What is a Digital Product?
A static site usually consists of a number of pages, which might have a CMS to allow you to edit content and make new pages. Each page is essentially static – each visitor gets the same content. Sure, there might be some “multivariate testing”/how-we-do/multi-variate-AB-testing/ running over the top so some visitors get different messages, but the core experience is the same.
A Digital Product is different in a number of ways. First, they provide utility to the user – to store information, learn new things, or interact with others. Second, the pages tend to be fairly dynamic, customising the experience and content based on that user. To give an example:
- Facebook all members log in and get the same page. But that page changes radically between members depending on who their friends are and what they’ve done.
- 12WBT all members get delicious recipes. But the recipe I see as a female wanting to lose weight will be different to the one you might see as a male on a strength program. Your weekly nutrition and exercise plan is completely different, as is your shopping list, the videos you see, etc.
A static site can be relatively straightforward to build, with a wide variety of tools available ranging from popular ones like Wordpress or Drupal, through to more enterprise options like Sitecore or Adobe CQ.
Digital product development is generally more involved, due to higher technical complexity. The focus is more on the user experience and providing that utility. Technical problems like caching and site speed become trickier – speeding up a static site is generally pretty straightforward, but a page that is different for each user is an entirely different challenge.