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Hierarchy of a (digital) product's needs

You are a product designer, developer, writer, information architect, etc. and somebody asks you Is [enter your expertise here] important?, you will answer Sure, because it makes [xyz] better..

But how important are you for the success of a product? Or maybe asked better: When are you important to a product?

The following pyramid depicts the hierarchy of a product's needs (borrowed from Maslow). Which aspects are totally necessary, which are useful and which just icing on the digital cake?

Pyramid depicting the needs of a digital product


Why is access more important than utility?

If you don't have the possibility to use a product, you can't profit from its capabilities.

Why is the base called access and not accessibility?

Accessibility is a broad topic but recently it is very much biased towards disability. It wanted to make sure that people don't misunderstand.

This is an idea, a work in progress. Please send feedback (or ♥︎) to @st_phan on Twitter or hello ät stephanbogner dot de – Cheers!

Note: This is an updated version thanks to people's feedback. The old version can be found here.