In the last 16 years I worked on many digital products from their inception to the final release and the following improvements. I’ve had a lot of experience both as a consultant, event manager and in the big company where I work today.
I’ve really a lot of things to write about and I’ve even a great desire to make myself known. Indeed I decided that during this 2023 I’ll write about my job as Digital Product Manager but in a different way. I feel indeed more like a digital construction worker and so I’ll post more about fundamentals, bricks and principles of digital products.
I managed apps and sites designed for communicating and selling products or services, covering almost any kind of industries.
During these years I developed my method based on my Philosophy degree and my “humanistic” approach. I chose to be a Product Manager because of my strategic view, my attention to detail, my ability to simplify complex concepts and communicating them effectively. So after this long premise it’s time to start from the basics:
what is a digital product?
For me a digital product is something that receives inputs, returns outputs and keeps them on a memory. The only reason to exists for a digital product is to create value when used by the people for whom it was designed.
Following some examples:
– A static website is a digital product that transforms some files in something that Chrome or Safari intepret as a web page.
– An app is a digital product that creates an effective environment where functions are personalized based on the users needs.
– A traffic management system is a digital product that aggregates, categorizes and distributes some kind of content.
– A portable console like PayDate is a digital product that make real the interaction between a display, some buttons and a crank (a crank!) with a videogame. This product has even a game distribution system and a developer dedicated platform.
– A simple data collection form made with Google Form, is a digital product per se because it need to be designed and managed like any other complex product.
The complexity doesn’t modify my approach because for me all the digital products are “things” that make “something” that creates or improve “something else”. Going ove my examples, a website creates the knowledge of a product/service on sale; an app creates personalized functions; atraffic management system improves the mobility services fruition; a data collection form creates a client list on which a business could be build.
Even the most known services could be described in a easy way. Google Search for example has improved the information search experience. YouTube has allowed anyone to open their tv channel. Amazon has made mail order super efficient. Facebook has improved the relationship between friends. AirBnB has made renting houses to strangers really easy. VR lastly has created fantasy worlds that first could be only described by artists or writers.
These descriptions aren’t wrong, but the Digital Product Manager hob is to understand that behind a simply explained service, there’s a mix of processes, interfaces and costs regarding development, maintanance and data management.
Designing a digital product without considering the cause/effect relationship between costs, timing and requirements, could cause the failure of the entire project. Each function has many professional skills behind it as well as various design, development and test cycles that must always be considered in all the life phases of digital products.
I’ll do the last example: an app equipped with geolocation doesn’t end with the function on the map, it must also comply with personal data protection regulations, it must monitor battery consumption, It must allow the deactivation of the location without causing malfunctions. Did I eaxplain the point?
Concluding my first article about digital product management, I can affirm that digital products must be managed with conscience, knowledge and concreteness, without rhetoric or buzz words.
you liked my article and want to have a chat, visit the Consultancy and Digital Product Manager as a Service pages.