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A Detailed Guide to Digital Product Development for Beginners and Startup

A Detailed Guide to Digital Product Development for Beginners and Startup

Digital products are quite popular in today’s industry, but digital product development is a complex and time-consuming process. Businesses must carefully plan different steps, adopt strategies, and tackle challenges before they even get started with development to ensure that they can build functional and effective digital products. To help you get an idea about the different steps, roles, and challenges involved, we have curated this article on digital product development. So, jump right into it and get started with learning more about digital product development and the benefits that you can reap.

What Does the Term “Digital Products” Refer To?

Before we jump into digital product development, we must discuss what digital products are and gain an idea about them. Digital products are intangible goods, such as services or software solutions,that are delivered electronically via different digital or internet channels available. Since there are a wide variety of digital products available, we cannot zero in on any specific form or type.

Another way of describing digital products is as follows – digital products can be thought of as services that cater to diverse customer needs and with a pervasive presence. However, these products can neither be held, touched nor tasted. To help you better understand the different digital products available, let us discuss some common examples.

Some Examples of Digital Products

Some common examples of digital products that businesses investing in digital product development services look to build include:-

  1. Software Solutions – Refer to mobile applications, computer programs, and web apps that focus on fulfilling specific customer needs.
  2. Online Services – Include services like SaaS platforms, cloud storage solutions, subscription-based services, and dating applications. Prime examples include Netflix, Spotify, and Amazon Prime.
  3. Digital Content – Refer to e-books, podcasts, videos, online classes, and streaming services that are accessible online and can also be downloaded to ensure that they are available offline.
  4. Online Courses and E-learning Modules – These are educational digital products that focus on improving the accessibility and adaptability of learning via e-learning resources and courses that allow multiple users to sign up.
  5. Subscription-Based Models – Prime examples of applications or digital products adapting subscription-based models include Netflix and Amazon Prime. These models charge pre-determined monthly or annual fees to consumers in exchange for their services.
  6. Virtual Products – A great example is decentralized blockchain technology that allows the distribution of other digital and virtual products like cryptocurrency and Bitcoin.

What is Digital Product Development?

Now that we have discussed the different digital products available, you must be asking – “what is digital product development?” To answer your question, digital product development refers to the time-consuming process of building digital products like software applications, cryptocurrency, and other examples mentioned above. Although it seems simple, the process can be quite complicated and includes numerous steps like project establishment, research, design, development, and testing.

The ultimate aim of the digital product development process is to create products like mobile applications, platforms offering services, and software programs. If you are new to tech product development, we recommend partnering with a reputed software development company to ensure that your tech product is developed as quickly and effortlessly as possible!

What Are Some Roles Involved in a Digital Product Development Team?

Digital Product Development Team

Since digital product development is not a simple process and includes multiple steps, there are numerous roles available in the team. Note that all of these roles are essential and contribute to successful digital product development. You must also remember that collaboration among these roles is essential for the successful development of a fool-proof digital product strategy.

Product Manager

A product manager plays a critical role in the decision-making process of digital product development and ensures that the project aligns with the business goals, vision, and strategy. They also play an important role in defining the features of the digital product and the project goals. Another important responsibility of a product manager is acting as a bridge between the development team and the business stakeholders.

Product Designer or UX/UI Designer

Since the success of the digital product highly depends on the user experience, product designers and UX/UI designers play a critical role in digital product development. They are responsible for designing the product’s user experience (UX) and user interface (UI) including mockups, wireframes, and prototypes. The ultimate goal is to ensure that the digital product has an interactive, engaging, and customer-centric design.

Developers or Engineers

Developers and software engineers are responsible for the creation, deployment, and testing of digital products based on project requirements and business goals. Some common development roles that you might need to hire include frontend, backend, and full-stack developers. If you are looking to hire developers in India, we recommend looking for people with a diverse portfolio or those with years of industry experience.

UX Researchers

Since user experience is important in the success of digital product development, UX researchers play a critical role. They are responsible for collecting valuable user feedback, analyzing data, and identifying different design patterns to help the development team create a product with a better design.

UX Writers

Text elements included in buttons or acting as a CTA are quite important and must engage the users. This is why copywriting is so essential and businesses look to hire UX writers who can work on creating copies for buttons, instructions, and other elements.

Project Managers

Project managers define project targets, timelines, budgets, and resources to ensure proper budget and resource utilization. They are also responsible for coordinating and handling product development-related tasks and focus on ensuring that the project adheres to the timeline and deadlines set.

QA Tester

Other than ensuring proper UI and UX, businesses must ensure that the digital products are functional and error-free. This is where QA testers help; they are responsible for identifying and reporting issues in the product and collaborate with the development team to get these resolved. This helps ensure that the digital product is stable and reliable before it is released.

Product Marketer

The product marketer is responsible for promoting a product and driving user adoption through the adoption of effective marketing strategies. Some common responsibilities of product marketers include conducting market research and driving user engagement.

Business Owners and Stakeholders

The team of business owners and stakeholders also play an important role in the digital product development process. This team provides input on the project goals, requirements, and priorities, which pave the digital product development path and the ultimate aim.

