Design
Magdalena Klimza
Magdalena Klimza
Head of Business Unit
2021-07-22

How to Build a Digital Product from Scratch

For some of us, the product design process still remains a mystery. You might conclude that it consists of many indescribable and chaotic steps – it surely begins with product idealization and ends with product launch, but the middle part is basically a gigantic question mark.

If you are willing to create your own product, it is extremely crucial to know each step of the product design process so that you could adjust it to your product idea. That process aims at crafting a user-centered plan for a product followed by assorted approaches and techniques. Stay with us to learn more about each step and most common methodologies used while product design.

Let’s take a closer look at what are the most common product design steps moderately alluding to the concept of Design Thinking’s iterative process.

how to build digital product?

1. Research

This is the step where you want to gather evidence that will give you an understanding of what the targeted audience deeply desires. The key to taking full advantage of this step is identifying the main directions in which you want to design and develop your product. Research consists of numerous steps, here are some of the most common ones:

Benchmarking

Dive into the landscape of similar products. Check out which technologies they are based on and take a closer look at the design patterns. This will allow you to position the new product better and maybe even generate some new ideas to implement. Beside gaining knowledge about similar products, you will also meet the approach of already existing players on the market which will benefit you in building the right expectations as you launch your own idea onto the market.

Briefing

Before starting a serious project, hold a meeting with your team. Provide them with all the pointful information – set goals, present the vision of the project and don’t forget about the business requirements!

2. Ideation

Now it's time to unlock your potential ideas and get creative. With all the information you’ve gained after an in-depth research, you want to formulate a core of your product design process and unjumble the user’s needs with your own business model. What’s crucial here is the close collaboration between the designer and product owner.

Moodboard

Moodboard should steer you towards understanding the product flow by collecting a set of visual elements such as words, graphics and pictures. After it’s done, you will be more likely to examine if the project conveys the right values suitable for your targeted group of clients and market strategy.

Concept Visualisation

At this point, you want to generate and visualize your idea. There are several ways to achieve that. You can create a user story, impact or flow map as well as user journey. Building several scenarios will significantly help you gain a better understanding of how to provide better product fluidity.

3. Execution

This phase revolves around creating a physical model of the idea. Here are some of the most important steps you definitely shouldn’t omit:

Prototype model

What is a click-through Prototype? It’s a model of your product which is accessible online for other users through link and password. This step will allow you to gain feedback from your potential users or even stakeholders and investors. In some cases, it might remarkably boost the communication and workflow between the team of application creators and any third-party.

Style Guide

Let’s face it. You can offer the most innovative and outstanding solution on the market but if your application does not look appealing, it’s less likely to succeed. At this point, it is strongly recommended to consider all the colors, buttons, font styles to simply make it look attractive.

4. Technical evaluation

Now it's time to come down to earth and make sure that your brilliant application idea fits into implementation frames. You ought to consider if all the provided functions are achievable within the time of the project realization and available budget.

Final Project

After making sure both the design and tech are harmonized, it’s time to set the milestones of the product design process. The main aim of this activity is to provide the team with general rules on how the project is structured and what are the planned steps.

Most common methodologies used while designing a product

Each product design methodology aims at systematizing and organizing the process of product design by implementing particular tools as well as solutions to create the right workflow. Let’s be aware that product design shouldn’t only aim at customer satisfaction but also business needs. Finding the compromise between both of those aspects is likely to significantly improve your product development path. Here are some of the most popular product design methodologies:

Agile

The main point of using Agile is flexibility. In today's tech landscape, companies need to trippingly adapt to the market changes. So how does Agile help? As it is performed in self-organizing teams which create quite of a collaborative environment, subteams are responsive to the changes and adjust their plans accordingly. This methodology is well known for allowing to produce top software in a cost-effective way which simplifies meeting the stakeholder’s evolving needs.

Lean Startup

This methodology revolves around creating an MVP (minimum viable product), so creating a product with enough features to attract first clients to validate the product idea in the first steps of its development cycle. Crafting an MVP primarily requires prioritization of functionalities, also in some cases reducing the number of those which turned out to be non-essential to the users’ needs. This approach allows companies to speed up their product execution and its launch to the first clients on the market. Lean’s centerpiece is definitely the opportunity to verify your product idea with realistic user feedback and still being able to improve it before it becomes a real star on the market.

Waterfall

Waterfall is commonly used in non-technology-related industries. This approach is quite stiff as every stage needs to be fully completed before moving onto the next one. In this way, the order is maintained and the planning might seem much less complicated as we prepare all the steps, such as research, design and development, before starting a project.

The main issue when it comes to implementing the Waterfall methodology into IT projects is the inflexibility and the obstacles in introducing new modifications to the already completed steps. That is why businesses operating in constantly changing environments might not find this methodology useful.

Final Words

Take into account that each client and product will demand an individual approach. You might want to implement several solutions offered by different methodologies to create suitable scope of the project. That is why you should definitely be aware of possible options and get inspired! The journey of crafting the product is long and tricky but, undoubtedly, there is nothing better than seeing the first results of your very own digital product creation.

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