We like to say that when you launch a new website or web application you are on day one.
What we mean is that you need to be ready to grow your product based on how your customers are using it. But before you can start customizing your product based on how it is being used by your customers, you must first decide what your product will do on day one.
We have tons of experience helping our clients do this, and we are always perfecting our process to make day one as successful as possible for them. We have helped startups and existing organizations launch new web products, showing them that the reward of offering something new to the world is well worth the hard work it takes.
When we undertook one of our biggest web product development endeavors for a major home improvement franchise, we knew we had our work cut out for us. We spent over six months learning the ins and outs of their business and used our full arsenal of user research methods to determine how we wanted to move forward.
The ultimate goal of our discovery phase was to determine what features would best support the ideal experience for the client's users. We were not offering a list of features that we thought were cool, but rather a list of features that were the best fit for their business, customers and franchise owners.
The two keys to getting to this list were to leave no stone unturned and to be completely transparent throughout the process.
We stared with in-person and phone interviews with all of the possible user groups for the product. We determined what tasks were required to complete their goals, and even went further to identify existing processes that made their tasks easier – and processes that made their tasks harder.
From those interviews, we created a comprehensive list of all the features that might be needed in the product on launch. After that, we created surveys for the stakeholders to prioritize the features. Finally, we created a chart that compared the features from least to most valuable and conveyed the estimated level of effort to build these features.
The chart allowed us to quickly identify which features were necessary for launch and which were not. For example, those with a low value to the business but a high level of effort to build were pushed to a parking lot of future improvements. And those with the highest value, of course, were prioritized as starting points.
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