At Simple Thread, we refer to ourselves as a “digital product agency”. We get asked a lot exactly what a “digital product agency” is, and how that makes us different from any other IT or technology consulting company.
What is a digital product?
To answer that question, we first need to define a digital product. In the most concrete terms, we would define a typical digital product as:
A web application, mobile app, or other software application that is used by people to make their life easier, entertain them, or improve their productivity.
In a more broad sense, a digital product is really any service or application that is enhanced by software and provides direct value to people. The key there is “enhanced by software”, because software is never the end goal. What we are trying to accomplish has little to do with the software, the software is only there to make it easier.
Examples of digital products
A great example of this is a digital product like DoorDash. We use DoorDash not because we like their app, or want to look at pictures of food. We use it because we are hungry and we don’t want to leave our homes. DoorDash is a digital product that helps make our lives a little easier by allowing us to quickly have food sent directly to us.
Another example that many of us are familiar with is Trello. Trello is a simple task management digital product. But again, we don’t use Trello because we want to drag boxes around, we use it because it helps us keep the tasks in our lives and work organized. It is all about making our lives easier.
For us at Simple Thread, creating digital products is about figuring out how software can make someone’s life a little easier and a little better.
What sets a digital product agency apart
And that is what sets digital products apart from other software. It’s all about the people. Understanding how people interact with not just software, but everyone and everything else around them.
Many efforts to build software somehow forget that the rest of the world exists. Someone has created a spec that spells out in excruciating detail all of the users in the system, everything the system needs to do, all of the external dependencies, all of the data that needs to be captured, and all of the data that needs to be displayed.
And yet somehow, in all of that rigor, they’ve completely ignored how people will actually interact with the system being built. They haven’t really dug in to understand users and their needs. They don’t understand how they do their jobs or what constraints they are under. They don’t know what tasks cause them the most pain. They haven’t put mockups in front of users before going straight to building software. They haven’t taken the most important steps needed to ensure that their software is going to be a success.
Who We Are
That’s what we mean when we say Simple Thread is a digital product agency. We don’t just build software and keep a few designers around to make things pretty. Everything we do is driven from our desire to have a deep understanding of the goals of the business and the people who will be impacted by the product.
We bring together a cross-disciplinary team with the skills to help you understand your users, understand their needs and constraints, and everything about the environment in which they work. Then we help you design and build a digital product that will delight your customers and make your team happier and more efficient.
Business software is often forced upon a reluctant audience because it typically makes people’s jobs possible, but it doesn’t make them any easier. When we do our job right, your team gets a product that they want to use, a product they can’t imagine doing their jobs without.
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