Let’s go over the most common errors companies make when creating a digital product.
There is no iteration from the original MVP to improve the product
When companies have the final products, they don’t integrate user feedback or apply a methodology to measure user behavior. They just launch them and then wipe their hands clean of anything that happens afterwards. You might currently have a beautiful application. You followed the right processes, understand your why, did wireframes, launched with the market, etc. However, it’s like a new toy. The users will look for something else when they get bored. You have to constantly be collecting and integrating feedback and making improvement accordingly.
Let’s plug in another real-life example here. Do you remember Hi5? Why did people move from Hi5 to Myspace even though Hi5 was better? It’s because Hi5 assumed that people were happy, and they assumed that they knew what users wanted. So, they stopped asking for feedback. Then, when Facebook entered the scene, it was an obvious replacement for both. Facebook is a picture-perfect example of how a digital product can evolve with its users over the years. What it was like over a decade ago is completely different from what it is today. This is because they always collect feedback and change to improve user experience. In short, never stop listening to your users. If you do, there will be no future value in our product, and you won’t be able to pivot adeptly. You’ll be the next Hi5.
They develop a product too soon or too late for the market
Sometimes products are launched too soon, and the MVP has no aggregated value. Or, they’re launched too late, and there’s already another competitor. Companies who are launching a digital product should not only ask users for input before developing, but also give users the software so they can start testing it. Then, launch the product when you have something valuable people can use.
Try to launch something functional; don’t wait for it to be perfect. However, like we’ve mentioned before, do your preliminary research beforehand. An example of a company that jumped the gun was Google with their interactive Google Glass. The idea sounded great, but people never actually use them. There were too many risks as well as privacy and security issues. Neither Google – nor its competitors – stopped to think if people actually need glasses like this.
On the other side of the spectrum is Blackberry, which was incredibly popular when it first came out. However, they didn’t keep up with worldwide trends, and better software appeared. Because they waited for too long to change, Blackberries slipped into the technological void in favor of more user-friendly products. There is no perfect formula for this. Test the market and take risks.
Likewise, being afraid to fail is a large roadblock here for many companies. Don’t be so fearful to fail that launching takes too long. Fear will always be there. It’s how you manage the fear that counts.
They choose the wrong partner for development
Another common error companies make when creating a digital product is choosing partners that aren’t adequate for what they need. Again, we’re going to refer back to the house example on this last point. Imagine you have $2 million and want to build the house of your dreams, but you can’t because you know nothing about construction.
If you don’t know what you’re building, how can you expect to manage it? The same happens with companies developing products and software. When companies are unfamiliar with the technology but want to manage the development of the product, they sub-contract developers. However, developers can over-deliver for the company’s needs, and then, they end up investing a lot of resources on an overcomplicated solution.
So, how do you choose an ideal software development partner? Get referrals, and opt for the partner that provides you with security. (They’ll be the ones with a process who understand how to meet you where you are and accompany you to your end goal.)
In sum, mistakes are made by the big and small alike.