Building a digital product: our journey so far
Hey there! My friend and I have embarked on a new journey – building a digital product together. Sort of. This is just the beginning, so let’s see where it goes. 🤔
You see, I have 0 product experience. I am the creative. I write, shoot, design. I have my own business.
But I’ve never built anything besides websites, especially during my “let’s open a web design studio” era, which didn’t last very long. I still made a logo and website for it.
I’m also not good with quantitative data or numbers. My coding abilities are limited, though I am learning.
At the same time, I enjoy interviews and connecting with strangers. So, I know I have some qualities that can contribute to creating a digital product out of a small idea, born randomly in the bathroom one morning as I was getting through my skincare routine.
That’s the thing, I always have the ideas but don’t always know ways to execute them.
I can’t remember how my friend Gavin and I got talking about any of this in the first place, but we often exchange random titbits of ideas or Internet goodness we’ve come across. So this must have been one of those conversations, and next thing I know, Gavin and I met up for a coffee so I can learn more about product.
(He’s THE product guy—that’s why)
Fast forward, and I have my Milanote board (I use the free version, highly recommend it!) ready for Gavin to review, comment, and add. I collated the basics:
- What I (at this point) imagine the product could do
- What I don’t think it should do
- Some excerpts from my first (accidental) user research conversation with a friend
- A few facts and stats about the industry
After our coffee chat, Gavin also gave me some pointers for doing my first user research interview. Having worked in journalism, interviews are nothing new to me. But the difference is I usually know what the story is. Or what I’m looking for.
This time, I had to do things a little different. Asking about the participant’s routine and exploring ways she uses her skin and beauty products. Digging around a little and trying not to make it about the story (or the product), which was tough.
Meanwhile, Gavin made the first working mockup of a product database that could be one of the central components of this project and contributed a few more ideas on what features to consider.
So, broadly speaking, this is where we’re at:
- We have a loose idea of what the product could be
- We have more user research interviews to schedule (I just signed up for Zoom Pro, which will come in handy for this project!)
- I have yet to learn more about product development (without losing myself in yet another online course)
To record our progress as well as the setbacks, we thought it could be useful to document it in a semi-regular blog. Both of us are busy, but who isn’t? The point is, we may learn something new along the way, and if that’s the only thing that comes out of this—that’s good enough for me.