Module 3. Brief 3. Week 11.
I have looked at entrepreneurial thinking, as well as many case studies of designers that are authors. These weeks have given me inspiration for the ways I can be a design entrepreneur or author. I found a number of solutions to problems and gaps in the market that doesn’t exist; last week listing out 10 products or projects.
This week I will be revealing gaps, targets, and audiences for a new product or service idea. I will be taking 1 of the 10 ideas that I brought up last week.
I will be investigating the constructs of market research, identifying the need for a new product/service idea. I will be analysing the audiences need for this product and use this information to aid my development of it, for next week I will be turning this idea into a designed artefact.
This week I was lucky enough to have a lecture from Dan Parry, the Product Manager & Strategist at Metier Digital. This was a high-intensity podcast that had a constant flow of information. His wealth of knowledge was being handed to me on a platter, so I have tried to get down as much information as I can to help me with this weeks challenge.
Understanding Your Audience
- What are you trying to do?
- Why are you trying to do it?
- Where are you trying to do it?
- What do your first 100 customers look like?
- Why are they doing it?
- What are you trying to achieve?
- What problems are you trying to solve?
These are just some of the questions I need to ask myself before beginning my product or service design. I need to have a clear understanding of who it is that will be using Dan states that if you successfully achieve 100 customers you will be well on your way to a successful product or service.
- Psychological patterns
- Is it easy to reach them?
- Is there a key action/buying persona?
- Who are the decision-makers?
- Who will be buying the product?
- Who will be using it?
Assumptions – What assumption are we making about the product/service and ability to use it? I need to look carefully into the targeted customer and analyse whether it is really them we are reaching or the people around them, the people they work for, the people that work for them. Who will be the people deciding to invest in the product or service?
He advises to group these assumptions into themes, and test these assumptions quickly and cheaply if it is possible. I need to understand straight from the beginning if this is a plausible idea.
Qualitative and quantitative questions are both important during this phase. I need to get out there and talk to as many people as I can. I can also use Survey Monkey to give me hard facts and information that can be put into graphs and charts.
He aslo had some interesting takes on interviews. Don’t ask “would you buy my product?” look deeper and closer, ask, “what are you currently using to achieve …?”. During interviews, he also suggests that someone asks the questions and someone else takes the notes. This could possibly work with one person and videoing and looking back at it. The point is that nothing is missed, all possible information is taken from the interview.
Overall, having a better understanding of the audience allows me to see new information which could lead to finding new problems. Having a clear idea of the problems they are currently facing will allow me to figure out a better fitting solution.
Example: UBER – $75billion company
- Problem: Getting cabs was difficult, especially is certain areas
- Solution: Picked you up wherever you were
- People would pay card
- They want a high rated/safe driver
- People want to be rated
- They could do this around the world
- People wanted to make extra money being drivers
- Found transport difficult
- Phone/app use
The competitors are the companies or products that are trying to solve similar problems to mine. Competitors for UBER would be taxis, public transport, designated drivers etc. This information allows me to see what they are achieving and what they aren’t achieving. With that, I can then attempt to fill the gaps the competitors are leaving.
SWOT Analysis – Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and threats
This SWOT analysis is what I always need to refer to, this will allow me to find the most necessary information to make the most out of my product or service. Understanding the strengths, looking at the weaknesses as challenges I need to solve, the opportunities that I need to now or in the future to help grow, and the threats that I can overcome, build and scale.
The best way to analyse competitor information is to plot on a graph on the X and Y two problems I am trying to solve. This way I can place the competitors on the graph and see where I then stand. For UBER, this could be picked you up wherever you are, and cost-effective.
Similar Web  allows you to see who your competitors are. This website is a goldmine for information. I have never heard about it until now surprisingly, but glad I have now!
Dan believes social media is one of the best tools to use to get your product or service out there, but there’s a way to use it. Joining groups on facebook that relate to the product or service and start making connections with people in those groups. Don’t shout and scream about the product to make people hear it. A good way of gaining attention is to make awareness and networking. Talking to specific people and making them interested one at a time. This also makes people feel like they are a part of something.
