Product innovation and development never end, since it is the best way to beat and stay profitable in the market. It is getting tougher as newer and better products are entering the market daily. So how do you stay ahead in an ever-changing game? Seeing as developing new disruptive products is extremely difficult, your best bet is to put a new spin on an existing product. So, how do you come up with the ideas? More importantly, how do you decide on the features to add to your software product?
Where can you get ideas for new features?
It is the singular most powerful idea generator in your arsenal. Feedback is crucial for customer experience strategies, brand awareness, etc. It can also help you come up with new ideas for your software product. Feedback is a popular tool for users to lament about terrible features/processes and rave about the good ones. Plus, sometimes you’ll find a gem: an idea for a new feature a user would like to see or hint at. It gives you a fair idea of what your target audiences like and dislike, and what they would like you to add. Voila, new ideas you can work on served on a silver platter.
More often than not, it takes two people to connect two dots and an entire team to flesh the idea out. Brainstorming is an effective and proactive method of working on projects. Especially in the software industry. Since different people have different work processes, one person can see what someone else can not. Therefore, they can offer a different view of the same problem. Additionally, one train of thought can lead to another, which can lead to new ideas. A brainstorming session usually ends with several viable ideas. Then you should diligently research each one to decide on the best option.
It is crucial to know what your competition is up to in every aspect of their business. Such as marketing, business strategies, developmental processes, and even how they decide on new features. Studying what your competition does gives you insight into the market. Plus, how certain elements are performing. It is one of the easiest ways to identify trends in current markets. Hence, if your competition has released a new feature or improved existing processes, then you should look into the ‘why?’
However, remember that you should do your research on the market and customer behavior. You should not depend solely on what your competitors are doing, since what works for them may not work for you in the same way.
Read More: How to do Competitive Analysis in SaaS?
4. Improving existing features
While perfection is impossible, you can still improve what you have already put out on the market. It can include eliminating glitches and bugs, improving performance and accuracy, or streamlining the process. You make improvements to boost frequency or adoption rates. Improving frequency refers to the enhancement of a feature that has potential but is undervalued by its users. We made adoption improvements to features that have a low customer attraction rate.
While imposing existing features, you must keep in mind that customers may not like certain changes. Either because they got used to the previous version, or they find it hard to navigate. In most cases, customers get over the initial reluctance and get used to the new version. However, that may not be the case for all improvements.
Factors that you should account for when weighing new features:
It is the highest-ranking factor when it comes to adding new features. You should always consider what the market and costumes want. It is your customers who ultimately determine if your products succeed in the market. By adding superficial features, you are diluting your product’s perceived value. You should always develop features that contribute to the solution your product is solving. If your features are there to look good, users will know. Moreover, you will know what your customers want when you interact with them. Companies that include consumers in their development process often see the best results. By analyzing consumer feedback, you can identify areas you are lacking in and what elements are working well.
Software products get feedback in the thousands, with each user requesting specific features or improvements in certain parts. While all feedback is good feedback, you can not develop all the features your users ask of you. It is impossible to do so, plus not all features are viable. When you are looking for new parures to add, you need to predict two things. One, how many people will use it? Two, how often will these people use it? You should spend resources on features that are used by most of your target demographic most of the time. By ensuring high-frequency usage of the feature, you are justifying the time and resources that you have invested in the feature’s development.
3. Complexity and explainable
Most software products are complex since we create them for niche industries or sectors. Or consumers may find it hard to use the product for the first time. Think of it like this: you use new social media for the first time. There will be a bit of confusion and a learning curve. Plus, every time developers add new features, you need to understand them before you can use them. In the case of software products, you should be able to explain the feature, its uses, and processes to your audience. How would you do it? Through a blog, a video tutorial, or a tweet. Different features will have different levels of complexity that you need to educate your audiences about. Because if they do not understand, they will not use it.
4. Positioning and value
Here, positioning refers to the strength of your product in the market. Every business has a spot in the industry. The features you add to your product affect the company’s position, hence, add features that either solidify your position or boost it. If your features do not support your values, customers will not use them since it diminishes your stand. You do not want to contradict your company values or cloud your market communication.
Moreover, your new features should have a positive impact on your customers. The higher the impact, the better your product will perform. The best features make it hard for customers to remember what life was like before the feature. Because if you do not adapt to your consumers, they will replace you.