3 critical questions to help make your digital product a success

by Hans Lambert Pedersen| Knowledge

2 dots and a question mark about digital product design

To create a successful digital product, you must detach yourself from the idea and think long-term instead – starting with these three key questions

If you’re wondering how to sell a digital product more easily or what the blueprint is for making a successful solution, you need to ask yourself the right questions.

Over the years, our team at Stoked have helped many businesses create impactful digital products that improve the everyday lives of people.

Based on our experience, we’ve learnt that the quality and success of a digital product is largely dependent on the quality of questions that are asked by the client. Having an idea may provide a short-term fix, but it won’t help you grow or digitally transform your company. You must look beyond the concept and evaluate user demand.

To make sure that you get the solution that’s right for your customers' needs, we've listed the three most important questions you need to consider before starting the digital product creation process.

Key questions for digital product success

#1: What is the main problem that you’re trying to solve (for the user)?

It sounds simple and obvious, but a lot of people often forget to consider this. Instead of asking this question, they start working on the idea right away.

However, having a brilliant idea for a digital product isn’t always enough to make it a success. If you don’t take a step back and ask yourself what your idea is trying to solve, then it can end up as a gimmick with no substance. If you want to create a valuable solution, you should take the time to understand common user problems on a deeper level.

"A great solution to the wrong problem can be worse than no solution at all: Solve the right problem."

Donald Norman, from the book The Design of Everyday Things.

Ask yourself:

  • Why am I making this solution?
  • What kind of problem does the user have that I’d like to solve?
  • What kind of change am I trying to make in the everyday life of the user?

It’s essential to evaluate your idea based on the problem you’re trying to solve. Does it solve the problem? Or is it simply plugging a gap on a short-term basis?

If you’re facing more than one problem, think about which one is the most important and what would add the greatest value for the user when solved? 

#2: What business goals are you trying to achieve?

Once you know what problems you want to solve for the user, start considering how relevant they are to your business. For instance, does the customer problem match your business goals? How does the digital solution create value in your company?

All businesses start with a purpose. It can be economic or social in nature, or both. Sadly, many people focus too much on technology, thinking that this will create value in itself. But it doesn't.

If your product or feature doesn’t align with your business goals, why should you pursue it? It won't generate income for the company or help you grow. It’s hard to justify your actions if it doesn’t provide a genuine return on investment from an economic or social standpoint. 

Of course, people may still be initially impressed with your solution. But without creating value, it will quickly become unpopular and won’t contribute anything to the company.

The key is to make sure that your business goals are aligned with your user’s goals. Focusing on only one can result in failure to achieve the other. To avoid this, aim to find what we call the golden centre – whereby your corporate goals overlap with the user goals.

#3: How do we measure project success?

Establishing clear goals is key. Although, it’s also imperative to think about how you're going to measure your success and failures. This starts with setting key performance indicators (KPIs).

Those of us who work with digital products and services can learn a thing or two from marketing departments. They measure, weigh and account for almost every change that is made. This is something you need to do if you want your digital product to be a success.

Ask yourselves: 

  • How can I measure whether I have succeeded in solving a problem for the user?
  • How will I measure our success in meeting our business goals because of this solution?

 Here are some digital product KPI examples: 

  • Our new self-service solution is a success if we’re able to reduce the number of support requests by 30%.
  • Redesigning our platform is a success if we’re able to reduce the number of cancelled subscriptions by 15%.
  • The new communication tool is successful if the average turnaround time for a request was reduced by 15%.
  • The new scheduling function is a success if the number of trips created increased by 10% per hour for each driver.

In a nutshell, if you want to make the design process a lot easier, you must consider what change you want to implement and how you want to measure it. This method will also enable you to effortlessly evaluate different solutions when you assess them against specific goals.

Final thoughts

In our experience, companies often focus on what and how, but tend to overlook the why. If you seriously want to create a better solution for both the user and your company, you should learn to:

A.       Ask better questions.

B.       Be more curious and get a better understanding of the problems you’re trying to solve.

C.       Understand how your digital solution interacts with the rest of our business.

These three questions will help you become more efficient and effective in creating the right digital solution.

If you’re having trouble asking the right questions and establishing the right process for your digital product delivery, give our team a call today. At Stoked, we can provide you with an objective view on how to create an impact digital product that makes a difference for the people that use it.

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