You’ve committed countless hours working with a company to create a new application or digital product, and now you are finally ready to launch! Real users are logged in, and the company is expecting to gain immediate value from the new technology. Here’s a reality check: at this step you’re still not done. It’s now time to take the necessary steps to ensure the continuous success of your digital product. Here are some tips to consider after a software launches.
1. Establish a support team
It’s important to form an “on-call” team to address any issues that arise after launching the product. Be sure to establish this team prior to the launch. Understand how you can address problems quickly by working with them through real life scenarios and testing failures. Depending on the functionality of your application and how it impacts the business, some types of products may require more support.
2. Make informed decisions with data analytics
The outcomes of your new product should be tracked continuously to make sure it is working and benefitting the company as expected. Data and analytics can help make more informed decisions for future investments in the application. For example, monitor any concerns with usability and application up-time. Are certain features used more than others? Are you seeing certain, specific errors? Track the answer to questions like these to help define future investments.
3. Consider outside feedback
Those involved in making the product may have an unrealistic, positive bias because of the personal involvement. Get opinions outside of product owners, managers and developers regarding the functionality and success of the digital product. Take advantage of unique insights gained through unbiased feedback and use these to continuously make improvements.
4. Stay ahead of technical debt
Addressing technical debt early and often will help avoid refactoring issues down the road. In other words, be sure to improve the codebase and work towards new framework releases. This will form a solid foundation for making changes and adding features in addition to ensuring a positive user experience when the time comes.
5. Plan the future of your product
Once you have established your product, plan where it is going to change and/or be improved. User satisfaction will decrease and expectations will increase as technology advances. The system might need a visual refresh as popular user interface patterns evolve. Form a roadmap for frequent improvements based on keeping up to date on technology and user feedback. This signals to your employees that you are listened and invested in making great products to improve their jobs and the company overall.
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