Prescribing vs. Consulting: Letting your Digital Agency Research the Best Solution

A whopping 90% of tech startups fail. But, where does the problem lie? Our latest benchmark analysis, completed with over 100 digital product managers, revealed that 40% of product launches failed. These failures cost companies over $50,000 a month. The stakes are high, and the potential cost of failure is nothing to brush off. Take these pointers on ensuring that your digital product development stems from a consultation with an agency, not a pre-determined prescription.

Demanding a Digital Prescription instead of a Digital Consultation

Imagine a patient going to a doctor and saying, "I need this medicine," rather than allowing the doctor to look at their medical history, consider the possible side effects, and find the best treatment tailored to their needs.

Many times, you might think to approach an agency with a very specific product in mind, maybe from a competitor’s product or your own research. You say, "I want this solution.” Expecting a product that looks exactly like your initial vision, instead of allowing an agency to do its due diligence to determine the best solution backed by primary research and expert knowledge and experience, could hurt the final product.

The best results will come from working with your agency and allowing them to exercise their expertise.

User-Centered Development is the Most Effective Method for Predicting Success

When you have a specific product in mind, it is because you believe it is what will be the most successful, and the most desirable for your client. The reality is that there may be other types of users looking for your product that you haven’t considered yet, but would be revealed with appropriate research from an experienced agency. Agency research can help evolve your product so that it is appealing to both existing and new audiences.

Being more flexible in your vision and budgeting for initial user experience research can help ensure your digital product does not become a statistic of failure. Revealing what your users want from user experience research is the best way to make sure they will actually use your product and have a positive user experience. Without user testing prior to development, you will be attempting to build a user base around preconceived notions about what users wants.

User Experience Research Should Determine the Course of your Project

User experience research helps to determine what future users’ needs are, not just the needs of past and present users. User experience research adds context and insight into the design process of development, determining the user needs and requirements of a product. User experience (UX) research methods include:

  • Card sorting

This allows users to group your site’s information, which will influence the information architecture of your website or mobile app. The site’s structure will reflect how users actually think and interact.

  • Contextual interviews

Allow the UX team to observe users interacting with your current site, or a prototype of your idea. They will record their raw thoughts, giving you true insight into what users think of your idea.

  • Focus groups

The UX team moderates a discussion with groups of users or customers. This will tell you about your users’ attitudes, opinions, and desires.

  • Surveys

In-person and online surveys can be cost-saving methods to discovering user thoughts and impressions.

  • Task analysis

Give users a task to complete on your current product or prototype to determine the pain points or frustrations they might encounter.

These are just a few examples of user experience testing, but it’s easy to see why not to become too engrossed in the first draft if they want to create a successful project.

Budget for Exploration and Research

After outlining all the benefits of user-centered development, companies should prepare to budget for user research before investing in anything else. Mindgrub has a long history of user experience expertise, with successful clients such as Under Armour and Light City Baltimore.

For further reading on weighing the costs of digital innovation, read our white paper: Benchmarking Digital Product Development Costs.

We’re also offering free Usability audits for your existing apps or websites for a limited time. Reach out to see if you qualify!