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Scaleups , User — 11.11.2022

Unify Your Product Experience After Acquisition

Jon Moore, Principal, Product Design

When a company acquires a new product, they often face the problem of integrating the new product into their overall experience. To add value to your existing product, you acquired a new one. But now you have a variety of products that look and act differently. These inconsistencies cause a poor user experience and devalue your product.

It’s like moving into a new house with your significant other. Each person has their own furniture, dishes, and decor. You both must decide what stays and what goes. If not, you’ll end up with a midcentury living room and a modern kitchen. While you may learn to tolerate it, your house guests will certainly be confused.

Your users are your guests and your product is your house — unify your product experience so your guests enjoy it, and keep coming back.

Your users deserve a cohesive product.

Whether you’re in high-growth mode with mergers and acquisition activity or you’re a scaling SaaS company without cohesive product screens and messaging, users and buyers expect a unified experience.

A unified product experience provides consistency and clarity across all touchpoints, including website pages, log in screens, and profile settings. With one unified interface, users will better understand and trust your product.

Ignoring inconsistencies means compromising what’s best for your users. They’ll become confused and frustrated, and eventually users will abandon your product. 

Not only will current users suffer from a lack of consistency, but potential buyers will struggle as well. Without one true and consistent message, your product’s story is lost.  And without a clear story, your buyers won’t understand the value that your new products provide. 

Unifying your products can be difficult because each has its own design and functionality. But a unified product experience is essential to keeping your customers happy and engaged.

To create a cohesive product experience after acquisition, companies need to align all products. 

Here’s how to do it.

To create a seamless product experience post-acquisition, audit all your products and their unique features to determine what adds the most value to your users. Before you can decide what stays and what goes, you have to take inventory of what you currently have.

To do this, product managers determine which features your product roadmap needs. Similar to how a product marketing team creates a site map for a website, product designers use insights from product managers to build an information architecture or navigational hierarchy for all of your products.

This architecture helps designers understand the unique features of each product, like:

  • What does the navigation look like?
  • What do settings lead to?
  • How are cross-product notifications managed?

Understanding the key features helps identify patterns between your products, like:

  • What’s the login experience?
  • How do you manage your profile?
  • Can you reset your password?

Once a product designer has established baseline design patterns such as object creation workflows, settings management, and data grids, they use them to glue your products together with consistent pieces. This simplifies the navigation structure so users can find what they’re looking for quickly and easily. Avoid complex menus or paths because they confuse and frustrate users.

While this process might sound simple on paper, it can be daunting for an existing internal product team who is already overwhelmed with new feature development and ongoing maintenance tasks like bug fixes. 

Working with a digital product agency like Innovatemap gives you fresh eyes and a new perspective. An external product team can focus on creating a seamless experience within your existing products and ensure that any new features are aligned with the broader product vision. Because we’ve worked with hundreds of companies to design and deliver products, we can make an impact faster than an internal team. 

If you’re ready to unify your product experience, but you’re thinking “where do I begin,” determine your biggest problem.

  • Are you having a hard time selling your product? If you’re having a hard time selling, then you may have a product hierarchy issue. Revisit your product brand and messaging.
  • Are your users struggling to use your product? If users are confused and abandoning your product, or your customer service team is overburdened, then you probably have a product design problem. Focus on improving your user experience. 

Learn how our product experts can help you unify your product. 

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