Key steps to digital product development process
Digital product development is no easy task and when starting it can be tricky to plan for. Many of the concerns that accompany product development methods can also be considered when coming up with your standard business plan but there are a few key differences.
Research and assessing
The first stage of the process is important as it can save you from wasting time - make sure to validate your idea.
It seems like a straightforward enough concept, but when overlooked or done half-heartedly, it can be the biggest fundamental flaw you can make. Developing an idea that doesn’t have the right target audience, the resources to compete with similar ventures or is not as original as the founder might have believed is a death sentence for a digital product and can be easily avoided from the get-go.
If you find out your great idea has already been done it doesn't mean you have to give up hope, but it does mean that you need to see what similar products are doing and ask if you can realistically compete.
Researching the market to ensure that you have something is easier said than done, so frameworks like the Business Model Canvas can help.
Validating and prototyping
If you still think you have something unique and want to bring your vision a step closer to becoming a reality, it’s time to create a prototype.
A prototype doesn’t require a functioning model of what you want your product to become - it acts as a recommendation at this stage. A prototype starts with a wireframe mock-up that highlights what functions will be available and any other core layout details in the initial release.
Once your wireframe provides a vision that you’re happy with, the next step is to take that vision and build a prototype. There is an aim of matching the digital product vision with the functionality at this stage of the process - it can be one of the most beneficial for learning through trial and error.
The practicalities of bringing the prototype to life should give you a good idea of the scope your digital product has outside your original vision. The prototype will also help you see potential problems and help you learn more to make it more suitable for the users.
Digital Product Strategy
Once a prototype is developed, you should have a better understanding of the market and capabilities of your product. Knowing that your product can succeed in the long run is a good sign for any entrepreneur but figuring out how to do so becomes a new challenge.
Building a digital product roadmap involves considering a realistic budget, potential market opportunities and what constraints are likely. Not only is this helpful for you to know, but it can also be useful when looking for investors.
A product roadmap can also be beneficial to help communicate your vision with team members, define KPIs and help prioritise goals, to name just a few reasons why it's worth creating one.
Details and fine-tuning
Ensuring that a product is functional is the most crucial thing but making it something worth choosing is the next priority.
Changes can be implemented at any stage in the product's lifecycle but the early stages, once feedback starts coming in, is when you can get an idea of what areas need to be improved on.
This early stage also ensures that the functionality is being tested and once feedback begins to come in, you can see what needs to be fine-tuned and what errors begin to crop up.
If the digital product made it this far, you can give yourself a pat on the back. Reaching a point where your digital product is ready to launch is no easy task, but the process doesn’t end there. Changes will always be required and revisiting your product roadmap will be essential to its success.
Complete your digital product build with Zoosh
If you're a business looking to build a new digital product or service, Zoosh can help. Our Product Studio expert team of software developers are experienced in creating apps which enhance your brand. Get in touch via the contact form on our website to find out more.