Golden Circle method #2: How to make digital products for cultural users?
Date 13 May 2023
Creating online products is different from organising offline activities. It is worth bearing this in mind before starting to design an app or software.
Is it always worth building a new tool?
When planning offline events, one thinks mainly about getting participants to come. In the online world, it is important that they meet us, so it makes sense to be where users are already and looking for entertainment, such as in content aggregators or social media. Sometimes this involves using a means of communication that is completely new to us, as the Warsaw Uprising Museum did by organising a competition on Twitch. This tool allowed them to reach a completely new audience that they would not have met elsewhere.
This example suggests that you don't always need to create new tools. Remember that a debuting product needs additional promotion. If the product does not meet their expectations, they will leave the site shortly after entering and return to familiar entertainment sources, such as the aforementioned Twitch or Facebook. Building your own tool is worth considering if it serves an additional purpose, such as shaping your image, or if your product will offer value that existing solutions do not.
How do you go beyond your local community and meet users from all over the world?
Going online means going beyond the local. Unfortunately, cultural institutions still often focus primarily on informing the local community about their activities. When planning your product, consider implementing additional language versions, such as English. It is estimated that English is the most popular language in the world, used by some 527 million people.
These are not all the issues involved in building online products. Another is the potential for cooperation between organisations, which is not being fully exploited. The solution to this problem is consolidation. By using one place, it will be easier for a user from Munster to find the website of a theatre in Frankfurt These types of solutions are emerging on the market, so it is worth using them. An example is the operavision.eu platform for opera fans, which operates on a European scale.
When planning new online activities, there is one more rule to remember. A digital product needs to be constantly developed, improved and adapted to the needs of customers, which also change over time. It needs to be adapted to market conditions, to changing habits and also to new technologies. If you don't do this regularly, the system will be discardable after 2-3 years.
For your digital product to develop properly, it needs a custodian, i.e. a manager or owner. Such a person takes care of the product as if it were his home. He or she sets the path for its project development, researches and experiments, and measures, checks and analyses not only how many people come to the site, but also what users click on and what content is relevant to them.