The pre-design phase holds critical importance in the development of a digital product. It serves to clearly define the product’s purpose, align it with user needs and company goals, and give it a competitive edge on the market. This phase also plays a crucial role in risk mitigation and budget management. To achieve these benefits, professional design studios like Widelab meticulously undertake three core pre-design processes: research, benchmarking, and strategy. To learn more about each of these steps, read this article.


The research process begins with comprehensive discussions involving all stakeholders in the project, including clients and end-users. This is crucial for understanding the expectations and requirements for the digital product’s design. For user-centric designs, user research is essential as it provides insights into user needs, preferences, and pain points. Market research is also necessary to identify potential challenges and opportunities. Additionally, regulatory and compliance research is conducted to identify legal requirements that may impact the digital product, such as data privacy regulations like GDPR.


While initial research includes market studies, design experts at  Widelab, invest time in detailed benchmarking. This process involves a comparison of the new product’s concept with existing solutions, enabling the identification of ways to differentiate the product and the development of best practices. Benchmarking often involves a comparative analysis of solutions similar to the new product’s concept and the study of direct competitors, with a focus on their strengths and weaknesses.

Strategy development

After conducting extensive research, design teams are prepared to develop a strategy for a new product.

The goals and objectives of the strategy are a fundamental part and should be clear, measurable, and defined within specific time frames. These goals should be centred on the issues the new product aims to address and the results it is intended to achieve.

An essential component of the strategy is the inclusion of user personas representing the target audience. Adding design principles to the strategy is also recommended to ensure that the product aligns with user needs and brand identity.

Additionally, the strategy must encompass all functionality, features, and content within the product’s scope. A comprehensive strategy should also cover risk assessment, highlighting possible challenges and methods to address them.

The pre-design step with Widelab

Experts at Widelab understand the critical role of the pre-design phase in contributing to the success of the final product. Commencing digital product design without completing the pre-design phase can result in a range of costly issues, including misalignment with the market, competitive disadvantage, lack of clarity and purpose, poor understanding of the user, inadequate resource allocation, and regulatory compliance issues.

Even a single problem from those mentioned above can be sufficient to make a product fail.