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What Exactly is a Digital Product?

August 11, 2022

In this article we will dive into the concept of digital products. There are too many misconceptions about digital products since the term has been used widely. Similar to every popular tech-related term, the term digital product unfortunately turns into a buzzword. 

As a result of years of exaggerating and misusing, there is a variety of understanding of digital products today. However, the concept of digital product also includes a crafting and working culture. It refers to a certain way of making things done. So, we think it’s important to align our minds on digital products in order to tell our story. 

So, what exactly is a digital product?

A product generally defined as anything that can be marketed and sold. It’s not much different when it comes to digital products. Digital products are, broadly speaking, any digital thing you can sell or market. Although this is a true and direct definition, it’s not enough to build an understanding on the concept of digital product. Digital products are more than just applications, websites, or hardware.

Digital product is a certain tech-supported solution for a specific problem of humans.

This certain solution can be a design, an algorithm, an experience or a code. A mobile app or website is a digital product itself but also a single page of a website can be considered as a digital product itself. This page would have different KPIs than the website or might have its own user flow. No matter what the digital product, they all attempt to solve something with the help of technology.

Digital products have their own development and management culture across the globe, even though it is intersectional with traditional development and management processes. Digital product approach considers design, development and business parts of a product as inseparable. At least that’s what we do at tio. The process can be implemented for any digital product to reach its goal. The digital development process is comprised of seven steps:

  1. Ideation
  2. Research
  3. Prototyping
  4. UX/UI Design
  5. Validation
  6. Development
  7. Launch

We also need to say it is not as linear as it sounds. These 7 steps are for building a methodology to create successful digital products. They consist of too many different steps which depend on unique requirements of a digital product, or its users. The power of defining this process is just setting a clear and defined path. 

What is NOT a digital product?

If you ask random people “what a digital product is” or Google it, you will be amazed with the diversity of answers. That’s why we thought it might be helpful to discuss what is not a digital product:

  • A digital product isn’t a feature.

Is the search feature of an ecommerce website considered as a product? What about Google’s search feature? What’s the difference and who will draw the line between them? What makes Google a digital product if a search feature is not a product?

A digital product can be seen as a system that makes more than the sum of its features. 

Feature is a function of a product that adds value to a product. However, a feature is not to be commercialized when it’s not part of a product. If there are users willing to pay for a specific feature, that feature may actually become a product.

  • A digital product isn’t a project.

A project and a product are often used interchangeably, but there are important differences. Projects aren’t meant to be ongoing and they are cost efficient while products are meant to live as long as possible. Products may still have several projects involved however a product is much bigger than a typical project. 

A project is something that has specific timing, aim, process and result. A product is a result itself. A digital product requires maintenance. So the two are different in many ways. A product can have projects, but not every product, although some components have. 

A digital product will often have a constant team working on it in order to improve features, fix bugs and make sure that the product seamlessly works for the users.

To sum up,

A digital product is a technological solution for a problem but it includes much more than this as a concept.

tio-studio partners with other corporations and scale-ups to build digital products. If your corporation wants to launch a product for a new vertical or your scale-up’s product needs a retouch with a lean approach, we might be a match!

You can get in touch with us!

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