Dream Early Dream Right

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We live in an era when entire world is market place and reaching out with digital products should not be any difficult. All it needs is a product that is well designed though, and backed-up with appropriate technology platform. The purpose of this article is to shed more light on this process.

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Designing a product—more specifically in the digital context—is ultimately the result of great concept, hard work, tenacity which needs to be backed up with team work, and funding. It is a long journey and we can break this in three major phases.

  1. Product Visualization and defining the product
  2. Validating the concept through MVP
  3. Building the full scale product that can be sold and consumed.
Diagram of development lifecycle for a new product

Jesse James Garrett in his book The Elements of User Experience Design explains the 5 layered process. This process helps in creating meaningful experiences through Strategy, Scope, Structure, Skeleton, and Surface. Now if we co-relate this process to New Product Development it feels like the same thing even in the context of complete development lifecycle.

Digital product startups and budding entrepreneurs should understand that the first phase, which is the product visualization phase or the Strategy phase, is the most crucial phase. Entrepreneurs tend to start things in haste and they miss-out many critical facets of building a digital product. Design Thinking and Product Visualization Workshops have to be done to see the larger picture for the business.

This should then be followed defining the Scope of the product. User experience designers, Visual Designers play a very important role in this phase. They follow the process of Customer journey mapping, understand persona, create wire-frames, and help visualize the complete end-to-end product that has to be build even before a single line of code is written. Fail early fail fast can thus be re-tweaked to Build early–test early–tweak fast.

Once the larger canvas is seen, businesses can validate the business model, define business road-maps, calculate efforts to build the product without any ambiguity. Team size, core skills needed to build the product and product road map now become extremely clear as a Structure of the project emerges.

Now the product canvas almost ready and business mapping done, it is now time to move to the actual action. You now move to the phase when you clearly put the sprint planning in place, decide what you will do in-house through your core team and what part can be offloaded. The Strategic decision can be taken on the basis of time to market and budgets available and you are now you are on the of building a successful product.

Even though this looks like a sequential process, it can also be performed randomly as long as one has looked at all these critical touch-points of the product development cycle.

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About The Author

The author of this document is Shetall Natuu. She is a UX design consultant, author and mentor at Umber Learning Facility. This article is an outcome of observing companies, businesses, and entrepreneurs and co-relate them in the digital era. Through Umber Learning Facility, we help enterprises visualize new business models and offerings and help them draw clearer road maps of the future. This post represents her personal views and have no relation/connect with her current client engagements.