What are the 5 Stages of the Digital Product Design Process?

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Digital product design is the process of creating user-centric products that solve real problems and deliver value to the users and the business. Digital products can be anything from websites, apps, games, e-commerce platforms, chatbots, etc. 

The process behind digital product design is not a linear one, but rather an iterative and collaborative one that involves multiple stages and feedback loops. In this blog, we will explore the 5 stages of the digital product design process and how they can help you create better products for your users. So read on if you want to find out how to be better, or how to build a career in this interesting and artistic field from scratch.

The UG Digital Product Design Course

If you are interested in learning more about the stages of product design for apps, websites, etc., you might want to consider enrolling in a UG Digital Product Design course. This bachelor-level course will teach you how to apply the fundamentals of design to your own projects, such as user research, user interface design, user experience design, prototyping, testing, etc. You will also get to work on real-world projects with industry mentors and peers and build a portfolio of digital products that showcase your skills and creativity.

For more information about this course at JS Institute of Design, refer to the table below.

Course NameUG (Bachelor’s) in Digital Product Design
Duration4 years
Mode of ExaminationSemester System
Eligibility Criteria10+2 pass from a recognised board
Mode of AdmissionMerit-based + creative aptitude test + Interview + portfolio review (mandatory for lateral entry)

The 5 Stages of Digital Product Design

Let us now move on to what we came here for – the five stages in product design process of digital products:

Source: Interaction Design Foundation 

Stage 1: Empathise

The first stage of the digital product design process is to empathise with your users. This means understanding their needs, goals, pain points, motivations, behaviours, preferences, and context. Empathy is the foundation of user-centered design, as it helps you to create products that are relevant, useful, and desirable for your users.

To empathise with your users, you need to conduct user research. This is the process of gathering and analysing data about your users through various methods, such as interviews, surveys, observations, user testing, etc. User research helps you validate your assumptions, identify user problems and opportunities, and create:

  • User personas – Fictional representations of your target users that summarise their characteristics, needs, goals, and frustrations.
  • User journeys – Visual maps that illustrate how your users interact with your product across different touchpoints and scenarios.

These product design tools help you to empathise with your users and keep them in mind throughout the design process.

Stage 2: Define

The second stage of digital product design is to define the problem that you are trying to solve for your users. This means synthesising the insights from your user research and framing the problem in a clear and concise way.

To define the problem, you need to use tools such as:

  • Problem statements – A sentence that summarizes the main user problem that you are trying to solve.
  • How might we questions – A question that reframes the problem as an opportunity for innovation.
  • Value propositions – A statement that describes how your product will solve the user problem and deliver value to the users and the business.

For example, if you are designing a fitness app for busy professionals who want to stay healthy, your problem statement could be: “Busy professionals don’t have time to exercise regularly and struggle to maintain a healthy lifestyle.” Your how might we question could be: “How might we help busy professionals fit exercise into their daily routines and achieve their health goals?” Your value proposition could be: “Our fitness app provides personalized and flexible workouts that adapt to your schedule and preferences.”

Stage 3: Ideate

Coming third in product design stages is ideation – generating as many ideas as possible for the solution of the user problem that you have defined without judging or filtering them.

To ideate solutions, you need to use techniques such as brainstorming, sketching, mind mapping, storyboarding, etc. These techniques help you to unleash your creativity and explore different possibilities for your product. The goal of ideation is not to find the best solution but rather to create a diverse range of solutions that can be tested and evaluated later.

Stage 4: Prototype

The fourth stage of the digital product design process is to prototype your ideas. This means creating low-fidelity or high-fidelity mockups or models of your product that can be tested with real users.

To prototype your ideas, you need to use tools such as wireframes, mockups, prototypes, etc. to visualise your ideas and make them tangible. The level of fidelity of your prototype depends on the stage of your design process and the purpose of your testing. The two types of prototypes in digital product design details are given below:

  • Low-fidelity prototype: A rough sketch or outline of your product that shows its basic structure and functionality.
  • High-fidelity prototype: A detailed and realistic representation of your product that shows its appearance and interactivity.

The goal of prototyping is not to create a final product but rather to create a testable product that can help you validate or invalidate your assumptions and hypotheses.

Stage 5: Test

The fifth and final among the 5 steps in product design is testing your prototype with real users. This means collecting feedback from your users about their experience with your product and measuring its usability and desirability.

To test your prototype, you need to use methods such as user testing, usability testing, A/B testing, etc. These methods help you to observe how your users interact with your product, what they like or dislike about it, what problems they encounter with it, and what suggestions they have for improvement.

The goal of testing is not to prove that your product is perfect, but rather to learn from your users and iterate on your product based on their feedback.


The digital product design process is a cyclical and iterative process that involves 5 stages: empathize, define, ideate, prototype, and test. By following this process, you can create user-centric products that solve real problems and deliver value to the users and the business. And if you want to learn how to execute this process, all you have to do is enrol in a UG Digital product design course.


  1. What are the 5 steps in product design?

The 5 steps in product design are user research, identifying the problem, generating solutions, creating prototypes and finally testing them.

  1. What are the stages of digital product design?

The 5 stages of digital product design are empathised, defining, ideating, prototyping and testing.

  1. What are different types of design process?

The different types of design processes can be broadly divided into ideation, conception, design and production.

  1. Which area of design does the UG digital design course at JS Institute of Design focus on?

The UG digital design course at JS Institute of Design focuses on UI/UX design.

  1. What will I learn in the UG digital design course at JS Institute of Design?

Some of the things you’ll learn at the UG Digital Design course at JS Institute of Design include typography, UX Design, UI Design, Graphic Design, Prototyping with Figma, User Research, Interactive Design, etc.