OnlineIdea | How to create an effective digital product design strategy?
User interface design
How to create an effective digital product design strategy?

Digital products are intangible goods that only exist in digital form. This means that they have practically no physical form and are stored as files. Such goods or services are sold and made available online, with the intention of offering people some form of utility. The digital form of the product allows it to evolve and create personalised offers that can be tailored to users. Based on data showing what features they find valuable, it is possible to prepare updates that increase the usability of goods or services. Examples of digital products include website templates, social media platforms, e-books, search engines or audio files, but the list is definitely longer.

What distinguishes digital products?

The intangible nature of digital products brings with it a number of characteristics that influence their success. Key differentiators include scalability, i.e. the potential for growth in the event of an increasing number of users. In addition to this, a digital product combines a very favourable cost-benefit ratio - it allows a much higher revenue to be generated in a short period of time and with a lower investment cost. Due to their intangible nature, these products are also universal, i.e. available without any time or space restrictions. This provides great flexibility and affects the automation of many procedural and organisational processes. Thus, their use by one user does not impair the quality of use by another. Good digital products necessarily also have to be practical, i.e. meet the needs of consumers with innovative technology and not be difficult to use - they should therefore be reliable in order to offer stable use. In addition to the above-mentioned characteristics, well-designed digital products are also distinguished by their high efficiency (allowing users to achieve their goals quickly and efficiently) and attractiveness - an aesthetically pleasing product evokes positive emotions in consumers.

What is a digital product design strategy?

A strategy is a general design guideline that defines the various stages of a digital product development plan. It is intended to emphasize the goals associated with a particular product, thereby supporting the vision of the business. It also enables the design team to present different solutions to the client commissioning the project - so they can decide what the product should ultimately look like. The strategy also allows the client to get to know the target group (users) better and to determine what functionalities will be crucial to introduce so that they use the product. A properly prepared strategy makes it possible to find strengths and weaknesses that can be eliminated at an early stage.

What should an effective digital product design strategy include?

The right design translates into a good product, so we've put together some tips to help build an effective strategy and achieve success.

  • A clear product vision to understand the product - creating a clear product design is to help define the product's goals and objectives. This enables you to define what type of user the product will be a good choice for and why it may be useful. The vision also allows you to determine the market segment in which the product will perform best and bring the greatest benefit.
  • Business objectives - should focus on the success of the company. It is also particularly important to set KPIs (Key Performance Indicators), i.e. indicators to monitor progress towards the goal. They help to supervise and measure the effectiveness of implemented activities, mainly in the field of marketing, sales or production processes.
  • Differentiating elements on the market - the next step should be to characterise what advantages the product has in comparison with others available on the market. This mainly involves analysing its strengths and improving any faults. It also involves considering what elements can be done better than competitors.
  • Analysing the target group - market research is an essential part of a good strategy because it allows you to find out what users need. They allow feedback on the nature of the problems and their impact on the use of the product. The analysis provides an opportunity to design a good or service that is tailored to the needs of the users and also solves the most significant problems associated with its use.
  • Potential risks - when building a strategy, it is worth preparing a list of possible problems that the creation of the product may involve. Here are some of them:
    • technical risks - sometimes new technology or rushed operations can lead to challenges. You should offer staff adequate training and recruit people with the necessary skills in advance;
    • schedule - missing a deadline can sometimes happen, so it is important to divide work appropriately. To this end, deadlines should be set for milestones during the product development process so that a convenient end date can be adjusted;
    • budget risk - when preparing the design strategy, it is worth including a buffer in the budget to cover additional expenses. This will enable you to avoid a situation where costs significantly exceed your initial assumptions.
  • Conversations with the client - contact with the client is the basis of a well-designed product. During such a meeting, a presentation of the project and an initial plan of action takes place. There is also an opportunity to discuss differing visions and problems so that the product is as refined as possible. More information on product workshops can be found here:
  • Product testing - allows you to test the effectiveness of the product and its functionality. This makes it possible to detect possible errors very early on and thus - avoid significant financial losses. Through testing, it is possible to determine whether a product has been created as designed and whether it actually meets the requirements and needs of users.
  • Systematic search for improvements - digital products are regularly updated, but customer problems are constantly changing. It is for this reason that a good strategy should constantly evolve to solve them. Therefore, the work to improve the product, must be continuous - a constantly updated digital product allows you to reach as many customers as possible. It is therefore worth keeping an eye on the market and users to find new opportunities for changes and improvements.

A well-designed product that responds to users' needs and solves their basic problems makes it possible to achieve great success. A digital product design strategy, carefully prepared and understood by all involved, has this success in mind. So knowing a few tips for building a good roadmap can create a product that users cannot do without.