Growth: busting digital products

While a digital product is considered active and being part of the business strategy of an organization, it should be nourished and well-maintained, such as a living being.

When it comes to technological development, the digital product must be on continuous evolution and improvement. So that firstly, it continues to attract and retain users, secondly, it is used more often and for longer, which means being more useful, and thirdly, it offers a great experience.

Developing digital products according to the product team insights and opinions or even from strict growth plans previously drowned is not enough. It is necessary a methodology that allows escalating according to the user’s needs and of the benefits to the business. That is where the “Growth-Driven Design” fits. 

Following the product launch, the user’s interactions could be measured through data collecting, data analysis, experimentations, and understanding its behaviors. The results are insights to improve several aspects. The main objective is to refine gradually the user experience to allow him to evaluate better the product, leveraging the indicators.

In practice, if a user has issues registering, the data must show which the impediments are. The “Growth”, in this case, concerns the activation indicator. Retaining, engagement, and success rate are other common examples of KPI (key performance indicators). These, allied with the collected data, develop an evolution strategy for the product.

Although it resembles Growth Hacking, the Marketing Team does not manufacture this methodology all alone. The perspective of the Development Team is also considered. In short, a multidisciplinary team, thinking about the development in smaller circles in order to leverage the digital product and business indicators.

How “Growth” works

A team dedicated to drawing the evolution strategy of a digital product has three well-established functions: the first one is the product manager, which concerns the functionalities and how much they adhere to business objectives. The second one is a data scientist (or a team of them), which establishes metrics and build dashboards from the data collected. Finally, there is a specialist in UX (User Experience), who does interviews and dynamics about the user journey.

The last two roles together provide the product manager all the information necessary to formulate improvement hypotheses and an opportunistic roadmap to develop. The data analysis process should create hypotheses to be tested in controlled experiments that are, just for a small part of the product users.

The validation of these hypotheses may or may not occur. In a negative case, new hypotheses and experiments should be elaborated. In positive cases, the reworked product is distributed to all users. If the desired indicator increases, it means that everything went all right.

The “Growth” basis is the experimentation and the development of culture around it. The liberty to quickly experiment with new strategies makes all the difference to a company that intends to innovate.

Escalates is always possible

It is never too late to apply a “Growth-Driven Design” strategy to digital products. Otherwise, it is important to think about the strategy since the beginning of the project that includes defining business indicators and metrics linked to the product to facilitate the tagging of interactions and data collection.

After all, the agile development methods always start the digital product lifecycle with an MVP (minimum viable product) and then collect data. If that information is incorrectly generated since the beginning of the project, it is impossible to understand if the product is working as expected and much less fix deviations.

Any application with a large number of users and aligned with the business objectives can have further planning. However, it is important to be aware that crucial information may have been lost when the “Growth” strategy arrives late, impairing its evolution.

From 2019, we  offer the “Growth-Driven Design”. The projects began to yield results for both new and old clients. Our main goal is to spread out to the market about the advantages brought by “Growth”, especially to those organizations that were not born within an agile culture.

Many speak of collecting data of its products but are still several steps behind in the implementation of a proper strategy. Finding new ways to speed the digital product evolution out can make the difference to companies that need to innovate and keep themselves competitive in a digitally transformed world.