Some say when you have a good idea, you’re halfway there. But the truth is, product design can be a long and winding road, so good planning is more than essential! Check how it can look and which skills and specialists it may require.
Inventing an innovative product may take one person, but developing a successful one takes a whole village! Or rather – a qualified, diverse team with a broad spectrum of soft and hard skills. If you are thinking of bringing a product to the market, this article may serve as a guide for organizing the whole process. Whether you’re using external support or not, think forward and get things organized ahead.
Product design process – digital vs. physical
The path from the idea to a ready-made product usually consists of various stages, which depend on different factors. For instance, if you are developing an autonomous cleaning robot, you will shape your product design process differently than if you made an application.
The physical products usually involve another layer of complexity due to safety requirements and regulations. Their testing is more demanding as it usually requires testers to work in a controlled environment. With digital products, things are a bit easier, and the process itself – much more scalable. However, similar to the physical products, the digital ones also require loads of prototyping and testing.
MVP and its importance in the product design process
Regardless of the project methodology, you will likely develop an MVP before creating a full-blown product. This is a standard practice in product design, which protects you from missed investments and unnecessary expenses. MVP (Minimum Viable Product) contains the essential features that were identified as core requirements in the definition phase after understanding the needs of your target groups.
In other words, the MVP is the bare minimum version of your future product that you can test and gather feedback for future improvements. It allows you to research and experiment before the full-fledged product hits the market. Use this opportunity – after the market launch, every mistake will cost you much more, and you may lose a chance to expand your audience, which drifts away from your solution due to not having their needs met.
Should I work alone or use product design services?
There are a few directions you can take in software product design – there is no single recipe here. You have to find the most suitable pattern!
Product design consulting
If you have an internal team with both design and development skills, you may try to solve things on your own – but consider reaching out for product design consulting support. It can adopt a form of a one-time externally organized product workshop, which will help your team put ideas in order and identify the best direction for your further processes. Even the best teams benefit from an external perspective, and so does your wallet.
An independent observer can look at your project from a different angle and identify issues or opportunities that are hard to grasp from an internal perspective. Enthusiasm is contagious but also dangerous for the future of your project – someone coolheaded is thus always welcome!
End-to-end product development
Most software houses offer an end-to-end service, covering product design and development from the beginning to the end. Such a model is very convenient for companies that do not have departments responsible for digital development, lack the time and resources to participate in this process, or want to have it done as soon as possible with the best outcomes possible. An external end-to-end team doesn’t need time to onboard and align – they can kick off your project right away before a similar solution hits the market, ending your chances for commercial success.
If you have your internal team but lack some crucial skills – whether in development or design – adding external specialists temporarily might be the best idea to bring the product design process to the end.