Crash Course in Product Development Part 3

| By:
Linda Brotherton

Design & Build

Thanks for coming back for part three of our product development series. Missed part one or part two? Now that you’ve completed your R&D, and conceived and realized your product, it’s time to design and build.

In this third installment to the Crash Course in Product Development, we’ll share best practices for designing and building your new product or service.

Design specifications should include:

A workflow mockup.

Also known as the prototype, this step provides at least part of the functionality of the proposed system and enables your team to test the design.

Functional documents.

This documentation describes the requested behavior of a product. The documentation typically describes what is needed by the system user as well as requested properties of inputs and outputs.

Functional QA.

Test, test, and re-test. Verify that the product not only works as planned, but also that the design document(s) are accurate.

Marketing and Development.

This is the creation and management of three major marketing groups defined as: textual content (digital assets), images (media assets) and multimedia (media assets). Involving marketing is key in the development stage to ensure they’re informed enough to effectively market the product.

After design concerns are put to rest, it’s time to build. This step involves:

QA Testing.

Systematic testing of the product will ensure compliance with the expected outcomes and may include ensuring conformance to one or more standards, such as ISO 9000 (the International Organization for Standardization related to quality management systems).


To see or touch a product before buying quickly brings potential customers closer to the point of sale. It’s important to ensure that demonstrations are pre-configured and tested before use (so you don’t make a fool of yourself).

Real-world testing and validation.

This is also known as alpha testing. Some product dev issues can only be addressed when a product physically gets used—either by an alpha client, or your in-house staff.


After the testing and demos, ask for feedback. This is vital as it will help you further refine the product.

After designing and building are complete, it’s time to go to market. But that’s another topic, for another time. Next time, in fact.

Don’t miss our fourth and final Product Development post in this series. In it, we’ll give you the skinny on how to go to market with your latest creation.