The traditional design model just won’t cut it anymore.
In an age of immediacy, businesses don’t always have the luxury of designing a product, releasing it and improving the next model. This archaic approach takes far too long to meet users’ needs. And when it does, by the time the newest model comes out, those needs likely will have already changed, rendering the design outdated before even leaving the manufacturer.
Iterative Design Consistently Meets Users’ Evolving Needs
According to a MarketingSherpa study, if companies are only focused on how easy a product is to use, they may overlook important experience design necessities — an oversight that could cost them revenue.
So to prevent technological products from falling behind the curve before their release, the Hathway creative team utilizes an iterative design approach. By releasing designs that meet real user needs and continuously gathering user data and applying that knowledge to future designs, we create truly user-centric products that evolve with users’ needs.
Through the iterative design framework, we infuse user data into an ever-evolving mobile design that spans the lifecycle of our clients’ products. A responsive user experience is not only the heart of a strong mobile experience, but also the core of our design model.
Iterative Design Delivers a Better User Experience in Less Time
With iterative design, brands can conduct several shorter design development phases rather than one long one and can distribute more small releases instead of holding one large product launch. Using this method, we keep clients and current users happy with frequent updates while developing innovative features to attract new users.
In the past, businesses often released updates quarterly, which stifled product innovation and sometimes caused user feedback to grow stale. Iterative design not only removes these limitations, but also increases the number of tasks completed and decreases the amount of time needed to complete them.
Hathway also employs the ITS Iterative Design & Development Framework, a strategy developed by the University of Michigan. This strategy segments the goals of iterative design into three key objectives:
- Providing the most business value quickly
- Delivering the most value first
- Getting functional solutions to customers sooner
Following this iterative design framework allows us to focus on immediate objectives, adapt to rapidly changing user demands and observe trends in user feedback — all while providing a product design that underpins our clients’ marketing goals.
Fulfill Clients’ Needs With the ‘Mobile Innovation Model’
At Hathway, our iterative design process uses what we call our “mobile innovation model.” This model pinpoints where our clients fall in the mobile innovation process and how we map out and fulfill their immediate and future needs.
Our model separates the stages of mobile innovation into four categories:
- Exploration: This category identifies clients in the earliest phase of mobile innovation. We ask, “Do you currently have an app available on iOS?” and “Is your website optimized for mobile?” By exploring what our new clients are already doing (or not doing), we can help them establish a mobile presence.
- Expansion: Clients in this phase have pegged mobile as their primary channel and are typically exploring different approaches for expanding their mobile marketing. They may have apps available on both Android and iOS platforms and understand that a responsive mobile design should be functional, immersive and transactional. A large subsection of our client base also falls into this camp.
- Acceleration: Much of the iterative design process takes place in the acceleration phase. Here, clients expand their mobile presence, invest heavily in the user experience and integrate their mobile strategy across the board. We continue to collect and analyze user data and optimize the design accordingly to increase engagement.
- Transformation: This category covers future development. We explore areas for opportunity within our clients’ businesses and the evolving tech landscape, then leverage that knowledge to create a more immersive, personal user experience.
For example, we helped one major restaurant retailer build an extension of its app to enable in-store purchasing. In this client’s transformation stage, we discussed the Internet of Things and its major future influence on primary mobile providers so we could build a successful design system built for growth.
Iterative design works to improve every part of the development process through a lean and agile approach. Unforeseen problems and innovation are constantly disrupting the mobile landscape. As a result, if you can’t make changes quickly and fluidly, you’ll struggle to stay above water — let alone rise to the top. However, armed with a well-versed iterative design team, you can drive the continuous adapting, relevant thinking and roadmapping for the future life of your product.
Our iterative design process has helped clients meet unexpected challenges so they can stop keeping up with trends and start spearheading them.