How product definition helps your app development process
Softjourn

How product definition helps your app development process

Many great software ideas stumble out of the gate; here’s how to avoid potential failure by defining your product

August 12, 2019 by Softjourn


First impressions mean everything; according to the Nielsen Norman Group, the first 10 seconds1 are all the time a company has to persuade a user to remain on its website. Users are overwhelmed with poor design and clunky UI flooding the market. How can a company stand out?

Start with product definition. Having a good idea is great, but many companies stumble when translating that concept into reality because they focus on a desired result instead of solving a problem. By looking at your product from your customer’s point of view, you create a definition that will lead to a valuable end result.

Our customers are the experts when it comes to their needs, but Softjourn has the technical skills and acumen to provide technology solutions for real-world problems.

How Product Definition Helps You

Defining your product helps you in a number of ways: understanding the value to the customer, realizing what functionality is realistic, setting out a timeline, and saving money by understanding the journey involved.

You know which customers you want to reach, but putting a valuable product on the market involves more than fancy features and a pretty design. You have to think about your product from your customer’s point of view; rather than convincing them that they need it, how can it help them? What problem is your product solving? What goal is your idea achieving?

By understanding the real-world impact your app2 or website can offer your customer, you create a much more sought-after product. This kind of product definition will help you to stand out in a world of over 258.2 billion apps downloaded onto iOS and Android devices every day. 

Once you understand the problem you want to solve, you need technical expertise to reach a solution. This is where Softjourn can help; our years of experience makes us experts in a variety of technology solution fields. And don’t entirely discount design; almost all users who have internet access3 reported that design was the main way they judged a brand’s credibility. We can help there, too, by offering intuitive design that steps seamlessly into the development phase of the product life cycle.

Defining your product will also save you time and money by providing an accurate estimation of the necessary development time; this helps avoid costly rebuilds that could occur if the product is not accurately and thoroughly defined before starting the development phase. Product definition will help you avoid a trial and error method that might trap you in an inescapable loop.

The Softjourn Solution

Softjourn has a three-pronged, iterative approach when it comes to product definition:

  • Interview, to understand the need
  • Map, to create visuals and identify gaps
  • Document, to create trust and share information

All three circle back on each other, complementing and informing the end result throughout the design and development process.

Interview

No one knows what they need better than our customers; we treat you as the expert. We do this by holding knowledge shares in order to not only understand your problem, but also the ins and outs of your brand. Through these discussions, Softjourn identifies the minimum viable product (MVP).

Our knowledge in the Ticketing, Media & Entertainment, FinTech, and Cards & Payments industries allows us to ask questions and make suggestions that will not only result in a solution, but empower our clients to make decisions that will help expand their reach. Our expertise in technology solutions positions us well to offer advice in what will and won’t work for our clients.

Mapping

Throughout our interviews, our design team will flesh out wireframes and prototypes. It’s not enough to just discuss your idea; by mapping, we can identify any potential gaps missed in initial discussions. We take pride in comprehending our client's style and preferences; if needed, we can provide personalized advice on creating a distinctive brand via UI/UX design.

Wireframes

Wireframes are a great way to iterate quickly and throw away bad ideas without negatively impacting the budget. This helps us illustrate the various features of your product and make needed changes throughout the definition process at no extra cost.

Prototypes

Once an MVP is established, our design team develops functional prototypes that will look, feel, and function as what your end user would encounter. These can be tested against a small pool of potential users and evaluated before any development is performed. 

Documentation

We capture all decisions in a Software Requirements Specifications document. This is a living document that creates mutual understanding for everyone involved in the product creation process. Documentation helps establish the agreed-upon timeline and pricing that will lead to a finished product for both parties.

As a living document, this means it can evolve as needs change. Our main goal is trust and consistency not only in product development, but in our relationship with our clients.

Using Product Definition to Give Your Ideas Life

Making the transition from a good idea into a great product takes planning and skill. Softjourn not only has the talent to bring your Ticketing, Media & Entertainment, FinTech, and Cards & Payments ideas to life, but to help you firm up your product definition by  understanding the technical need.

Reach out today so we can get started planning your next great idea!

 

1How Long Do Users Stay on Web Pages? (n.d.). 
2Gordon, K. (n.d.). Topic: Mobile app usage
3Fogg, B.J.; Marable, L.; Stanford, J., and Tauber, E. (n.d.). How Do People Evaluate a Web Site’s Credibility? 


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Softjourn is a global technology services provider that finds custom solutions for our clients’ toughest challenges. We leverage our domain expertise in Fintech, Cards & Payments, and Media & Entertainment (with a special emphasis on ticketing), to apply new technology that brings our clients' growing needs to life. Contact us to discuss how we can make your idea a reality!