Learn exactly how to plan your next product design the easy way! We will go over branding, inspiration, and the exact design process I use when designing a digital product!
The content in this article is a overview of the step by step process detailed in our FREE Product Design Planner! Just Click this link and let me know where to send it (or click the button below)!
The easy way to plan your next digital product design!
This is a process I’ve practiced and practiced since back in high school when I attended graphic design classes! Fun fact, I passed my state certification for graphic design before I even graduated!
It’s something I’ve practiced and perfected with clients and myself when I started making digital products for my business. I get asked a lot about where to start and where to begin when it comes to making digital products (or lead magnets, printables, etc).
I wanted to break down the process and actually step it out in an actionable way inside a planner that you can use each and every time you design your digital product. You can grab that planner here for free!
Let’s dive in!
Determining your products brand
Most of the time you will be sticking with your own branding that you’ve already established for your blog but every once and awhile you may choose to go off-brand.
A common reason that online marketers choose to go off-brand is for seasonal content.
Related: if you’d like to learn more about how to go off-brand for your seasonal content, click right here to read my article!
In any case, you’ll want to make sure you’ve got a good sense of both the verbal and visual brand for your digital product design.
Establishing the verbal brand for your product means:
- Name of the product
- Slogan or tagline
- Story of why creating it was important to you
- Tone of voice
- Style of language
Establishing a visual brand for your product means:
- Product logo
- Color palette
- Imagery and other graphics
- Campaigns (marketing graphics)
You may or may not have all of these different elements depending on the size of the project you’re working on. For example, a lead magnet or tripwire product wouldn’t require it’s own logo but a signature course would!
Most of the time you’ll be using the same fonts and colors as the overall visual brand of your blog but there may be exceptions as stated earlier (like seasonal content) that may mean going off-brand.
The imagery used in your digital product should be minimal but complement your content. Remember that most of the time: less is more. However, attractive visual elements can help your product stand out from others and improve user experience.
You’ll want to make sure any image or clipart you use in your product can be used in products to sell (unless you’re creating a freebie). Commercial free or extended license clipart can be found on sites like Creative Market, Design Bundles, and Envato Elements.
Once you’ve established the visual and verbal brand for your product, you’ll move on to your inspiration session. During an inspiration session, I like to make a list of all the words associated with my product or topic that I’m working on.
Then, I go to Pinterest, Creative Market, and Envato and then type in each of those words along with the project I’m working on.
For example, if a word is “family fun” and the product you’re working on is a workbook then you’d type in “family fun workbook” and see what comes up.
You can also search other things like “family fun design ideas” or “family fun logo ideas”. With each of these searching, make a note of design, colors, fonts and anything else you like AND don’t like about what you see.
Also be sure to make a note about WHY you do or don’t like it. This will give you a starting point.
Side note: Never, EVER copy a design or a product!! This is strictly to give you an ideal of what styles you like. It’s to give you a jumping off point when it comes to your project design.
Start the Design Process for your digital product
Now that you have all the visual elements picked out for your brand, you’ll move onto the actual design process.
Note: In my free Product Design Planner, I’ll walk you through establishing your verbal and visual brand, the things you need to consider, and also different design elements like how to select fonts and colors and use white space. Just click here to download the planner for free.
Outline Your Content
Once I’ve established my branding, I start outlining and writing my written content so that everything can be proofread and finalized.
This is MUCH easier than trying to re-align your layout when adding a word or sentence you’ve forgotten and finding out that everything has shifted unexpectedly.
Plan Your Layout
I always start with a piece of paper and a pencil. I create a map and sketch my ideas for the actual layout of the product. This is much easier to visualize once I’m staring at the screen (or my product template) so I can see how everything will fit and flow.
Here are some tips for sketching your layout:
- Group information using design
- Keep basic design foundations in mind
- Make notes and boxes where visual elements will go
- Use a pencil for this process
- Keep it simple and don’t overthink it!
I still sketch my layout when using a design template, but looking at the template first REALLY helps! That way I can determine on the paper what content I need to include. Then, I look at the template as a jumping-off point of where things will go.
I’ll decide if I need to add any visual elements, color blocks, or sections to the original template to complete my layout in the way that best fits my content.
Finally, Start Designing Your Product!
It’s time to finally move your design from paper to the screen! You’ll need to decide on your design platform of choice. I highly recommend:
- Canva (free or paid versions)
- Adobe InDesign
As I mentioned earlier, the Product Creators Ultimate Toolbox has done-for-you designs for not only products but for promotion campaigns as well!
Don’t forget to grab the FREE Product Design Planner so you can start implementing this process right away! Just Click this link and let me know where to send it (or click the button below)!