There are many different products and services which exist already in the market. The vision to create something of your own is very tempting, especially when you hear from the media that something new, often innovative, has just been created. In the case of news from the world we rather get sad information. In the context of products or services we only hear that someone or something has achieved significant success. In the other case whan nothing interesting has happened with a product, you probably won’t even know that it exists. It is worth being aware that, after all, a large number of companies fail, many products do not end with success, and new services may not necessarily be profitable.
In the article below, I highlighted several aspects that are definitely worth analyzing before making a decision to create your own product or service.
For example, imagine you have an idea for an application or a physical product (or you really have an idea). You would like to ask a specialist for help to design it. Before you apply to him, it is worth considering a few issues regarding to the potential product. In this way, you will save a lot of work and money on something that will not be created or has no relevant reasons to achieve succcess. Below, I would like to present a few questions that should be answered at the very beginning. I also present tools that are very useful in the everyday work of a UX (user experience) designer which can be useful for you too. Thanks to them, you can check whether your dream has a chance of success at the initial stage and start designing your own product.
Does a similar product already exist?
As a first step can be searching the Internet for similar solutions. I mean to find your potential competition. All the solutions you find save in the form of a table where you can compare the specific features of selected products. In this way, you will perform the so-called benchmarking (competition analysis).
If you do not find a similar or the same product, maybe:
- it is used by a narrow and specific target group that you did not take into account,
- users do not share information about the product on the Internet, or owners of similar products do not promote themselves in the Google network,
- many people tried to create a similar products, but none of them became a profitable business.
However, if you find products similar to your business idea – do not be discouraged even more. Nowadays, it’s hard to think of something that doesn’t exist yet. It is important to be aware of your competition and create a better solution – to offer your potential users a specific value. The Value Proposition Canvas can help you define it. Before you use this tool, answer the next question.
What is your target group(s)?
When having a vision of your product in mind, you are convinced of its greatness and believe that it will delight a wider audience. However, focus to specify the target group that will be interested in it. Imagine your potential customer – a person who will solve its problem thanks to your product.
If you think about you potencial customer in mind, you can create a hypothetical persona.
Persona is a tool used in the UX. It is a fictitious description of the most important characteristics of the representatives of your target group. Its purpose is to understand the user. Thanks to it, you will remember better why and for whom the product is made. However, do not go crazy with the quantity – it is impossible to meet everyone’s expectations, so specify two or three of them.
To verify your hypothetical personas, talk to the representatives of your target group. The first way to do it is just a simple talk. In my opinion, it is worth preparing questions that you would like to ask them and conduct an interview, or use a survey. Your goal is to verify hypotheses, get information about their real needs and check whether they would be able to pay for the solution you proposed.
Based on interviews with respondents, you will be able to verify your hypotheses and improve your persona. Another tool worth using is the Empathy Map. It helps to understand the thoughts and feelings of users, thus focusing on their needs. You can also go back to working on a value proposition using the Value Proposition Canvas.
The best products are being created in response to the needs of their users, that’s why it’s so important to know who your product is dedicated to.
How do you want to earn?
Let’s assume that you’ve already done a great job specifying your target group’s problem and finding a solution – now it’s time to think about your business model. You can earn money, for example, by paying for the entire product, for its specific functions or by advertising. All options may be fine.
Business Model Canvas will help you work on the business model – a tool that will let you quickly and clearly describe the structure of costs and revenues.
There are many business models, and it is often easier to change the product than the way of monetization. I propose to look deeper and analyze the running companies in the industry you would like to join. The competition analysis I mentioned earlier is useful not only for considering the product itself, but (especially!) for thinking about the business model.
Remember that your business will not work if there are no people who will be able to pay for your solution.
As a summary, it is worth performing a SWOT analysis. The name is an acronym comes from: strengths, weakness, opportunities and threats. By applying this technique, you will organize all your thoughts in the simple matrix.
- Find and track the activities of your competitors – thanks to this, (almost) nothing will surprise you.
- Focus on your potential customers – talk to them and try your best to respond to their needs.
- Offer your users a unique value that stand out from the competition.
- Calculate pontential profits. Each business should makes money, isn’t it? 🙂
Check out the linked article if you want to know why UX designers should be included in the project from the beginning.