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The ability to harness the power of custom software solutions can be a game-changer.

Many industry professionals have truly remarkable product ideas that seem to boost the productivity and value of their day-to-day activities exponentially. More and more governments embrace the potential of software to provide efficient public service online with the proper speed and quality.

But if the software can do so much (and even more), how do tech giants tend to fail in their journey to grab the fruit of product success?

The development process is challenging and costly. It requires a blend of strategic vision, industry expertise, technological finesse, and a keen understanding of the ever-evolving needs of end-users to build truly required software. Thus, when one fall in love with their assumptions too much, they waste their money. Time is precious, and businesses operating in this manner are unlikely to thrive in the long run.

To deal with this issue, tech professionals developed a product discovery phase to bridge the gap between the initial concept of a product and its actual delivery. Its primary objective is to pinpoint the essential characteristics of a prospective IT solution, document technical requirements, and provide estimates for development costs.

At Axon, we don't just embrace technology; we mold it to suit the unique contours of your users' daily activities. With a proven track record of delivering tailor-made software solutions, we admit that the roadmap to successful software begins with a meticulous product discovery process. We recognize that software development is not a one-size-fits-all endeavor. Instead, we understand that even the most minor requirement might significantly affect future business results.

Today we would like to share our take on do's and don'ts of software product discovery, showcasing our readiness to commit and deliver.

The Do's of Product Discovery

Understand your users

Successful software products are built with a profound understanding of user needs and behaviors. Invest time and resources in user research, conduct surveys, and gather and organize user feedback to comprehend your target audience’s pain points and desires. Before developing a product, ask yourself such questions:

  • Will a feature bring any value to users?
  • What problem does it solve?
  • Will users be willing to pay for the feature?

These are the first questions the Axon Discovery team discusses with the client to ensure they have great potential on the market. We add Business Analyst and UI/UX Designer professionals, who are the driving force behind the understanding of what problem your product is solving and how to technically tailor the solution so that it will satisfy the user’s needs.

Know your competitors

It is essential to know if there are any alternatives on the market. It may hugely affect which features you want to focus on to stand out.

Know what your product is and what it is not

Knowing your product's identity is crucial for effective development, marketing, and customer communication. Clearly define the features, benefits, and unique selling points to articulate your product. Equally important is acknowledging what it is not, avoiding misconceptions, and ensuring that customer expectations align with the actual capabilities of your offering. This clarity fosters trust and helps position your product accurately in the market. To achieve this point, try to ask yourself the following questions:

  • Will the product still have value without this or that feature?
  • Will users be able to utilize the product features as much as possible?
  • Does the feature/product development contribute to my business goals?

Iterate and prototype

Embrace an iterative approach to product discovery. Build prototypes early in the discovery phase and gather user feedback. This allows you to make informed decisions, refine features, and ensure that the final product aligns closely with user expectations.

Axon embraces the Agile methodology, particularly the Scrum framework, to ensure iterative development. We create clickable prototypes that help present the potential solution and easily gather users' feedback.

Collaborate

Encourage collaboration between team members and all stakeholders, including clients, business analysts, designers, developers, and marketing specialists. A multidisciplinary approach fosters creativity, facilitates diverse perspectives, and ensures that the product is technically feasible and marketable.

Define clear goals and metrics

Establish clear objectives for your software product. Define key performance indicators (KPIs) that align with your business goals. Whether it's user acquisition, retention, or revenue generation, having well-defined metrics allows you to measure the success and impact of your product.

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The Don'ts

Assume you know your users

Avoid making assumptions about your users without proper research. Relying on preconceived notions can lead to developing a product that doesn't resonate with your target audience.

Neglect the requirements of engineering process

Neglecting the requirements of engineering process can lead to misunderstandings, scope creep, and, ultimately, a product that fails to meet user needs. Investing time and effort in rigorous requirements engineering is a foundational practice for successful and effective product development.

Business Analysts at Axon are professionals who ensure your requirements are concise and easy to understand for everyone on the team.

Underestimate the importance of design

Design is not just about aesthetics; it's a critical component of the user experience. People are visual creatures in nature, and a robust UI/UX design will support you as a stable foundation throughout your product journey.

Overload with features

Discovery is about a so-called “Happy pass” that will be sufficient for the users to pay attention to your product. Focus on delivering a core set of features, and additional things can always be added in the later stages. Overloading the product with features can lead to complexity, confusion, and a diluted user experience.

Delay user feedback

Waiting until the end of the development cycle to gather user feedback is a common mistake. Engage users early and often. This iterative feedback loop helps make timely adjustments and avoids costly post-launch fixes.

Product Discovery Workshop

We are happy to introduce you a product discovery workshop called Axactly. This is a 4-6 week structured event designed to facilitate understanding, ideation, and planning for new or existing product development projects.

After this workshop, you will align the team on the product vision, identify customer needs and pain points, explore potential solutions, and establish a clear roadmap for product development. Feel free to learn more about Axactly!

Conclusion

Software is an unbelievable tool that people invented to serve people, and as the tech industry evolves, so do the development possibilities.

Axon invites you to join the journey, where you will learn a lot about software development and get a fabulous and successful software solution.

Software development Team

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