Developing a digital product can be tedious. At a time when the internet dominates society, digital products continue to rise in popularity. This is why it is important to know the various stages of developing quality digital products to set the process in action properly. From ideation to maintenance, each step is critical to reach the pinnacle of the project.
One aspect of its development is the testing of the digital product. This is important to ensure the quality of a digital product before its release. Product testing, such as alpha and beta testing can be utilized by project managers to know the problems with the product. It will be beneficial to try and use both types since no one wants a faulty product to be released in the market.
Besides the ones mentioned above, know more about the key stages in developing quality digital products in this article.
What are Digital Products?
Digital products, also called digital goods, are products that exist electronically. These are intangible products that are usually found on the internet. The notable progress of the digital world made it possible for various digital products to exist. Online articles, music, e-books, online subscriptions, and online advertisements are all digital products.
Digital ads grew in the past years as evident in the US digital ad market spending of $243.89B in 2022. This goes to show the rising demand for the market of digital products. Thus, more people are consuming these goods in their daily lives.
Developing quality digital products means that each step is appropriately considered. These steps fall under three stages, namely:
- Pre-development Stage
- Development Stage
- Post-development Stage
These stages help project managers set the timeframe of their development process. They would be able to clearly define the necessary steps they should take to develop and launch a quality digital product.
I. Pre-development Stage
The pre-development stage is where all necessary planning and preparation should be done. From the design to the implementation, this stage is essential to know what is best. Whether it be which product, design, or features are best fitted for the chosen market, this comes before the development stage to ensure that each process would be smooth sailing until the end. Below are some pre-development steps that should be taken.
First and foremost, one must explore different ideas for the desired digital product. Having multiple choices would help filter out the best and most feasible idea. Utilizing methods such as a SWOT analysis would be great in identifying the pros and cons of a project. Once an idea is chosen, it can be further tweaked to fit the proposed product concept and functions.
Doing proper market research is essential to know the current trends and timely software to ensure the quality of a digital product. Doing so will offer vital information on the approaches and methods that will be utilized in its development. Market research also helps identify the target audience, existing market competitions, and the lapses in the market that can be addressed. Knowledge is key, and knowing every aspect of the market will be crucial.
Setting the Budget
It is key to realistically set the financial capacity of the project before its development. Identify the financial resources available and wisely set its spending. Having a sufficient budget is key to reaching the full potential of a digital product. This means that the team will allocate funds so as not to break the bank while ensuring quality.
Initial Design and Prototype
What should the digital product look like? Depending on the type of digital product, the next step is to identify what design will work. After creating an initial design, create a prototype that all stakeholders can critique. The prototype can include the main functions of the chosen digital product or some basic design features as well. Overall, it serves as a test product to identify issues.
II. Development Stage
The development stage itself is relatively easier if the pre-development process is done properly. At this stage, the project will come to life as its creation and development start.
It is now time to decide on the final design for the digital product. After having a prototype, it will be easy to identify what and what does not work for the product. Keep in mind to create a UX design that focuses on user experience and their interests. This will ensure that the product will be in demand in the market. The final design must be sketched and checked by all stakeholders before moving to its creation.
Digital Product Creation
At this point, the digital product will be created based on assessments from the initial design, the prototype, and the final design. One can find various companies to help in creating a digital product that will fit the vision of the project. After its initial creation, multiple tweaks and revisions can be made.
It is important to do tests on the digital product before its formal launch. Testing will promote quality assurance so that the product is realistically functional. Usability testing will be beneficial to gauge how well people can use the product. Further adjustments and more tests can be done until the product is at its peak.
III. Post-development Stage
After developing the product, it is time to release it to the public. This stage highlights the importance of branding, advertising, and preserving the quality of the digital product. By doing so, people will continue to use it.
It is now time to formally launch the digital product to the market. Continuous analysis and research must be done to know the details about the market and user behavior. After such, consider two launch approaches for the project. One, the launch can be big so that people will quickly know about it and start using the digital product. Second, it can be a discreet launch to identify initial bugs in the product before it spreads to more people.
One must have a market strategy to make the digital product well-known to the public. It would be beneficial to partner with influential figures who will help put the product into mainstream platforms. It is helpful to prioritize user engagement and experience. Overall, an effective marketing strategy will be vital to keep the product prominent in the market.
The journey of a digital product does not stop with its launching and marketing. Product maintenance and updates must be done regularly to address bugs and feature issues. Addressing user concerns is also important to maintain their loyalty to the product. Feedback mechanisms such as customer chat support can be implemented to know users’ queries. This creates a sense of trust between the project managers and its stakeholders.
The digital product market will only continue to rise. More types will evolve from previous ones as people and industries continue to innovate. With that, it is important to know the basic steps needed to develop a digital product that can penetrate the market. Moreover, the digital product will remain successful in the long run as long as it keeps the interests of the users in mind.