This week, let’s bring the focus back to the ingredients that go into building great products. Now you might have a brilliant idea which can translate into a great product, or perhaps you’ve found just the right gap in the market that you think you can fill with a new product.
The next step would be for you to validate whether there really exists an opportunity for your product – are there users out there who want your product? Next, you would need to actually come up with your product solution that is usable, useful and feasible. This means fleshing out your product idea and getting it validated by your customers and your engineering team.
Often, this phase isn’t easy – and organizations tend to spend a fixed amount of time for this process of validating the product opportunity or problem and finding the solution for it. Even start-ups sometimes fall into this trap and begin the development phase without completely validating the business idea of the product – and this many a times results in developing products that are unsuccessful in the market.
One way to reduce the chances of product failure is to build prototypes that very closely resemble the envisioned product in terms of the workflow, user interaction, design and functionality. Before making significant investments in development, you will have a chance to discover the good things about your product, the stuff that can be improved and whether your users can actually use your product easily.
The other advantages of doing high-fidelity prototypes are that it forces you to think through your product to a great degree, encourages collaboration between the product management team, the user design team and the engineering team, gives you more accurate time and cost estimates and ultimately results in better products – that are clearly defined, validated by real users and have eliminated any potential show-stoppers early in the product lifecycle.