What you need to know about digital product development 

by Jones David

The digital landscape is transforming into a more complex and specialized field. Startups require full digital product development, not merely a website to showcase products or services. Moreover, the shift towards mobile commerce is evident with most people using a smartphone. Developing a digital product has several distinct stages to follow, which we will look at in detail below. First, let’s define the entire digital product development process, then we’ll look at the various stages one should follow for an efficient system. 

What is Digital product development?  

The digital product development process refers to the entire product life cycle, from the initial market analysis to its final launch. The team may include designers, manufacturers, engineers, marketing, and sales staff. Once you evaluate the development phase, it forms the basis of the product. Marketing, finance, sales, and logistics decisions are taken in the development stage, while organizations develop new ideas and designs for the product. Digital product development is essentially the entire cycle of all the steps. It starts with developing the concept and product deployment. The primary goal is to create a product according to the requirements of customers. That will, in turn, increase the company’s market share. Therefore, companies carry out a thorough analysis of the customer base to assist them in identifying target markets and developing their products accordingly.

What are the main stages of the digital product development process?

The research and analyses phase is where you make decisions to proceed and build the product or not. This crucial digital product development stage indicates whether it’s worth proceeding, or focus on something different, better, and more profitable. A solution-based Design Thinking approach to problem-solving will ensure you are investing in the right idea. 

Idea Generation, Screening & Market Research 

This initial digital product development stage involves searching for new ideas for the new product. Even if you already have an idea, using brainstorming to generate ideas will help you think outside the box, thereby providing a broader list of possible solutions. You can then investigate further, test a bit more, and narrow down the list till you find the best one. Analysis and filtering of ideas will help you find the best and discard the rest. Marketing research will clearly outline problems the target audience may face. You can find out how much they are willing to pay for your service. 

Minimal Viable Product (MVP)

Defining an MVP is crucial, so your product’s first version doesn’t become unmanageable and overly-complex. A modular approach goes towards ensuring you don’t waste resources on unnecessary features. It eliminates the flashy features, instead focussing on something small, and building on it. The practical approach makes it a lot more simple if you need to change direction. Perhaps your digital product has numerous features and a broad scope; therefore, it is vital to focus on the Minimum Viable Product. 

Sketching & Wireframing

Sketching and wireframing gives you direction and an indication about what your digital product will look like, and it is helpful to create initial sketches or wireframes. It can help you clearly understand the idea, thereby making budgeting more precise and more manageable. The design process will help you know how the product looks and feels, and if it is an app, how the screens will appear on older Android tablets and new iPhones. You can create a clickable prototype to view with InVision; for instance, you can interact with the product on any device with a digital product view from a user’s perspective. You can also discuss user interface animations at this stage, and see how the transition looks from a closed to an open menu. 


Prototyping permits you to analyze things before you start developing the first product version. It may have only a basic design with the main features not integrated into the architecture. The prototype enables you to run tests with the team and target audience to check how they react as genuine users. The discussion at this stage doesn’t have to be about the design, preferably on the functionalities.

Quality Assurance & Testing 

At this stage of the development process, you can try the app to see if it’s working correctly and fast enough on all devices. You should test at every stage, so you eliminate potential problems when you launch the product

Development & Launch

Once the minimum functionalities of the digital product are defined, you can start the development process. You can implement technologies in the overall strategy to alter the initial development time and phases of transformation. The test phase of development is vital to prove the user experience with marketing with segment audiences using a beta tester. 

You are now ready to unveil your digital product. You can plan a soft beta launch before a public launch since there are often bugs or unplanned hiccups in a beta version. It always pays to be cautious and keep a low profile at the outset so you can give your product a positive start and more chance of success. It’s far better than launching too soon as it’s much harder to win back users after an unsuccessful launch. 

Conclusion: Support & Maintenance

Finally, support and maintenance should be given prominence and are an integral part of the digital product development process. Without careful planning, it could cost you a lot more than you imagine, so be sure to safeguard resources and plan for them properly. It would help if you strived to offer value for money for your partners with long term service agreements in place. You should specify that clearly upfront with your provider, or external company, and the development team within your organization. You want to avoid post-launch bug-fixes and nightmare scenarios that will likely damage your digital product’s reputation if you don’t have resources to repair or support problems related to maintenance.

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