How to Design for Innovative Digital Products

June 12, 2016

With the different types of digital products growing and growing there are many cases where an attempt to design an app or other product goes horribly wrong. Many of the issues surrounding the process of designing new, innovative products lie in trying to duplicate previous services, such as turning an website into an app, or by trying to offer too many services in one product. This article looks into some key rules to follow when designing digital products.

Understand your product

It may seem obvious, but do you understand the purpose of your product? What problem is it solving? Is it an entirely new product or an extension of an existing product? The aim of this step is to define the value proposition of your product and gain buy in from all the stakeholders involved before you move forward.

What is the lifecycle of the digital product?

Every new innovative product has a lifespan and good design understands they lifecycle of the product and, hopefully, has some insight into how to disrupt the product to help it develop into the future. During the testing period for the product, gather as much feedback from your audience as possible and apply it and continue to do this through each iteration of the product.

Conduct detailed audience research

Don't lose focus of the audience needs. Conduct extensive audience research to ensure the product offers your audience what they want and listen to all their feedback, adapting the product to their responses. You can host focus groups and interviews or simply set up a survey to gain feedback on your product. The more you understand about your audience, the better your end-product will be and the more successful it will be.

Develop user personas

As an extension of your audience research, it is a good idea to build out specific personas that represent your audience so you can refer to them throughout your product development and consider their character, behaviours and motivations. This will help guide your product development and can be used for marketing initiatives.  

Create a roadmap

A roadmap helps you get from A to B to C. It will help you stay on track through development, testing and releases. It will likely change as your product develops but having it will ensure you hit deadlines and redefine your goals along the way.

Measure Success

Once your digital product is launched, make sure you collect as much data as possible to adjust and fine-tune for greater success. With innovative, digital products it is difficult to know what success looks like, especially if their is no industry benchmark, but if you use the data to your advantage and evaluate opportunities, you will be able to build on what works.

Consult with an MVP development company today like Prototype to help you create your digital product in an agile and effective manner.

Have you developed a digital product? What type of experience did you have?  Share your tips and ideas with us on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.

Written by
Alexander Rauser
Alexander Rauser


Alexander Rauser is the author of Boardroom Guide to Digital Accountability and Digital Strategy: A Guide to Digital Business Transformation, and creator of the DSX Program, a digital strategy and transformation program for Enterprises.

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