Building in meaningful iterations is important to your product. It's easy to get excited when you have a vision, but it’s important to not rush the process. Your first iteration or the first draft of your product may not have all the bells and whistles you want it to. And that's OK. Accepting that the first iteration will not be the final version or the best version is important.
Here are the important things to note when you're working in iterations:
What is your product trying to solve: Identifying the pain point your customers have is essential to a great product. Without providing a solution to a problem your users have, there is no incentive for them to log on or use your product.
What are the core functions of your product: Focus in on the how. Once you’ve identified the pain point, it’s important to consider how people will solve this pain point within your product. Pick no more than three main functions and make absolutely sure that these are easy for your user to navigate and solves their problem. Focusing on too many features can mean that your core features are not being attended to.
What do you want your dream product to look like: Identifying this will help you work toward your goal. This way when you are building features, you're leaving room for the dream features so they are easy to add in later.
Here are a few examples of building in iterations:
1. Snapchat: Snapchat started as a very simple idea, an app that sends messages to someone that get erased after the person views it. The other features of Snapchat (like the Snapchat map, the discover page, GIPHY stickers, etc.) all came after the original iteration.
2. Instagram: Instagram started with the idea of solely communicating through images. It was named Instagram, referring to the fact that users were sending a type of instant telegram. The comments, likes, captions, etc. were all stripped from the original version. After years of iterating, we have an entire community of influencers, stories, and hashtags!
So, if you're thinking of taking the next big step in building your product, first of all CONGRATS! Secondly, consider iterations and how you are moving the product in the direction that makes the most sense for your users.
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