Digital products are all based on play

To discover great digital products describe how you’re audiences experience your brands promise. One of the best ways to discover how your digital products relate to your digital strategy is to pay attention to how your audiences use metaphors to describe how you create value for them.

Let’s use an example. What’s your favorite board game? Got it? Describe it without using the title of the game.

My favorite board game is Parcheesi. My description of the game is: A board game in which you roll dice and move your pawns around a track to try to get all your pawns home, while preventing your opponents from getting all their pawns home before you do. You can send your opponents pawns back to their starting position by moving your pawn to a square they are on. Once you get close to ‘home’ your pawn is safe from being sent back to the beginning.

How well an interactive systems help you achieve a clearly understood and achievable goal is what makes it a digital product, rather than a program, a web form, an operating system or any other metaphor you use to describe the features of your digital product.

Your audience figures out great digital products by playing with them

They are not games, per se, but they are learned as if they were games. I’m not going to cite a definitive source for this assertion because we all talk about learning how to use interactive systems with the same language we use to describe how we play. Great digital products do not need to be fun, or serious. Great digital products encourage you to explore a brand promise. They set a clear, achievable and valuable goal and invite you to use an interactive system to figure out how to reach that goal