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Launching new products often comes with a lot of excitement.
However, product owners and designers may have to improve their products consistently for various reasons.
Be it to fit changing market needs or include fundamentals that were initially ignored, product improvement is crucial.
Essentially, product improvement revolves around making the product meaningful to existing and new customers and increasing its benefits.
The two main ways of making product improvements are improving existing features or adding new features. Below are some tips to consider when designing either.
Adding New Product Features
Introducing new product features expands the scope of your product. Therefore, be prepared for a substantial marketing splash to get the latest version of the hype it deserves. In most cases, this fanfare attracts more customers, both new and existing, and introduces new use cases.
Unfortunately, introducing new features can be risky. You should be overly confident that your upgrades will be valuable and your customers will like the features.
The best way to achieve this is by conducting random surveys before rolling out these features. For instance, you can ask existing customers for suggestions on what they would like in your app/platform/product.
This information is known as VOC data or information regarding the voice of your customer.
Improving existing features
You might also need to improve specific features of your product to fit the changing needs of your target market. Existing features of a product can be enhanced in the following ways;
You should only make deliberate product improvements if you have understood why customers prefer and appreciate specific features.
Deliberate improvements should focus on making the feature better in a way that current users will appreciate. As such, this should only be done when there is an opportunity to add significant value to a product feature. A good case scenario of this option is updating the cybersecurity measures of an application.
These improvements are geared towards encouraging the customer to use product features more often.
Adding more options to search tools or more items to the activity feed will have people using or reading it more often. Frequency improvements can turn once-a-week product features into everyday features. It is best to adopt this product improvement for beneficial features that customers infrequently use.
This option specifically targets customers who haven’t used a feature. For instance, if your app has a calendar feature accessed only by half of your user base, you can use adoption improvement to win over the remaining audience.
Functionality Over Features
Regardless of the type of product improvement, you should be focused on functionality over the features. Even if a design element is useful, it might impair product functionality.
Creatives, such as designers, composers, artists, and poets, might be tempted to include many features in their products. However, too many notes, colors, or features can bring down your product.
Product designers tasked with improvements should focus on product functionality over features. A product with many bells and whistles can easily get bogged down. While you may be thrilled by the versatility of your product design, users may be simply looking for something that works. Besides, the more the features, the less intuitive the product becomes.
Solve Practical Problems
Every product becomes popular because it solves existing problems.
If your product and consequent updates don’t solve real-world problems, it becomes an item that nobody is interested in. The problem should exist and correspond to felt needs. Convincing people that they have a problem they can’t feel and that your product offers a solution is impossible. Product designers often make the mistake of framing surreal problems, contributing to the fall of their products.
The Bottom Line
Attention to detail, aesthetics, and usability are other incredible tips for designing new products and their improvements. Designing your product improvements poorly makes it impossible to convert ideas into a functional product.
These design mishaps can affect user preference, sales strategies, production costs, and maintenance.