Our process began with a little thing called ‘product/market fit.’ That is, we needed to determine the smallest, yet most viable part of the product that could be (1) brought to market, and then (2) continue through stages of development by way of user feedback.In Silicon Valley, this concept is referred to as MVP, or Minimum Viable Product. Not only is the concept sexy, it’s smart, and it prevents a software team and business from doing extensive work behind the scenes, only to discover that they’ve built a product that no one wants.
For Oh Shirt Yeah, achieving the MVP was not as difficult as many would imagine. For one, there wasn’t really any competition or existing apps that offered the product or service that OSY offers—this was the biggest advantage.
Instead, this was a brand new product; it wasn’t backed by years of experience, research, or trial-and-error that we could pull from. And that was okay.
Secondly, the experience we helped Oh Shirt Yeah create wasn’t going to be reduced to an app that users would download, or a website that they would navigate to while sitting at home.
Instead, the software would be developed for a specific kiosk-based environment that delivered on the customization needs and time expectations of customers who visited the Oh Shirt Yeah retail location.
The concept was simple: allow a customer to go into a store, interact with a tablet-based designer to customize their perfect shirt, iPhone case, and other apparel or accessories, and then pay for their customized product.
Then, once the check-out process was complete, the user’s design would be sent to in-store printers and prepared for printing.
The next step is where our software gained its glory: the customer’s design would have to be scaled up to the size of the product it would be placed on (e.g., a shirt) so it could be properly printed as a template. That template is then sent to a heat-press machine and used for the final printing process.
All of this had to take place within the same four corners of the store the customer walked into.