focused periods of work, usually one to four weeks in duration. During each Sprint, the team collaborates intensely to tackle specific design tasks and deliver tangible results, enabling regular feedback and iteration. On the other hand, the Dual Track approach emphasizes parallel tracks of work. One track focuses on discovery, where designers conduct research, gather insights, and define the problem space. Simultaneously, the other track focuses on delivery, where the actual design and development take place based on the discoveries made during the research phase. This approach ensures that the team maintains a balance between exploration and execution, leading to more user-centered and validated product designs.

Flexible Team Structure

Be open to adapting the team structure as the project evolves. This flexibility allows you to allocate resources effectively, address skill gaps, and accommodate changing project priorities.

How to Train Your Product Design Team

Continuous Learning

Encourage a culture of continuous learning within the team. Provide opportunities for professional development, such as attending conferences, workshops, or online courses, to keep the team up-to-date with the latest design trends, technologies, and methodologies.

Peer Learning

Facilitate knowledge sharing and peer learning among team members. Organize regular design critiques, where team members provide constructive feedback on each other's work, fostering growth and improvement.

External Collaboration

Encourage collaboration with external experts or industry professionals through mentorship programs or partnerships. Exposing the team to diverse perspectives and experiences can inspire fresh ideas and refine their design skills.

Team Building Tips:

Encourage Cross-Functional Activities

Organize team-building activities that promote cross-functional collaboration and build rapport among team members. This can include design workshops, brainstorming sessions, or even social events outside of work.

Regular Feedback and Recognition

Provide constant and transparent feedback and recognition to team members for their contributions. Constructive feedback helps individuals grow, while recognition boosts morale and fosters a sense of accomplishment. 


Building a good product design team is crucial for creating innovative and successful products. By focusing on the key aspects mentioned above, such as skill diversity, collaboration, user-centricity, iterative design, and design thinking, you can lay the foundation for a high-performing team. Additionally, structuring the team effectively, providing training opportunities, and fostering team-building activities will contribute to their long-term success. Remember, a robust product design team can unlock the potential for design excellence and propel your organization ahead in today's competitive landscape.

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