#Hashtags are a great tool to find out whos liking and sharing the work. By using smaller and more specific hashtags you can target specific communities and audiences. When there are only 1000 posts or so then you know you are targeting a niche group. To find the right hashtags you need to know where your audience is, what channels or platforms they use, or what they prefer to use.
All of this can help build an organic audience for free. Posting interesting things that provide value people will slowly being to follow and interact. Building a community and making them feel like they’re a part of something, allows it to become more than just a product or service. People want to interact with that.
This talk by Dan was extremely inspiring and even more eye-opening than I imagined it would be. Taking all this information on I now have to start thinking about my chosen product or service and begin thinking of the questions that I need to ask myself.
Other things that I do need to think about that Dan skimmed over was the costs of the product or service. What are people willing to pay for it? What will it cost me to get this up and running, as well as the production costs? Will the marketing cost me much? I need to keep all of this in the back of my mind and bring this up when I have a clear idea of what it is I am doing.
I also need to think about the description and the way I describe my product. Could this be an infographic, and animation, me talking to the camera? I need to make it clear what it is I am providing, otherwise, people might get confused as to what it is the product does and not buy it. If the target audience does not understand, even if it is a useful tool for them, they may not see it and it will ultimately fail.
For this weeks challenge, I need to select one of my ideas from last week. I need to evolve the idea so there is a clear objective in place. Not only do I need to define the product, but I also need to use my research to define my audience, as this is essential to the development of the idea.
I need to analyse the development, research insights, and production challenges I might face, and present this in a one-page report. I need to also look at my chosen artefact and any development undertaken. This might include brand names and approach to the story of the product.
My chosen artefact is the Desk View product idea I had during week 7. You can refer back to this here. I developed this collaborative tool to aid long-distance collaboration. I designed this product, that is currently cheap to purchase online (for only £6.99 on Amazon), to be used in a new way to aid creative and corporate collaboration. Attaching a smartphone or tablet to the device, you can live-stream your deskspace, (as well as your face on your computer in front of you) to aid brainstorming, craft workshops, portfolio reviews, live note-taking, among other things. This is a great tool for visual learners when explaining your ideas can be difficult, you can sketch out your thoughts as a diagram, mind map, or illustration.
Now I know what my product is, and luckily I have already begun some sort of research and collected some content to work with, I can begin referring back to Dan’s advice and putting together a plan of action to gain insight of my targeted audience group.
Product Name – I thought before I go any further with the name, Desk Space, I would analyse why I have chosen it and also if there is anything else on the market with that name, and if I am treading on any other companies toes. I chose the name Desk View, because that is ultimately the idea of the tool, to allow you to share your desk space with your peers, colleagues and clients. Other names could possibly be,
Desk Viewer / Desk Share / Desk Space
I can come back to the names later in the project if it seems necessary. I decided to check out other products with the same name, this product bellow is the main competitor. Although it is a completely different product, I need to realise its traits and make sure we have nothing in common. This product is a physical desk you can attach to glass windows and doors to make a pop-up desk. This is meant to encourage a better posture, better working environment, and a desk with a view. This product is a desk with a view, whereas mine is allowing you to view a desk.
The product I am using is one off of Amazon from the company, SHAWE . This is a cheap phone holder that attaches to any sturdy surface, hold your device still, and allows you to move the device into the perfect position for you to share your desk space. There are a number of other devices on the market that do similar things. There is also a product from Arkon Mounts [?] that are selling a device holder, for filming creative videos such as craft and illustration, for the deer price of $139.95. The only key difference between this product and the one that cost £6.99 is that the base is heavily weighted and sits directly on the tabletop. This actually takes up more room on the table and it more difficult to travel with, with its large base and weight.
What is it I am selling? I am purely rebranding an existing product that is already on the market, however, I am giving it a new name and a new purpose. To do this I would need to contact the manufacturer and present the idea to them to see if they would like to get involved in this newly branded version of the same product they already have on the market. I would imagine there are a lot of manufacturers producing virtually the same product, so this may be quite easy to find one that would like to get involved.
I have a clear understanding of my product and I have a rough idea of who it is targeted too, although it could have a wider audience. I now need to thoroughly ask myself questions about the target audience to make sure I am not missing any key information that could help me aid the development of my product.
- Who would use this product?
- When would they use this product?
