Digital product creation: 6 essential considerations

How do you create a digital product that works for your users, rather than makes your users work?

Digital product creation is a rigorous process of conceptualising and designing cutting-edge web and mobile experiences. It certainly doesn’t happen overnight, even if our talented designers could create seamless user experiences in their sleep. Instead, we meticulously plan each critical aspect of a digital product so that our clients receive only the very best of Shoreditch Design.

To kick off our production cycle, there is a sacred set of considerations that we make before putting pen to paper. Now, we’ve already written a full guide about how to make digital products, and even show off some of our favourite examples, which you can find here. However, we want to peel the curtain back one step further: what deliberations go into the creative process before our digital product creators start drafting?

Considerations to make before digital product creation

Digital products have become integral to our daily lives, offering convenience, entertainment, and a whole world of user-specific solutions right at our fingertips. The creators at the helm of Shoreditch Design approach the process strategically to ensure that all products not only meet user expectations, but exceed them.

Here are some of the questions to think about before making a digital product.

1. Will you target web, mobile, or both?

The first decision you’ll face is whether to target the web or a mobile platform. Naturally, both options have their respective advantages and disadvantages. For example, web applications offer accessibility across various browser-enabled devices, making them suitable for broader audiences or when your user persona is not predominantly mobile-oriented.

On the other hand, mobile apps can leverage native features and provide a more tailored experience, right in the palm of your user. This allows them to make use of your digital products on the go and embrace omnichannel opportunities that blur the line between in-app experiences and the real world.

To align the choice with your target audience's preferences and needs, you should carry out some initial market and competitor research, identifying ideal users and their digital product pain points.

However, the choice between web or mobile isn’t always a two-pronged fork in the road. When we worked with TradingSim, for example, our designers were brought in to revamp both their web and mobile trading room experiences.We helped to flesh out the platform for the big and the small screen alike, developing features that could be integrated across either user interface.

2. Do you have design guidelines in place?

The best digital product designs are those that are consistent (among all of their other positive traits, of course). A cohesive visual identity is the key to creating a professional and polished digital product. But to achieve this, you’ll need to lay down the early groundwork by building out your design systems and guidelines. These encompass the standard visual elements that will unify your final designs, such as choices of typography, colour palette, buttons, and icons.

Once you have your assets figured out, you can get to work on designing the rest of your product based on these guidelines. Ultimately, this ensures that you present users with a familiar, user-friendly experience that they will come to associate with your brand.

Consistency was the goal when we worked with gaming PC insurer NZXT. The team approached us looking to build a comprehensive icon library to distinguish their products from the rest on the market.Our designers got to work to build a visual language for everything NZXT — perfecting the stroke weights, endpoints and curves of 200+ custom icons that would set their image assets apart from competitors.

3. Have you conducted adequate UX research?

Before diving into design and development, conducting thorough UX research is paramount. This step involves understanding your target audience's behaviours, preferences, pain points, and goals.

Some of the techniques that we employ to better understand client user bases are as follows:

  • Building user personas
  • Journey maps
  • Stakeholder interviews
  • Usability testing

Each of these techniques helps to shape our design decisions and ensure that the product we build addresses real user needs. Skipping or neglecting UX research can lead to design flaws and poor user adoption if your audience fails to take value from your product offering.

Plenty of thoughtful UX research went into our collaboration with the sports tech group Sport Buff.We began by exploring an early version of their platform and looking into opportunities to improve the product, by conducting user testing and interviews to inspect where end-user challenges lay. From this, we were able to plan UI components to streamline how Sport Buff’s customers interacted with the platform.

4. What is your experience strategy?

With so much competition on the market, your digital product will only be a success if it offers a high-quality experience that users can’t receive elsewhere. To that end, you’ll need a high-quality experience strategy, too. Putting together an experience strategy means thinking deeply about the functional and emotional aspects of your product’s UX.

Consider what feelings you want to evoke, how your product fulfils user needs, and how it aligns with their values. By crafting a well-defined experience strategy, you create a more impactful connection with your audience, as each choice that you make when designing your digital products will be motivated by maximising their experience.

We helped to strategise product design for the healthcare platform Barti. As a healthcare provider, Barti’s approach was to build a streamlined user experience that minimised the downtime optometrists lost to administrative tasks.Our designers provided Barti with the direction to refresh their user flow. This empowered Barti’s professional audience to better manage their administrative burden, feeling supported by the intuitive tools they use, rather than weighed down by them.

5. How will you navigate interaction design?

Interaction design focuses on creating responsive and intuitive interactions between your digital product and its users. This is the foundation of your platform’s UX, which is integral to keeping users engaged and encouraging them to return to your services time and time again. So, when you’re planning a digital product, you’ll need designers on hand to orchestrate a clear flow of navigation, logical information architecture, and well-designed user interfaces.

This process will take a user-centred approach, beginning with an understanding of user goals and preferences when using a digital product, and ending with a wireframe that shows how they will engage with it.

Streamlined interaction design was at the forefront of our planning for the nutrition platform Avatar. For each interaction, we wanted to reduce friction for users and support them to form easy habits, embedding the app into their day-to-day lives.The Shoreditch Design team created micro-interactions and slick transitions throughout the interface to make every engagement with Avatar look good, feel good, and encourage repeat use.

6. Can you build a prototype?

One final consideration to make is whether you’ll build a prototype for the features or digital product that you’re creating. Prototyping is a vital part of the drafting process for many of our creators, bridging the gap between design and development. It allows us to visualise our digital product's functionality, assess user interactions, gather feedback, and make informed design decisions.

Interactive prototypes simulate the user journey, uncovering potential challenges and improvements early in the design process. This iterative approach saves time and resources in the long run, ushering your product further along the path from concept to reality.

Civvy St has the noble ambition to help military service people adapt back to civilian life. To expedite getting their mobile app to market, we helped the Civvy St team develop their product and build a prototype to take to investors.Within just a few weeks, we had designed a new website, brand, and UI for Civvy St to help stakeholders visualise the final product. This way, investors could put a beautifully designed face to the idea that they would be funding, encouraging them on board.

How to create a digital product the intelligent way

As we said, digital product creation is no small feat. With so many moving parts to consider, and the growing pressure to make those parts look beautiful, you’re best off collaborating with an experienced digital product design agency.

At Shoreditch Design, we carefully consider each of the above components in our digital product planning process. From platform selection to user research and interaction design, each step we take is one step closer to sending your product out into the world.

Our designers have navigated the challenges of digital product creation across countless industries, honing their skills in design, usability, and technology. To get the ball rolling on your project, get in touch with a member of the Shoreditch Design team today and we can have a chat about your design needs.

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