Both fresh digital entrepreneurs and established businesses get excited at the prospect of building a new digital product. However, if you’re not ready to build the digital product, or if the market isn’t ready for it, then you could end up spending a lot of money on something that is irrelevant.
Building a digital product should be full of excitement and fun, but there are a few questions you need to ask yourself before you embark on the digital product creation process. Discover what they are so that you can start building your digital product now.
Is your digital product user-centric?
Normally when we think about a digital product being user-centric, we’re talking about the design phase. However, user-centric digital products put the user at the heart of the whole process, from conception to fruition.
In the concept phase, it’s important that you’re listening to your audience and understanding their needs. By observing their problems and working in a way that aims to find a solution to them in your digital product, you’re more likely to be building something that people need and want.
Before you start designing a digital product, it’s essential that you put the user first and assess their specific needs. Ask yourself whether your product helps the user, and then carry that motive throughout any design you bring to fruition. After assessing yourself, it’s crucial to conduct user research to discover whether your digital product will be useful, and if people are looking for it to appear.
Will people interact with your digital product the way you want them to?
Once you’ve established that your product is going to solve a problem of some kind for someone, then you need to make sure that the design is going to be used in the way you imagine it.
Some of the more basic research could involve testing how people use similar digital products, or put your designs to your audience and see how they would navigate your digital product. The navigation, functions and uses of the digital product need to be clear so that people aren’t put off by the way that the product is delivered.
Establishing how people will interact with your digital product, and ensuring that it makes sense to the user themselves is essential before you start designing and creating any digital product.
What would success look like with this digital product?
Setting your objectives is really important, but equally understanding what it would look like to achieve them is crucial. Knowing exactly what you’d want your product to do in an ideal world and the outcomes you want to bring about will help you reach them and measure how successful the digital product has been overall.
Here are some of the key things to establish before you embark on creating a digital product:
Do you need support to create the digital product?
There are very few brands, if any, who are able to ideate, design and execute a digital product launch without any external support. Thinking about the logistics of how you will bring your idea to life is also a key part of the digital product creation process.
As a company or team, you need to consider what your strengths and weaknesses are and where you will need support to create the best digital product possible. You need to consider whether you’ll be working with freelancers or contract workers as a short term solution, or whether you want to partner with a digital innovation agency to foster a longer term connection.
Either way, knowing exactly how you will execute this and what support you will need (as well as the costs involved!) is important before getting ahead of yourself with the digital product design.
Is there an early stage digital product roadmap?
A digital product roadmap will give you a better understanding of how the product might evolve over time and will open your mind to the possibilities when designing. Think about how your product will evolve after the launch, who will own the roadmap and which features might take centre stage. This is a trickier question to answer in the early stages of ideation but you’ll be grateful that you did it later down the track.
It will rely heavily on understanding how your users interact with your product, and what issues, like and dislikes they flag as time goes on. However, assigning an individual to the task of assessing that research and mapping out a future for your digital product is important prior to getting stuck into digital product design work.
Do you have a plan if your digital product doesn’t work?
If you’ve answered all of the above questions and think you’ve got them nailed, then you’ll likely have a digital product that has a good chance of success. However, building digital products can be chaotic and unpredictable, and sometimes they will fail, have glitches or simply not be useful in the way you anticipated.
This is okay. It’s important to understand that this is a possibility, and plan for the chaos of unleashing a digital product into the world. Whilst on launch day it may be perfect and work exactly as you planned, in the future you might need to make amendments and adjust how you do things.
To help you out, consider using a technology stack that is supported by a community of developers, rather than using systems that only one person or company can use. By using a supported tech stack, you will make less work for yourself in the future, and will future proof your digital product.
Plan your digital product today
Are you keen to start the digital product planning process today? With help from ENO8, the digital innovation specialists, you’ll be able to ask yourself the questions above and find out whether you’re actually ready to start building your digital product.