To figure out the mechanics of building a product, first, you need to have a clear outline of what type of product you are trying to develop. Is it a consumer app or a B2B app? Is it a mobile app or a web application? Once you have a clear vision about your product, explore the distribution channel — research on how your product is going to reach your customers. Regardless of the type of product, you are building; there are mechanics for building products which we will discuss in this blog.
The mechanics of building a product that your users will love are summarized in the following steps:
- Distribution Channel
This stage is all about exploring the ways your product will reach your users. You can either approach your users or users can approach you. However, in the early stages, the former seems to be a better option. You can use advertising to reach your audience, go to conferences where your user’s hangout, or even use blogs and emails to reach out to them. You want your users to be aware of your product. If users don’t know about your product, your product is in an existential crisis.
- Instant Value
Once your users know that your product exists, think of a way to provide them immediate value. Value can be both real or perceived. For instance, Grammarly does it well by providing a browser plugin. You do not need to log in to the app to use Grammarly, instead can use it independently using the plugin. The instant value lures your user to try out your product for the first time. The same immediate solution will ultimately drive them to be a loyal user.
Let’s assume your user comes across your product, but the chances of them leaving is very high unless you can provide them with an immediate value. By merely making the user’s onboarding process simple, you are adding value to that user. Onboarding is crucial when it comes to digital products. For the mobile app, there are many steps that a user need to go through to use the app. It starts with going to play store/AppStore, downloading, logging in, and so on. You want to make this process as frictionless as possible for them. Right digital products are ones where onboarding is smooth. That is why to spend enough time in interviews to figure out your user’s preferences before the product development. Once onboard, we come back to the value proposition again. You need to provide users with a reason to keep coming back to your app. For example, for a person who continually needs to send emails, having multiple email templates will save time. If your solution has that feature, the user is more likely to turn to you whenever he/she needs to send emails.
- Single utility
It is always better to test out your app for single user utility before heading to multiple user utility. Build an app that is usable for a single person. Make sure the user will use the app regardless of multiple user interactions. It should be a self-sufficient platform where an individual user gets the best value proposition. When you are sure that is achieved, head on to multiple user utility.
It requires you to interact with users to validate the features. Once you have validated the features, it’s time to scale it up for multiple utilities. Small companies may not always be able to invest so many funds on customer research, so they can imitate from products that already work. For instance, we build a healthcare product with similar features to Facebook; this reduced training cost as users were accustomed to using Facebook. Since, the features were already validated, experimenting cost and time are reduced.
All the steps mentioned above need collaboration with the design and development of the team. They are part of the entire process, which is iterative.
Having worked as a development partner for years, we suggest educating clients to work through the above phases. Once, it starts working and achieving the desired results; we earn the trust of our clients.
In conclusion, always start by validating the processes. Build a product in such a way that it’s easy, frictionless, and delightful to use. Tap into early users and provide them value as they are the ones who will advocate your product. They will market your product and create a network effect reducing acquisition cost and increasing customer life cycle value in the long run.
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