- When would they not need this product?
- How would they use this product?
- Who uses video chat to communicate?
- Who collaborates long distance?
- Why do they collaborate with?
- When do they collaborate?
- How long do they collaborate for?
- Why are they not physically working together?
- What are they trying to achieve?
- What are they trying to share?
- Who are they trying to share it with?
- Who do they want to communicate with?
- What devices do they have?
- What devices do they currently own?
I have made a number of assumptions for this product already because I see someone like myself using it, but I need to have a clear idea of what I am assuming, as this might not be the case for everyone. I am assuming:
- That they collaborate
- They collaborate long distance
- They (want to) share their ideas/thoughts with someone long distance
- They (want to) see other peoples ideas/thoughts that aren’t close by
- They currently communicate via video chat (as one of their methods)
- That they have a smartphone or tablet as well as a laptop or computer
- They have access to the internet
- That they are interested in a more real way of collaborating long distance
I now want to make a questionnaire on Survey Monkey  to get some information together on what people think about the idea, and how they think it will aid collaboration.
I want to ask a series of questions about whether the individual is a creative or not and whether they collaborate or work long distance. Then, after watching my video about DeskView, I can see their opinion on the tool and whether they believe it will aid collaboration.
I got 20 responses, although I would have appreciated more to get a more rounded view, I can analyse these results to begin to get an idea of what people think about the product.
Q.1. Do you work in a creative industry? Yes, 60%, No, 40%. There was a range of other industries such as retail, admin, sales, bar manager. From this, I can see that over half were in the creative industry.
Q.2. What best describes your position? Student 25%, intern/apprentice/junior 25%, middleweight 30%, manager 20%.
Q.3. Do you collaborate long distance? (Client/business meetings, interviews, team projects, workshops) All the time 15%, sometimes 60%, never 25%.
Q.4 Do you your colleagues or peers collaborate long distance? All the time 10%, sometimes 70%, never 20%.
Q.5 Do you wish to collaborate more in the future? Definitely 40%, possibly 50%, no 10%.
Q.6 After watching this video, how useful would you find DeskView to aid distance collaboration? Very useful 55%, somewhat useful 35%, not very useful 10%.
Q.7 Would you use DeskView to aid collaboration? Yes 60%, maybe 35%, no 5%.
Q.8 Would you recommend DeskView to friends, colleagues or peers? Yes 65%, maybe 35%, no 10%.
Q.9 What would be your main use for DeskView be? Although not everybody responded to this question, there were some good responses such as collaborating with designers and clients, meetings, and interviews.
I produced a survey to get a better opinion on whether this tool will be useful for many people and what they could you the device for. I asked 9 short questions, beginning with information on the audience, whether they are a creative or not, and what best describes the position they are in. I asked whether they collaborate often and if they ever work long distance. I also asked whether they wish to collaborate more in the future. This information was a good starting point to get a better idea of the audience.
I then showed them my video for DeskView. With them now knowing about the product I asked whether they would find this tool useful, whether they would use this product or recommend the product to someone. I finally ask what they would use DeskView to achieve.
I sent this questionnaire out on social media so I could get a range of responses from a range of different people. I only got 20 people to fill out the questionnaire for now but this short experiment allows me to get a better idea of my target market.
What this information told me is that with people from the creative industry and from other industries, from students to directors, many people believe that DeskView is a great tool for collaboration. The device improved the majority of the interviewees perspective, with most people saying they do not collaborate very much in the role they are in but they would be inclined to use this tool in the future or recommend the tool to be used by a colleague, friend or family member. Those who collaborate often believed they would definitely use DeskView. There were many suggestions for its use, from interviews, meetings, collaborating with colleagues, and even workshops.
This research was a small insight to the audience in which I want to target. I would want to research further into the industries that would find this most useful and more specifically how it could work into their current methods of distance collaboration.
DeskView is purely an adaptation of a product that is already available on the market. As I am taking a phone holder and giving it a new purpose, I do not have a competitor per se in that area. However, the software that attempts to achieve what I am, collaboration. The device is an aid to be used with software already on the market, such as Skype or Appear.in. This means that these tools aren’t competitors either, they are partners. I want to analyse how this tool compares with software/tools without using DeskView, but not to compete.
