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  • Writer's pictureTingbin Tang

Double-iteration Product Development Process

There are some product development process that people are using to develop their product, from water-fall process, to spiral, from agile development process to customer development process.

There are also some product design process, e.g. user centered process, activity centered process, or systematic process.

Each process has its own advantages and disadvantages. Many startup companies just directly go to development process, in order to "save cost". However, they may end up even lost money and waste time and manpower investment.

Some big companies might hire design team to run a design cycle, but designers are used to just beautify the product, but not to lead the product innovation.

Many Silicon Valley startups values agile development, rely own quick launch a MVP, rely own quick react to the market response, rely on quick iterations. However, the first launch of MVP is very important, because it defines the product positioning. So if the initial positioning is wrong, no matter how the team adjust on future iterations, they may still lose a lot of time and money.

So my own product innovation/development process is a double-iteration process. I believe the product development should be lead by the designers, so it is a design cycle plus a code cycle. No matter how light an agile development MVP can be, it still cost much more than a design prototype. So it is worthy to put a design process at the beginning, from research to design, to prototype then test; till the solution is validated, move to the coding cycle: from plan to code to measure to learn.

Another old sayings in China, "Sharpening your axe will not delay your job of cutting wood". Use the design innovation process at the beginning, to learn about target market, users, design and test with a prototype will save cost and ensure product success.

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