Online platforms

With the right idea to your platform

What will people want tomorrow? Use these methods to come up with the right idea for your online platform. Today's business environment is changing rapidly and constantly, with new competitive forces impacting companies from all sides. A significant element of all these changes is digital transformation. It brings challenges and opportunities at the same time, as it offers excellent opportunities for increased innovation, higher productivity and - what is of particular importance - more customer proximity in companies. The customer is the core element that can help companies gain a competitive advantage, as he is the key to optimal solutions.

Design Thinking - through fresh ideas to a unique user experience

Design thinking does not require a designer for the exclusively visual,  since it is much more about creating user experience. The process of design thinking starts with the identification  of innovation opportunities and is intended to generate fresh ideas as a first step. Basically, the goal of this method is to design an experience that ensures effective human interaction with your online platform. A good user experience will meet or exceed the needs of the user. Design Thinking can help solve the real problem from the user's perspective and achieve a wider range of potential solutions. The Design Thinking process consists of 5 consecutive steps, starting with the understanding of the basic problem at hand, through the concrete definition of possible solutions, based on the dialogue with the potential users, to the prototyping and the subsequent testing phases. You can find an in-depth explanation of the individual steps here .

Customer Development - uncovering unknown customer needs

The transformation of industrial societies is triggered and intensified by digital technology and agile digital pioneers. This process leads to changes in people's expectations of all products and services - and thus creates the need for permanent adaptation. The Customer Development method provides the necessary structures for this. Customer development is based on direct testing of product ideas and business models on the market, which enables constant generation of new knowledge about the needs and expectations of potential customers. In this way, Customer Development, like Design Thinking, enables the systematic reduction of risks due to misjudgements. The 4 steps of Customer Development include the derivation of hypotheses, based on the visions of the entrepreneurs, as well as the testing of the solutions on the market, the implementation of the solution idea and the integration into the company organization. A detailed and easy to understand description of the process can be found here. By Customer Development it can succeed to elicit desires and needs from the customer, about which it is not even directly conscious, why its answers to simple direct questions are possibly little meaningful. However, if an approach is presented to him, suggestions and real feedback can be collected and reactions can be recorded and analyzed on a data basis. In addition, the more intensively potential customers are involved in the development process, the stronger their attachment to a product or service.

The Scrum process and agile product development - the ultimate in software development

Scrum is more than just a process - it is a project management and tracking method that was primarily developed for the field of agile software development, but is now also used across the board. It represents an implementation of lean management in project development and allows teams and stakeholders to track the development of a project and take necessary actions. The method allows developers to make adjustments as the environment changes and ensure that deadlines can be met. This project management method includes different roles, such as the development team and the Scrum master, artifacts such as a requirements catalog (backlog) and activities, such as the planning of project stages or the review of the intermediate product. For the development of an online platform in the context of an agile product development using Scrum, the use of special project management tools such as Jira, Confluence, Asana, Trello, Asana, Scrum Desk etc. is recommended. You can find an extremely helpful and, above all, insightful guide here .

Service Design - a method for the optimal design of all touchpoints

What may sound simplified like the process of designing a service describes a complex project that is usually not based on a linear, predictable course. Service design encompasses diverse variables, such as product design, user experience design, interaction design, graphic design, but also data analysis, ethnography and other areas that are usually required individually. Always in focus - the needs of real and potential customers. Put simply, the goal of service design is to uncover and understand the needs of the customer and then develop optimal solutions. A combination of different approaches is recommended at this point. For example, understanding the customer's needs and generating ideas could ideally be accomplished by means of design thinking. For prototyping and testing up to the completion of the solution, Scrum or other methods of agile software development are recommended, especially for the development of an online platform. A basic prerequisite is to realize that service design is a comprehensive process that can combine several different approaches to the development of an online platform and that does not follow a precisely defined scheme. Here too, as in any other promising development process, testing and further or new development must be carried out at various stages.

But why all the effort?

The touchpoints between businesses and consumers are now increasingly digital, so technology is clearly at the core of successful customer experience. Technology enables the monitoring of customer experiences and simplifies the design of personalized applications. Service design, however, goes beyond user experience and encompasses all touchpoints, interactions and existing platforms. It creates interfaces between customers and employees, as well as processes and organizations. For more on what you should consider when developing your own online platform, read here. It turns out that there are numerous approaches and strategies for solution development. Now it is a matter of determining  which method is best suited for your project. 

cloudtec - Your specialist for online platforms

However, the planning of a new appearance should be well thought out. What you should pay attention to when developing an online platform, you will find out here.

We are happy to advise you on this, so that your online platform will be a success. Ask us anytime for a consultation or arrange a workshop with us. We offer different exploration workshops that help you to sharpen your ideas, validate them technically and test them as a clickable prototype.