Approaching the design of a new product starts with a deep understanding of the growth strategy in the organization. Product design is the art of translating the tenants of the growth strategy in actual product features and product packaging. If an organization is innovating along the chain of consumption, the product design efforts will have to focus on those product elements that can substantially help or enhance the outcome for a customer attempting to do a specific job along the chain of consumption. Conversely if your key growth focus is innovating around operational effectiveness to improve customer support and facilitate adoption, the product design strategy will have to translate int a product that is easy to provision, support and use.
Exploration is the engine that drives innovation. Innovation drives economic growth. So let’s all go exploring. Edith Widder
We think that there are 3 fundamental elements in new product strategy. They lead to define and implement a successful product strategy and ultimately build new products that respond to jobs people are trying to do ( or will try to do in the near future). These tenants are: opportunity mapping, product conception and testing methodologies.
Opportunity mapping is paramount to uncover new areas or new domains. Discover an opportunity means: analyzing the space of jobs to be done in your market as well as in adjacent markets. It also means identifying trends and upcoming un-meet needs connected to the emergence of new technologies or habits that customers or users are adopting or maybe likely to adopt. It also means exploring new and unconventional connections between your industry sector and other ones, that may result in unprecedented growth opportunities.
Product strategy is incomplete unless we translate the findings on what user-customer problem to solve into a real product. Product conception is the next exciting phase of our analysis. In this phase it is paramount to understand if the product should integrate or de-integrate functions and features. It is going to be a unified platform or rather a single feature sharply focused product?
The last tenant in new product strategy execution is validation and testing. At first it appears obvious that some element of testing must follow a design process, however the devil is on what testing. For innovative ideas, those that are trying to bring a new product to the world or even for new product to a specific segment : it is not trivial to test user behavior. Testing user behavior, poses two cognitive loads on to the users. One is the load of the user interface and the second is the functioning of the product as it is. Discerning between the two is a science and an art at the same time. Our approach is to identify elements of the new user pattern to test within other established user patterns. We also identify parallel scenarios in which we test slightly varying elements of a specific user pattern. You can learn more in our University.