Approaching the new product development phase of your business is a rewarding stage. If you’re a growth-focused leader who has proven your business concept to investors and secured adequate funding for your idea, you’ve already cleared some of the biggest hurdles in your product journey—if you’ve gotten this far, you’re on the right track.
The next big decisions you make will dictate whether your new product development gains revenue and meets investor expectations or fails to appeal to the market and folds. While you’ve successfully identified a valuable gap in the market, building the right product to fill the void is an entirely new challenge.
It’s common when building a new product to discover that you’re working within a loosely defined product space. The product vision often becomes clear much sooner than a concrete development plan—fortunately, there are companies like Arcweb that can help you refine that vision into a concrete, well-defined product and go-to-market strategy that will ensure success for your product and your business.
Business proficiency and tech expertise are hard to find in one place. That’s why we’ve spent the past decade creating a product development environment that combines both schools of knowledge and creates first-class digital products for our partners.
Letting the Problem Guide New Product Development
It’s very common for a company at this stage of the product development journey to not have a crystal clear understanding of their upcoming product. There are endless critical choices to be made about the architecture, software development, and UX design of your new product—with so many different possibilities and combinations, it can feel impossible to determine the right path.
The first critical product development step is gaining a clear understanding of the problem that you’re solving. Why is this problem meaningful to your customers? How can you build a solution that solves the issue for them? Our product creation teams always let the problem guide the resolution, and we use a collaborative approach to identify specific pain points that end-users are experiencing and engineer unique solutions that help our clients differentiate themselves in the market.
5 Steps to Identifying the Right Product Concept
Identifying the right product looks different for every organization, but we believe there’s a sure-fire way to accomplish successful product conception every time. Arcweb uses a proven process that filters through the fluff and identifies features and capabilities that will bring authentic value to your products and your business.
Inexperienced developers often try to develop products by “building to spec”—asking for specific directions from the client and building exactly what they say. Unfortunately, this approach wastes time and resources by placing the onus for guiding product development on their customers and relying on them to identify mistakes after the fact. At Arcweb, we identify what will and won’t work early on and guide the development process in a way that ensures that we meet both user and business expectations the first time.
Our customers have found that our process minimizes risk, maximizes budgets, and helps them meet investor expectations on time and within their scope. By asking the right questions and gathering actionable insights, we achieve digital product success every time.
Step One: Understand the audience
Arcweb starts every engagement by gathering relevant information about all stakeholders involved and painting a clear picture of the audience. Our teams gain an understanding of who the end-user is and how they will interact with the interface.
While developing a digital wellness app, we used surveys and public forum threads to understand user experience preferences for those who suffer from migraine disease. The user research led to game-changing design decisions such as a permanent dark mode for light-sensitive users.
Step Two: Understand the problem
Building a solution that nobody asked for is a frequent startup flub. Avoid creating unmarketable products by determining why users would want to adopt your product. What motivates them to use this tool? What are their end goals? The Arcweb team uses interviews and other types of research to determine what result the user is anticipating and build products that meet user expectations.
Step Three: Analyze how the problem is currently solved
Product leaders need to identify the current solution to the problem and the pitfalls of that option. Our teams work closely with internal and external stakeholders to discover a list of common pain points for customers before prescribing a solution.
Maybe a workflow is too complicated to be used efficiently. Maybe users can’t seem to recognize that an individual feature is available to them. Insights like this will help ensure a successful product. (You can also examine existing competitors in the marketplace and how they perform to gain insight about which elements users seem unsatisfied with.)
Step Four: Establish a better solution
This is the step where your original product concept gets to shine. Why did you pitch this idea and how does it solve the user or stakeholder’s problem? Which elements of the problem are you optimizing and what’s going to stay the same?
Maybe you’ve determined that a workflow needs to be simplified or automated. The solution could be that a certain feature needs to be more prominently displayed so that it’s easier for users to identify. What exactly is going to change?
On an Arcweb project with a medical tech company, the client tasked us with solving a user experience challenge by making their pharmacogenetic data more useable for their in-house pharmacists. The result was a thoughtfully designed virtual dashboard that dramatically reduced the number of medication error-related hospital visits amongst patients.
Step Five: Actualize the New Product Solution
The final step is condensing all that research and gained understanding into a clearly defined product vision that meets stakeholders’ needs and drives long-term growth for your business. This is where you (and any product development partners) will agree on the ideal feature-set at launch, how it will be presented to users, and ultimately how they’ll use it.
If you’re curious about what other digital leaders are investing in, here’s a list of the top emerging features and capabilities that companies utilized in 2021 and the top motivations companies had for adopting them:
Defining the ideal product is difficult and requires a specialized skillset—we recommend getting an assessment from business technology experts.
Approaching New Product Development Strategically
Envisioning the ideal product is one of the most exciting and essential parts of the product development journey: it’s when innovators can start seeing their business ideas come to life. Don’t make the mistake of failing to do your product concept justice by choosing the wrong team.
Combining cross-functional teams and real-world product acumen with deep technical expertise, Arcweb knows how to ask the right questions and find the right solutions. We have extensive experience working with growth-focused leaders to define the ideal Version 1.0 of a product and bring it to market successfully—on time, within scope, and under budget.
If you’re a growth-focused startup, hire the experts and ensure long-term success and growth for your company. (One of our partners in dental tech recently acquired Series B funding after partnering with us for their initial launch, and several have gone on to major successful exits and acquisitions.)
If you’re looking for direction and expert execution, talk to the business technology experts at Arcweb and learn more about how you can get started.