February 15, 2019

How our users are shaping our product

Jovita Stakionyte
UX Designer

The birth of a product is always dictated by someone’s need for it. In our physical world the need to protect ourselves from the elements, or danger, translates into the act of building a house or shelter.

Today, digital products are born much the same way.  They are instigated by a customer need, although these 'needs' have naturally evolved over time. So in today’s example: we install an online shopping app as we don’t want to waste our precious time queuing in a store, the ‘need’ of now is to save time.

In the very early days, we used to shape and build our ‘products’ (including our own houses) ourselves. Nowadays, only a few of us can physically build our own house, and none of us build our online products (such as our beloved shopping apps). Most often, we rely on professionals to do this for us. However, by shifting this responsibility onto someone else we do take a risk. What risk you may ask?

The risk of being disappointed if we don’t get precisely what we wanted or envisioned:  maybe we have not explained our vision well at the very beginning of the project, or perhaps nobody asked us the right questions, and now...we wish they did…

Those who produce these products for us (whether building our dream home or building an app) take another type of risk, a business one. Indeed, the success of the business and/or its product is highly dependent on the customers’ satisfaction and need… What if the customer is not satisfied? What if the customer never actually needed such a product?  

The guessing game is very dangerous in any industry but, especially, in digital – where the competition is fierce and the user always has numerous choices – to leave, to uninstall, to abandon purchase… or to find something better.

Here, at Upgrade Pack we are creating an original product that leverages technology, travel and loyalty to deliver a brand new rewards experience. Whilst we say we are disrupting the market, our steps are still very considered - with all aspects of our product development based on the needs of both our clients (banks and card issuers) and users (frequent travellers) that have not yet been fulfilled by anyone else.

Our product is currently being moulded into shape and this does not happen effectively without the user’s help. For our Beta phase, we invested a lot in our surveys. As a result, we now have some valuable insights on our users requirements and preferences, beyond what even we could predict.

We learned what type of information they would be happy to share with us to improve and personalise their experience, which upgrade options they’d rate the most highly and the kind of new partner notifications they would like to receive – those insights all help us to deliver a product our users are truly engaged with.

Moreover, in the following weeks, we are launching usability testing sessions with our Beta users, which will help us to understand what is working well and if there is anything that we could improve.

We will keep developing and tailoring our product to our customers’ needs post launch too. This also gives our clients the confidence that they are offering a high quality, high value loyalty benefit, based on the continuous contribution of current and future users, that will give them a deeper relationship with their most valued customers.