In the fourth blog in our series on best practices in product development, we continue exploring the topic that we began in our third blog, understanding user needs. Mike, an industrial designer who, along with a small team, co-founded a small start-up that developed a breakthrough blood pressure machine, has identified the potential users for their product, but now needs to determine how to create a product that those users will want to purchase.
Mike needs to determine the feature set for his device. Many portable blood pressure machines look bulky and old-fashioned, which makes using them a chore. So the goal for Mike’s team is to create a device that has a sleek, modern look and touch-screen controls to give it a high-tech appeal. Most importantly, the device has to be able to transmit data to a website that users and their physicians can access, making frequent doctor appointments unnecessary.
The team was initially set on powering the device on alkaline batteries to make it less expensive, but adjusted their planning after additional research revealed that their typical user put waste reduction before price so was more likely to buy a higher-priced device that was rechargeable.
The team also established the Minimal Viable Product (MVP), the simplest version of a prototype that can be tested by users, by eliminating unnecessary features like controls for screen brightness and different tones to indicate completed readings. Testing early and often allowed Mike and his team to refine the product design and discover and eliminate any potential barriers to adoption of the technology.
Mike’s device demonstrates how Internet of Things (IoT) solutions facilitate the ability of devices to connect and provide critical data, while his strategic approach ensures that the right equipment is being connected and gathers the most useful data for users. However, because IoT solutions tend to be complicated due to the proliferation of different types of devices and their inherent complexity, Mike recognized the importance of having the right team of technical professionals to help him successfully implement the product development plan.
Having now established a user persona, understanding what type of product this user needs, determining the product feature set and the MVP, Mike and his team are well positioned to develop a viable roadmap which will provide a realistic timeline for the device deliverables.
Be sure to read our next blog to discover how humanizing technology is one of the surest ways to enhance product success.
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