Product Design and the Nurtured Entrepreneur
Dear Nurtured Entrepreneur,
How do you decide when to create a new product for your small business entrepreneurship? How do you decide what content it should cover, what needs of your clients it should address? Basing answers solely on your own point of view can be risky. You want to rely on the four grounding elements of effective design: analysis, design, development, and evaluation.
And because you are a mindful entrepreneur, you’ll of course want to begin any brainstorming or question-and-answer activity by first using your favorite method to connect in with Spirit, get grounded, and let creative inspiration start flowing.
Here is a sample of the questions I explore with my clients during these key phases of product creation.
Element #1: Analysis – The analysis phase of creating a product answers questions that guide the rest of the process. Think through these carefully and write down your answers so you can keep them in mind and refer to them as needed throughout the next three phases.
- What do I want to teach or what information do I want to impart?
- What is my purpose/intention in doing so?
- Who is the audience and what are they like? (very key, often overlooked question)
- What do the participants/readers/users need to take away with them from their experience with this product?
Element #2: Design – With the answers from your analysis clearly defined, you’re ready to begin designing your product. The design phase helps you answer the following questions from your clients’ point of view:
- What is the best medium for my message? (text, audio, video, images, live, etc.)
- What style/tone does my content/material/presentation call for?
- In what order should the content be presented?
- How should the content be divided, sized, organized, grouped, labeled?
- What is the best instructional strategy for each unit of content?
- How will I engage the participants/readers/users to help them absorb, retain, and apply the information?
Element #3: Development – Now you’re ready to produce your product. You you’re your intentions and design documented. Development answers these key implementation questions:
- Based on my design “blueprint,” what steps do I need to take to produce my product/materials?
- In what order should I do those steps? Can some be done concurrently?
- What outside resources might I need to help me implement the design?
- What part of my product should I develop first as a prototype to test the production steps and effectiveness of my design?
- How will I implement/disseminate and evaluate what I produce?
Element #4: Evaluation – This phase (along with Analysis) is often overlooked as having value, but it can be instrumental in course correction and product improvement. Being a creative entrepreneur, you won’t want to skip it. Evaluation answers these questions and they can be answered regarding your prototype as well as your final product:
- What’s working and how will I know?
- What’s not quite right?
- Are the participants/readers/users getting what they need and in an efficient manner?
- What wants to be revised or evolve into something new or more?
You may want to print this post and put it in your product development folder. And if you would like a knowledgeable communications guide and message mentor to collaborate with you on your next product idea, I’d be delighted to hear from you.
Until next time …
Note: In April, I posted a blog about designing products or marketing materials for your work-with-passion business, and the role of the instructional designer in helping you define, document, and bring your vision to life. Here’s a link to Effective Communication and the Nurtured Entrepreneur if you missed it then.
|Print article||This entry was posted by Jana Jopson on July 13, 2012 at 1:23 am, and is filed under Instructional Design Insights. Follow any responses to this post through RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback from your own site.|
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