Designing new products is something to look forward to. You get the chance of solving your target users’ problems, get to know your users along the way, experiment with your product, and watch your product grow. However, there are things to consider when designing new products.
The stages of product development are the process that designers need to go through to design a product or re-design an old product. These stages are crucial to ensure the quality and functionality of the product is working well for the target users. The first impression by the user is important as it builds trust and relationships between your company and your users.
Stage 1: Idea Generation
Research on your customers’ problems.
Apply your empathy soft skills to build rapport with your target users.
It is advisable to qualify each of the listed problems with the 4U approach by Michael Skok the founder of Startup Secrets: Unworkable, Unavoidable, Urgent, Underserve.
Coming up with possible solutions to solve the problems.
Narrowing down problems and solutions.
Stage 2: Idea Screening
Screen and choose the ideas that have the highest potential for success.
Using SWOT Analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats).
Stage 3: Concept Development & Testing
Building the detailed version of the idea and developing your user stories.
Stage 4: Market Strategy/ Business Analysis
Start reaching out to your target audience.
Apply the McCarthy’s 4P’s of Marketing for a new product development project (Product, Price, Promotion, Placement).
Stage 5: Product life-cycle development process
Minimum Viable Product (MVP)
Stage 6: Deployment
The process includes integrated code, software artifacts, beta & alpha deployment, and production deployment.
Stage 7: Market Entry/Commercialization
The process includes production, distribution, marketing, sales, and customer support.
10 Tips on How to Design New Products Effectively
Your product should be able to solve a need A good product should be able to solve and fulfill your users’ problems and desires. Get to know the problem and create the product that will solve the problem.
Execute the plan with a team Designing new products is not a one-man show. You need a team to assist you in all 7 stages from Idea Generating to Market Entry/Commercialization. Different individuals in your team could support you by exchanging different perspectives that you could never think of.
Research and study your competitor Don’t just focus on creating your masterpiece. Research and understand your competitors as well. What have they done? Are there any loopholes that you could add to your product that make your product a better choice? What makes your competitor one of the best products that your target market relies on?
Present a Solid Unique Selling Proposition (USP):
Stands out from competitors with your unique USP. What are you bringing to the table that is different than your competitors? How it could benefit your target users more than your competitor?
Create a product that can be easily communicated or presented to your team, stakeholders, client, and the public. This is important when you need to describe what your product is all about and why is it worth investing in your product.
Your product must be something that you are passionate about and you are willing to go the extra mile to make it work, to see it grow!-and be profitable.
Take a sneak peak onto the Social Media Get to know what’s the current hype? What are the most used hashtags? If you need inspiration, spend some time on social media platforms. Browse through what people talk about, sometimes what people rant about could highlight to you the problem that you may solve with your upcoming new product.
Open your mind to problems that you never thought could occur.
Craft and always have your elevator pitch ready You will never know when is the best opportunity strikes. It could be while you are waiting for your coffee from the barista, while you are working out at the gym, or taking your dog for an evening stroll. Imagine passing through the person you want to pitch your new product ideas, get your script out, and have storytelling skills rolling.
You believe in your product, now share the idea with the people who will support your idea and make it into reality!
Calculate the cost estimation for your new product Estimate the cost of your new product. Different stages of the product development stage could need different types of financial needs that you should be aware of before starting a new product.
Be financially ready before, during, and post product development stage.
Create the Prototype and Keep Testing Things just got real! It’s time to create the prototype of your new product. Get excited! ( and it’s perfectly normal to feel anxious too!). You can start testing your Minimum Viable Product (MVP) for early users’ use.
This is the time for you to collect the first feedback on your new product, what needs to be improved, change or function to be removed to create a meaningful and valuable product for your customers.
Sourcingfor resources and materials needs Now that you are satisfied, happy, and confident with the functionality of your product.
Start sourcing for resources, securing the partners and the materials for the product production before delivering the products to your customers.
Add-on or remove along the way. As your product is making progress in the market, take initiative to make relevant or necessary changes that fit with the current market demands and users’ needs. This is to sustain your product to remain relevant in the market in the long run.