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Thursday 19 September 2019
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What is the “Right Way” to Build Software Products?

What is the “Right Way” to Build Software Products?

Developing software is a serious business.  We have been doing it for quite a number of years, and we have watched organizations make the same development mistakes with their products time and time again.  The perfect conditions need to be in place for this process to run smoothly. This article will delve into how to transform the way you deliver the applications that are critical to the success of your business. 

We all understand that the technology we use is critical, software development is a human effort and should be led by the individuals who understand development and its relationship to driving your business goals.   

The key to building a profitable product includes a focus on the user and should not come with the technological minefield that it often seems to be.   It can almost seem like an impossible task for the rest of us who aren’t the requisite “tech-giants”.  As software-product designers, developers and testers we should strive to ensure that our clients have success and minimize the challenges that occur. 

Building great products is hard and is a skill borne of experience. Many believe, they can build and design products because they know what they like as a user and should be able to create something that their customers will like and use to create profit for their business.  In actuality, the people who create great software products are the ones who are passionate about the process, yet they can be objective about the design, and of course, are always using the latest tools and technologies but are completely obsessed with the end-user experience. 

Below are mentioned a few pointers that have helped us build the right software products.

 

1. Get the Right Data and use it to guide your product planning

There is so much data you can study to ensure you are on the right track to what your business needs to do to have success in your market.  Use the data to make spot-on decisions.  Making guesses about what to build doesn’t always pay off.  Before you begin the process of determining the features and technologies and platforms you will be creating and using, make sure there is a market need. 

Even if you are an experienced product designer or strategist you should always leverage the available data in your market segment including competitors and any customer interaction data.  Your product development strategy should include a plan of action to refine, detail and validate to ensure your product is a success. 

 

2. Keeping an objective view of the project

Excitement is an integral part of the new product process.  Most new product companies and their founders and product managers are extremely passionate about their ideas. Passion may lead to making you blind you to the flaws. The best part of creating products for others is we can help you keep an objective view of your ideas to help guide you to the best decisions. 

Remaining objective in the beginning part of your software development life-cycle can be something that may be worth its weight in gold.  With that being said, passion goes a long way to keeping a project going even when it experiences serious challenges.   Balancing expectations and reality will be helpful to ensure the success of your project.  To be excited about your ideas, but at the same time, unafraid to change them if data points to certain loopholes or weaknesses in them.

 

3. Keep the user as your focus!

Software products are meant to be used!  Make it a habit to use your own product every day or at the very least weekly.  This keeps your focus on the user and keeps you in tune with their experiences.   Using your own products will help you spot problems in the customer experience quickly.   You may even come up with some optimizations you want to include in the next update of your software.  Things that only users would notice, and you will be able to understand and fix quickly.  While using your product, you’ll also get new ideas for useful new features to add.  

To be the most effective user, make sure you are using it as a tester, being self-aware of the nuances of how your product flows through the user experience will help you make the necessary modifications to increase user satisfaction that leads to increased customers and profit margins. 




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