For businesses, product development is an important process & for that, you need top-class digital business tools.
In order to deliver products that customers actually find valuable – and would want to spend money on – the product itself needs to be developed in a proper way from start to finish. Simply having a good idea for a product alone is not enough.
The process itself is a lot more manageable than it was a few years ago. In the old days, developing a new physical product would mean going through a long and complicated process. Today, digital business tools make product development faster and more efficient. If you are thinking about developing your own product, here are the 5 best digital business tools you want to use.
5 Best Digital Business Tools To Speed Up Product Development
1. Kanban Board Software
Good project management sits at the core of every effective product development process, and the best way to manage your projects today is by using a digital Kanban board. The Kanban system has been around for ages, but digital Kanban boards certainly make using Kanban much easier. For starters, you don’t have to worry about using paper and a physical board. This means you don’t have to worry about losing some tasks because they fall off the board.
You can also define the digital Kanban board(s) the way you want them to work based on existing workflows. A good Kanban board software like Kanbanize comes with even more features. You can, for instance, track the performance data of every team member based on the tasks they have completed. It is also possible to centralize all product development details and information on one platform.
2. Better Design Tools
Design tools are the next category that we are going to look into. No matter how functional your product may be, good design is still very important. This is because the design is how you deliver the product experience to your users.
Design tools vary in types and capabilities. 2D design tools like Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator are useful for designing certain types of products; if you are producing shirts for your customers, for example, these are the tools you want to use.
CAD and 3D design software are reserved for hardware with higher complexity. There are also tools that can help you design electronic boards, mechanical devices, and moving parts with ease. In most cases, you can tap into existing designs and resources to speed up your development process.
Also Read: Top 14 Web Design Trends Of 2020 & Beyond!
3. Rapid Prototyping
3D printers and other rapid prototyping gadgets certainly make producing prototypes cheaper and easier. You don’t have to invest a lot of money to test your product ideas in their physical form. Even better, you can test multiple iterations without having to wait a long time.
Before your design is ready for 3D printing, however, you need to convert it into a format that is supported by 3D printers. Most 3D modeling software can save your work in a printable format, but you get more flexibility with tools specifically designed for 3D printing preparations.
A good example is Autodesk Fusion 360, which is more capable of producing printable models than similar Autodesk software like AutoCAD. 3D printer OEMs like Ultimaker also have their own software and tools to help make 3D printing more accessible.
4. Virtual Environment
Speaking about rapid prototyping, another way to test product ideas without investing a lot of money in the process is by running virtual tests. Depending on the way you design your product – and the design tools that you use – there are tools that can help you test product specifications virtually.
When developing a PCB for your next hardware, you can test the schematics, the way components fit together, and even the clearance of the case using software like Altium. 3D testing of models like furniture can also be done with design suites.
In fact, you can now rely on new technologies like augmented reality (AR) to test products in real-world situations. This means you can see if the design for the new desk that you are working on actually fits most rooms.
5. User Testing Resources
Last, but certainly not least, we have the process of testing products to a select group of potential customers, which involves organizing group discussions and demo sessions. Testing your near-final product in the wild is always the most daunting thing to do.
Fortunately, there are resources to help you connect with the right user segments for product testing. Sites like Toluna and Pinecone allow you to connect with real users in a specific way. You can test products in different categories and get direct feedback from the users.
The final stage is as important as the previous ones, but it is easier to manage now that you have the best resources and digital business tools at your disposal. The same is true for other tasks that you need to complete in order to develop a successful product. Now that you have the best tools for digital business at hand, you can develop products faster and more effectively.