Discovery of New Features: A Time for Collaboration
Often new software features are at the request of our clients and satisfy a pain point in their operation. Other times, features are nice to have or supply a competitive edge or solution to an obvious need. The gap between understanding the problem and starting the development of the new feature matters. Without contextualizing the need, a new feature may not meet the defined needs or achieve the end-user’s appreciation, wasting time, money, and talent.
Once an idea for a new product feature is ready to line up for production, the foundational work takes place. Optimizing the value of the new feature starts with cross-functional collaboration between our client's stakeholders and Camis' and includes the end-user. This first phase, called the "Discovery" phase of our product road map, is an essential first step to producing features that meet the needs of the original client request and results in a feature with longevity that is useful to other clients too. This collaborative approach allows new features to be sharable so all system subscribers can benefit from a product that has limitless potential.
It takes a collaborative effort between Camis and our clients during the discovery phase of product development. The below expands on how client participation is key to a successful product outcome.
Understand The Feature Need in Advance
It can take thousands of hours to develop a new software feature. Understanding the problem, the new feature should solve and how the ideal solution may interact with existing software and operational processes will supply the much-needed information for a user experience expert to conceptualize the various users and experiences needed from the product. This knowledge will further unveil the full potential of the product feature. These questions need to be explored early in the process: Is the product feature a need or want? Will the feature have longevity? Is the perceived need based on current trends that may come and go? The desire for a new feature could be based on the need to gain a competitive edge and support the loyalty of your customers. Then again, it could be needed for compliance or to improve operational efficiencies. Exploring the need for the feature is the place to start so that the product meets those needs.
Product Development Interviews & Research
User experience designers are experts at conceptualizing all aspects of a product's potential and development. They have a role in the entire product development journey, including design, usability, function, branding, and marketing. Valuable knowledge starts with fully understanding the need and users of the proposed product. Research is critical to achieving the desired level of understanding. Our approach to research includes an analysis of existing research of the industry, trends, and similar solutions already in use. Camis may also conduct qualitative and quantitative research with clients and end-users. Client involvement in research makes it possible to discover who will be using a new feature and the kind of user experience that might work best for the various people affected. It also helps us learn more about how our clients' guests will engage with the new feature. Assembling current, and objective information is essential for developing a beneficial product.
User personas capture a detailed understanding of the end-user of a software feature. Some of the information assembled and interpreted includes demographics, behaviors, inclinations, and technology usage-initially found during the interview and research we conduct with system subscribers. The insights obtained through direct interaction with the end-users are the most helpful information we can secure and can be more difficult for our team to access since we are dependent on our clients to connect our team with their customers. The ideal outcome of developing user personas is an exact and detailed picture of who and how the product will be used. This is critical information for when building a new feature and is what makes it possible to exceed the expectations of the original goals.
As you can see, building new features is not solely a function of Camis, rather a partnership with our clients and their guests. Contact your Camis representative to learn more about taking part in the discovery phase of new product features.