Can we all agree that we no longer want to read about tanked software products or businesses that went bust? What we need now are success stories of how a great software product revolutionized a business or the lives of the people it was designed for. Building a great product is what every software development company wants to do. They want to create products that excite users while sending the profit margins soaring. However, how easy is it really to build such a product? Technically speaking, it should be relatively simple, right? After all, aren’t we in the technology age? But of course, that’s far from the truth. In this blog, we talk of a few critical elements that go into creating software products that will survive today’s challenging markets and make a mark.
Given the vast choice available today, what technology should you use for building a product? Should it be a technology that your current team is already comfortable with? Should you opt for the hot new technology in the market? Since the right technology choice lays the foundation for a solid software product it is imperative to choose right. This selection should be made on the basis of the business needs of the product under development, the available and required functionalities, the usage patterns, and considerations like accessibility needs amongst others. Along with selecting the right primary technology, it would make sense to try and ensure that the secondary technologies in use are robust and secure so that technology dependencies can be managed easily. Other considerations when choosing a technology stack should be the maturity of the technology so your product developers can leverage the benefit of a mature tool ecosystem to make development faster and easier.
You can only use the latest hot technology in the market if you have the right set of technology experts who know how to use and manipulate that technology to build your software product. Experts who bring to the table a combination of experience and knowledge are key. With the help of these technical experts, you can work on building the right product first and then get on to building the product right. This team of experts helps in navigating the product development minefield. They help organizations make the right technology choices and provide the contextual framework that will form the foundation for developing a great software product.
UI and UX focus
The Lean Startup Methodology recommends that during product development you constantly ask yourself if that product ‘should be built’ instead of whether it ‘can be built’. This question could well be extended to the actual user of the product to determine whether the product delivers what they demand. What would make them choose to actually use the product? Keeping a strong focus on UI and UX to create software products that provide high-class, high-value, seamless, and intelligent user experiences is of paramount importance. That is if you wish to build a superlative software product that can stand out in an overcrowded market.
To build superior software products, development teams now need to incorporate an incredibly strong testing focus on their development methodology. Research suggests that it costs four or five times as much to fix a software bug after release than when it is caught in the design process. The cost of bug discovery only increases as the software product continues to take shape. Testing early and often is now the development mantra. A clear testing focus ensures that all issues with the product get resolved early and that development timelines do not get compromised due to errors or bug discovery late in the game. Leveraging test automation, especially early in the development lifecycle, selecting the right candidates for test automation, and zeroing in on the areas where manual testing could contribute better, all play a role in ensuring the health of the software product.
Build for evolution
Great software products are built for evolution. Given the changing demands of today’s fickle customer, organizations have to build products that are future ready. A software product can only be considered great if it can evolve along with these changing needs. Frequent product upgrades, patches, and fixes etc. have to be baked into the product development strategy to not just build a superior product but also to ensure its longevity. Using technologies that support such changes, creating test automation suites that can evolve along with the changing needs of the product, using a modular product architecture etc. are all steps that can help in creating future-ready and great software products.
Finally, like Tony Fadell, the godfather of the iPod and founder of Nest says, it’s important to learn the art of simplicity. All good products became great because of their simplicity. So, when all else fails, just keep it simple!