The design makes a significant difference in fields such as sales, customer engagement, user retention, brand awareness, company valuation. Hence management consulting and strategy services firms are acquiring design agencies, and big companies increase the number of recruited designers. Have you thought about hiring a designer at the initial phase of product development? If not, this could be your biggest mistake. Let’s dig into this topic.
One of the most exciting moments of the interview with a potential client is to hear the story behind the business idea. Sometimes what we hear is: “Our competitors do this, so we need to do this as well,” “My boss told me that we need to implement this,” “I saw something like this, and I liked it.” Fortunately, most of the people can say something more convincing. They talk with passion about their work or hobby and describe how they come up with the idea for a new product or service. But that is not enough to be sure that clients will be so enthusiastic too.
How to Start Designing Your Successful Products?
Got a great idea for an invention but not sure what to do with it? Turn your dream into a marketable product with these crucial factors in mind:
- Target users defined and their needs analyzed.
- Product or service is an answer to users problems.
- The idea of the product validated with target users.
- User experience: Usability of the solution.
- Quality of the product is the key (no errors).
- Marketing and sales strategy prepared based on users insight.
- Competitive advantage/unique value proposition.
- The right time to launch.
As an entrepreneur, you should prepare a solid foundation for the product design process based on an analysis of the product’s environment and users. According to CB Insights, the first reason for startup failure is “no market needed” (42%). Next are mentioned “Run out of cash” (29%), “Not the right team” (23%), “Got outcompeted” (19%), “Pricing/Cost Issues” (18%), “Poor Product” (17%), “Need/Lack Business Model” (17%), “Poor Marketing” (14%), “Ignore Customers” (14%). All of them can be eliminated by good preparation and the proper product design process. You should start with a UX strategy, and the User-Centered Design approach implemented from the very beginning of the project.
The very first step of the product design process is the research and validation of the main idea. This must be done with the target users. You can ask your friends for the opinion, but you can’t set up your business based on the polite feedback from people who wish you the best. You need to confront it with those who might use your product or service because your business depends on their choices. The common mistake is the lack of criticism. Usually, entrepreneurs believe that they already know the context and users although they never talked to them and verified their assumptions.
Next, you should investigate competitors and search for other inspiring solutions to find good benchmarks If you are convinced that there is no competition in the market think about your potential customers How do they solve their problems now? How could you convince them to change their behavior? Do you plan to compete with other companies or rather find the niche? Each product is developed in different circumstances, that is why you can’t just copy solutions from others. You need to tailor the solution to your particular users, time, regulations and other factors related to the location. Your product will be born in a different environment than competitors.
How to Create a Unique Value Proposition That Works?
When you are sure about the whole idea, you can start working on the Business Model. The core element of such Business Model is the Unique Value Proposition. You should be able to give answers to questions such as:
- What value your product will provide to clients?
- Why should they pay for the product?
When you conduct research and do a proper analysis, establishing the Unique Value Proposition will be a piece of cake. When it is defined take care of all the other aspects of your business like costs, revenues, resources, etc. which strongly affect product success.
Successful Digital Product: What Does It Mean?
‘The favorable or prosperous termination of attempts or endeavors’, ‘ the accomplishment of one's goals’, ‘The gaining of fame or prosperity’ - a lot has been said about success itself. But what? There is no universal answer. In fact, all entrepreneurs should ask themselves such a question before the product is designed.
The success should be able to prove, so you will need to establish measurable goals and deadlines possible to reach. For example: after one year from the launch of the beta version, the product will reach 10000 of active users. Having such goals established you will be able to verify the performance of the product after implementation. For all people involved in product creation, this should be a guideline to follow.
Product Design Helps Achieve Business Goals
And here is the crucial point - the product design has to support business goals. Many entrepreneurs confuse The User Experience Design with User Interface Design (graphics). Both are elements of the Product Design but before the final look and feel are created your product needs a good plan and execution. This is a job of User Experience Designers (UX Strategists, UX Architects, etc.). Beside creating prototypes and wireframes designers are responsible for conducting research, making analysis and usability tests to validate if the current project supports users and business goals. Their decisions have an impact on conversion, site statistics, and user satisfaction. UX is not only about making user-friendly websites but most of all is about making the products that do their job.
To sum up. Instead of making a list of functionalities for your product, start with the User-Centered strategy. Hire the right people who will guide you through the steps of the process. It will make a profit and reduce the risk you take starting a new project.