If you are a startup or are looking to develop an individual product, we recommend outsourcing your business needs by hiring a reliable and expert software product development company.

What Are the Different Steps Included in Digital Product Development?

As discussed, digital product development can be quite complicated and is not a straightforward process. But, to help you get started, we have broken down the digital product development process into sub-steps, listed below:-

First Stage

In the first stage of the product, we do not directly jump into digital product development. Instead, we take time to research the industry and other aspects involved to ensure that the ultimate project is developed successfully. This stage can be broken down into a few sub-parts as follows:-

  • Goals of the Organization

Before you invest in digital product development or cloud application development, you must focus on determining the purpose and value of the project. Not only that, you must also determine what business goals the project will help fulfill. Focus on creating a business plan that breaks down your product, marketing, finance, and business goals.

  • Ideation and Market Research

Once the goals are determined, stakeholders and other teams involved must come together to ideate. They must explore the different solutions available and determine which is the most viable. This will ensure that resources are properly utilized and are not invested in the wrong project. Teams must also focus on the current market, discuss market gaps and customer needs, and analyze the existing market condition.

  • Rough Shaping

Once you have zeroed in on the most viable and feasible solution, it is time to roughly shape its features, design layouts, flowcharts, spreadsheets, and diagrams. This stage is essential to the complete digital product development process and is focused on building a strategy that takes the business through it.

  • Digital Product Strategy

Here, you must outline the steps that are to be followed to bring your product into existence and launch it in the market. This will not only influence the initial strategy adopted, but will also influence the development budget, necessary steps, and rough shaping. If you are not experienced in the creation of digital products, we recommend partnering with an expert digital product development company.

Development Stage

In this stage, all the essential roles discussed, i.e. product managers, designers, developers, and testers, collaborate to create high-quality and functional digital products. Every team member has a unique skill set and contributes to the complete digital product development process. Some key steps that are involved in the development phase are:-

  • Exploration and Brief Details

Once your project’s outline and strategy are finalized, your team must check for any questions and assumptions that might arise down the line. You must resolve these as soon as possible to ensure successful digital product development. Some common sub-tasks included in this stage include:-

  1. Understanding what problems must be resolved
  2. Creating a well-formed strategy that helps solve issues and better reach business goals
  3. Formulating a short summary and concise document outlining project details like technical requirements, project limitations, diagrams for better understanding, and proposed solutions
  • Design

Product designers utilize low-fidelity and high-fidelity concepts to design product flows and designs in this digital product engineering stage. This stage is quite crucial and is aimed at formulating visuals that help understand how the final product is supposed to look.

  • Development and Engineering

In this digital product development stage, the development team utilizes concepts like Waterfall, Agile, and DevOps to create digital products. The focus is to boost adaptability and ensure continuous improvement without sacrificing the quality of the final product.

  • Pre-Release Testing

Once the planning, design, and development stages are complete, the next step is testing. Teams perform internal and external user testing to ensure that the ultimate product is not only high-quality but also functional. This stage requires collaboration between QA testers, designers, developers, and product managers.

Launch

As soon as the complete digital product development team has worked together and developed a product that is to everyone’s liking, it is time to launch it. We recommend you prepare for a soft launch to generate interest and proceed with an official launch. You must collaborate with a marketing team to ensure adopting a strategic approach that will help your product capture the market.

Digital Solution

Why Do Businesses Focus on Digital Product Development?

Other than the benefit of having a product that caters to the business’s brand identity and customer needs, some other benefits of digital product development are as follows:-

  • Ensures efficiency
  • Helps the business collect data on target customers
  • Ensures a low product downtime
  • Helps save costs in the long run
  • Ensures that the business is ready for a great future in the industry
  • Offers great business insights

What Are Some Important Points That You Must Keep In Mind During Digital Product Development?

Digital product development is not at all simple, which is why we have mentioned some points that you must keep in mind:-

  • Ensure that you take user inputs into account as they can provide a fresh perspective and valuable insights
  • You can customize your development approach if needed because it should cater to your business needs as best as possible
  • Collect multiple ideas from multiple sources to help foster emotions and ensure breakthroughs
  • Better understand your business goals to ensure successful digital product engineering.

Why Collaborate With Us for Digital Product Development?

If you are looking for the best enterprise web application development services in the industry, CMARIX must be your choice! Our years of experience ensure that you get access to the best solutions that are tailored to your unique business needs and goals. We recommend you get in touch with our team to start a discussion and take a step towards successful product development.

Conclusion

Digital product development can be quite complex, but we hope that the above article will help you navigate the troubled waters. Ensure to focus on each digital product development stage to develop the best possible products and services. You can also get in touch with the team at CMARIX to get the help you need to ensure success!

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Written by Atman Rathod

Atman Rathod is the Founding Director at CMARIX TechnoLabs Pvt. Ltd., a leading web and mobile app development company with 17+ years of experience. Having travelled to 38+ countries globally and provided more than $40m USD of software services, he is actively working with Startups, SMEs and Corporations utilizing technology to provide business transformation.

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