Today, we are surrounded by a plethora of digital products such as web and mobile apps. A lot of crazy ideas have come true and generated billions of dollars for their owners. However, there are also plenty of great ideas and products out there that never come to fruition.
The whole process of developing an app from inception to market can be overwhelming. Chances are you have been, are, and will be investing more time and resources than you need without even realizing it.
In this article, we will discuss some of the challenges and issues surrounding digital product development and how to address them.
Let's get started!
1. Not having a clear product development plan
A development plan will determine the fate of your product. So make sure you're well-researched and well-defined before starting to build anything. The lack of investment in product development planning is one of the main reasons that many startups fail to convey the value of their products to users.
Another popular problem is, many companies are simply overconfident in their plans after getting a nod from the board or investors. They sometimes underestimate the importance of careful execution of strategy during product development and often realize this quite late. You need to know that, planning is one thing, whether things ever go as planned is another story.
When this situation persists, this becomes a huge problem when startups decide to invest their newly raised capital in features and technologies that do not match the effectiveness of their product development.
Your product development strategy should explain where you will focus your resources and how to succeed. From here, your team will focus on key issues and work more effectively.
Here are the things you need to consider when building your own product strategy:
Vision: What goals do you have for your product? Include both long-term and short-term goals.
Challenge: Why are you building this product and what user problem are you trying to solve?
Action: How will you execute your strategy? What methods are used?
Measure: Describe the KPIs that will be tracked to track and evaluate progress.
Having a clear strategic plan can help you make wiser choices and stay focused on what's really needed. So make sure that the plan to build this product is accessible to everyone involved. This will keep your team on the right track.
2. Focusing too much on Technology Instead of the Product
This often happens with tech startups or tech small businesses. With strong resources in technology, they often tend to focus only on their strengths, technology, without paying attention to users or business factors. Which factor you should focus on when building a digital product depends a lot on your business goals, context, and current resources. However, in general, you should not only focus on one factor but superficially ignore the other two factors. In fact, it's best to spread your resources evenly and try to strike a balance between these three factors.
While technology plays an important role in a product's success, you shouldn't focus too much on it and ignore other factors. Customer experience is also one of the important KPIs that you need to pay attention to. So make sure that your application does not bring any discomfort to the user experience.
So how do you make sure your product provides an incredible customer experience? (incredible customer experience)
These are the questions you need to answer:
Can the user use the application without any problems?
Does it cater to the needs of the user?
Can users easily find the feature they are looking for?
Does the application provide some value to the User?
Can users trust your app?
Remember that technology is simply used as a tool to build your digital product. Customers will not be too concerned with the technology behind the mobile app they are using. They will only care about the experience your digital product brings.
Another factor is also needed to pay attention to is business, because no matter how advanced your technology is and ahead of competitors, it will be meaningless if you cannot make any profits from it.
3. Adding too many Product Features
Most successful apps are not those that offer too many features. Products that focus on solving the right pain points for new users are successful in the market. If the digital product you are building is a website, it is still acceptable to have multiple features on one screen to some extent. However, having too many buttons or content on one screen in a mobile app can confuse users. Adding more functionality only increases the cost and time of the project. It also becomes more difficult for users to easily understand and adapt to the application.
Focus on streamlining and refining your apps/products to make them as simple as possible without compromising the basic functionality of your apps.
Your goal should be to deliver a message and solve a problem, not surprise users with extra features. For a better understanding of your digital product, you can quickly note down all the features that you want to see in your app and they make 2 columns:
- Features that need an extraction and are the core of your product
- Good feature but can be added later.
This simple work will give you a better picture of which features should you really add to the app and which ones you can skip for now. There is no app that is perfect at the first launch. You can always add more features to the app based on customer feedback. In fact, always listening to users and improving their digital products is what makes many businesses successful in the market.