How to efficiently define features for your digital products
Getting customers to participate in the creative process is something that brings a lot of benefits to the product, from adding another point of view to giving us precise information about how the businesses behind them work.
But this potentially great experience can be compromised if we don’t know how to guide the customer through this process.
We are going to share some things that happened to us and how we fixed them.
But before we start, we want to say that this is not the only way to solve problems and/or that it cannot be improved, we just want to tell you about our experience.
Lack of clarity in the scope of the project.
Some time ago we started an interesting project, an eCommerce, the company had a good value proposition and the quality of its products was very good, these were enough motivators to do an incredible job (as always) and offer them a solution beyond the that they had originally asked us for.
At Legacy Studio we aim to always give 121% in every project we tackle, motivated by our passion and desire to design products that exceed expectations — I think this happens to every designer, right? — but this can become a problem if not regulated correctly.
In this case, during our initial co-creation sessions we designed a series of features that we believed were not only going to add value but were also a challenge in design and development.
This, in the long run, brought us delays at the time of deliveries because although they had already been tested with real users in the visual part, they also needed to have a design for the administrative part, which brought us overtime and, of course, , the client did not assume the cost that this implied.
The 3 most critical problems:
- Se asumió que todas las cosas nuevas que salieron durante la etapa de descubrimientos ya estaban contempladas en el presupuesto aprobado.
- Rechazo por parte del cliente cuando tratamos de explicarle fuera de tiempo por qué las cosas eran más costosas ahora.
- Retrasos en las entregas.
how did we fix it
To avoid this problem in future projects, we decided to implement some changes in our process.
- El primero fue hacer un lista de features del proyecto mucho más detallada, esto quiere decir que hay que darle mucha mayor importancia al tiempo que pasamos con el cliente mientras ideamos la experiencia para su producto, abarcando lo que este necesita como solución de negocio, así como lo que definamos en equipo como solución para el usuario.
- Lo segundo, fue dejarle claro al cliente cuáles de estos features están contemplados dentro del pedido inicial, cuáles de estos features no forman parte del proyecto pero serán adicionales y cuáles de estos features están fuera del alcance.
«Wait!» A moment ago you told me that you always give 121%, «So giving more to the client can cause me problems?»
Of course not! Giving the client an extra could be an opportunity to improve your relationship with him, but as long as it does not exceed the scope of the project and the production times, otherwise you could obtain the opposite effect and put in risk what you are building up to now.
Give 121%, but be clear with your clients at all times, that is the best way to strengthen relationships.
Here we put a list of steps that you can follow to give clarity about the project
- Create a complete list with all the final features of the product.
- Select only those that you consider to be within the initial order.
- Select those that you consider to be new features not initially contemplated, but you would like to give to the client.
- Let the client know the importance of these new features and that they know that they can be done, but that they need a separate budget since they were not considered at the beginning.
It is our responsibility to be very clear with the client and present the rules of the game from the beginning, clarify that there are things that are not contemplated but that came out during the discovery and also tell them what things we are adding to the initial order.
In the end, it’s just business and the more transparent we are, the more trust we generate. This is the key to forming lasting relationships with customers, and consequently, being on the same team building for the needs of users as well as the business.