Unlocking Value in Product Design: From Outcome to Value Proposition



Sep 06, 2023 β€’ 3 min read


Unlocking Value in Product Design: From Outcome to Value Proposition

In the world of product design, it is crucial to understand the desired outcome and value that users are seeking. After all, what are users ultimately trying to achieve? How do their actions and states of being connect to business objectives? And what journey do users go through to reach their desired outcome? By starting with the outcome as the foundation of a project, research becomes a process of cross-referencing and aligning the pieces.

However, starting with the output can narrow down the possibilities and limit the exploration of the true value that should be provided. As creators, we often tend to think about "what to make." But by focusing solely on the output and neglecting the research surrounding it, we miss the opportunity to delve deep into the motivations of our users.

When it comes to brainstorming, it is important to explicitly state, "No functionality (output) allowed!" This shift in mindset helps us detach from preconceived notions of what to create and instead prompts us to consider the outcomes that should be achieved.

On the other hand, let's explore the reasons why online communities fail. According to Gartner, a staggering 70% of online communities fail to thrive. The fundamental question we must ask ourselves is, why should people be there in the first place? To ensure the success of an online community, it is essential to provide not only a reason for people to join but also a reason for them to stay.

One of the biggest mistakes made by community managers is expecting people to adapt to the community without tailoring it to their needs. A thriving community is one that is designed to cater to the specific interests and preferences of its members. It is not enough to simply create a platform and hope that people will naturally gravitate towards each other. Active engagement and facilitation are key to building meaningful connections within the community.

Additionally, it is crucial to explicitly encourage members to introduce themselves and interact with one another. People are unlikely to take the initiative unless prompted, so community managers should actively foster an environment that encourages conversation, collaboration, and friendship.

Furthermore, building a community around a purpose, rather than solely focusing on the brand, is vital for long-term success. When people feel a sense of purpose and shared mission within a community, they are more likely to remain engaged and invested. By aligning the community's values and objectives with those of its members, a strong foundation is established, leading to sustainable growth and a thriving online community.

To wrap up, here are three actionable pieces of advice:

  • 1. Start with the outcome: When approaching product design, shift your focus from the output to the desired outcome. By understanding the value users seek to achieve, you can create products that truly meet their needs.
  • 2. Tailor the community experience: In the realm of online communities, customization is key. Design your community to cater to the specific interests and preferences of your members, ensuring a tailored experience that encourages engagement and connection.
  • 3. Build around purpose: A successful online community is one that is centered around a shared purpose. By aligning the community's values and objectives with those of its members, you create a sense of belonging and foster long-term engagement.

In conclusion, whether it's product design or online communities, understanding the desired outcome and value proposition is crucial for success. By shifting our mindset from the output to the outcome, tailoring experiences to the needs of users, and building around a purpose, we can unlock the true potential and value in our endeavors.


  1. "γ‚’γ‚¦γƒˆγ‚«γƒ γ‹γ‚‰δΎ‘ε€€γ‚’η΄θ§£γγƒ—γƒ­γƒ€γ‚―γƒˆγƒ‡γ‚Άγ‚€γƒ³", https://yasuhisa.com/could/article/outcome-product-design/ (Glasp)
  2. "The 7 Biggest Reasons Why Online Communities Fail", https://meetwaves.medium.com/the-7-biggest-reasons-why-online-communities-fail-420fc5ba566d (Glasp)

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