This diagram shows how other methods of communication aid collaboration or work long distance. Working on a project alone does not aid collaboration and does not work long distance. Whereas a phone call works long distance but does successfully aid collaboration and a workshop may aid collaboration but doesn’t work long distance. Video calling does achieve both however DeskView pushes the experience to work better long-distance and achieves better collaboration.
A collaborative tool to aid long-distance communication to be used alongside live video software. DeskView allows you to live-stream your deskspace to aid collaborative opportunities such as brainstorming, craft workshops, portfolio reviews, live note-taking and interviews.
The device holds your smartphone or tablet still by attaching to any nearby sturdy object. The device can be moved higher or lower depending on what you are trying to show, such as close up notes or larger mindmaps.
This is a great tool for visual learners when explaining your ideas can be difficult, you can sketch out your thoughts as a diagram, mind map, or illustration.
- Who would use this product? From creative to corporate businesses, from students to directors, this tool can be used by anyone who wants to enhance their long-distance collaboration.
- When would they use this product? You would use this while video calling and wanting to support your communication with physical demonstrations.
- When would they not need this product? This tool will not always be necessary when they do not need to show any physical body of work or vocal communication is suffice.
- How would they use this product? You would use this tool while on a video call, joining the call on your device connected to DeskView as well as a laptop or computer in front of you for a more rounded communication.
- Who uses video chat to communicate? Video calling is used normally by people who are trying to communicate long-distance, this can be worldwide or nationally. This is normally used when physical face-to-face meetings are not possible.
- Who collaborates long distance? People collaborate long-distance when there is no feasible way to meet up physically but they want or need to team up to work on a project.
- When do they collaborate? This collaboration will usually take place within the normal business hours of the day, for the UK this may be 9am and 5pm.
- How long do they collaborate for? Collaboration for some teams may only be a 10-minute call to a full day’s work.
- This tells me that collaboration is usually a vital part of some working environments, if DeskView is used with video calls this could enhance this experience and improve the quality of work as well as the communication.
- Why are they not physically working together? Long-distance collaboration may occur because of multiple office locations, freelance work with clients globally, teaming up on projects with people or companies that are not in easy reach. There are many reasons for not being able to meet in person and with today’s technology, we should be getting closer to achieve the real thing.
- What are they trying to achieve? Distance collaboration is used when a person or company are reaching out to other people for development on a project, network, give or receive information.
- What are they trying to share? They are trying to share information, their thoughts, opinions and ideas. This is usually done best with video calling as you can use body language to express this as well as see the body language of someone receiving it. DeskView is allowing an extra visualisation tool that allows you to share all of this with physical note-taking or small sketches.
- What devices do they have? People who are trying to communicate normally use desktop software or a mobile device. DeskView is developed around the idea that you are using a desktop application and having a portable device to hand to aid you.
This week I have developed my week 7 challenge idea of the product DeskView into a more developed product proposal. I have made myself more aware of the audience that I am targeting with this product. I am aware that I am targeting people that collaborate or want to experience a better collaboration process. I am also targeting people that are work long distance. This weeks question:
How can you ensure a business / creative idea is targeted and researched to maximise potential?
I can ensure that DeskView is targeted and researched to maximise potential by finding out who would be using the product, how they would use it, and why they would use it. This started by developing a video to explain the product and what you can do with this. I then shared this video within a survey questionnaire that allowed me more insight about my customers. Now I know more about my customers I can find a more specific way of targeting them and marketing the product to them.
Next week I will be looking at the different ways of marking my product, how I would go about getting the product up and running and if there were any partners that could help me in this process.
- SimilarWeb.com. (2019). Similarweb.com – Digital World Market Intelligence Platform. [online] Available at: http://similarweb.com [Accessed 3 Aug. 2019].
- Anon, (2019). [online] Available at: https://www.amazon.co.uk/s/ref=bl_dp_s_web_0?ie=UTF8&search-alias=aps&field-keywords=SHAWE [Accessed 11 Aug. 2019].
- Surveymonkey.com. (2019). SurveyMonkey: The World’s Most Popular Free Online Survey Tool. [online] Available at: https://www.surveymonkey.com [Accessed 11 Aug. 2019].