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I have an interesting problem to solve. For a company that is growing and would like to move to a multi-product architecture.

The original product has been successful and there are plans to build 2 new products that target different user bases. Could a user use more than 1 product? Yes, but it would be uncommon.

With this in mind. I'd prefer a 'light' integration. E.g. Links in the footer vs. a landing page for the company vision etc. And below that, links to the 3 products.

My assumption is that given the user bases are segmented, the products should stand alone. As opposed to a multi-product company that shares the same user base. Obviously the look and feel can be consistent but it's more a question of positioning.

From an experience perspective, I'm concerned that introducing the additional products to the original product heavily could confuse/annoy/alienate existing users.

So my question is. Are there other things to consider? Do my assumptions hold water? What other options are there?

Thanks!

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    Hi Mitch, I think this question is off topic for a couple of reasons. 1) It's 'too broad', and 2) because the correct answer will lie in the context of your company and its customer, without that knowledge the answers will be 'primarily opinion-based'.
    – dennislees
    Jan 4 '18 at 16:12
  • You might consider drilling down into one specific aspect of your problem and posing a more concrete question. e.g. Does 'X' affect 'Y'?, as opposed to 'What are all the 'X's that I'm missing?' or 'Am I right about 'X'?
    – dennislees
    Jan 4 '18 at 16:23
  • I think the assumptions need to be tested because it is too easy to make decisions based on these assumptions without more information to back it up, and you wouldn't want to spend a lot of time and energy with designing and developing if it turns out not to be correct...
    – Michael Lai
    Jan 7 '18 at 5:08
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I have no sources or direct experience with this subject, so take this all with a dose of skepticism.

The best advice I can give is to make the transition as easy as possible for the user. Even if the underlying motivation is to make more money off of separate products, there can be benefits to the user to having multiple products in a suite. Some examples:

  • A user that only needs one of the services may be saving money
  • Each product may have a dedicated team and receive better updates/support
  • As each product is more focused, it does its job better than a "one-size-fits-all" product. You could technically write a book in PowerPoint, but obviously Word is the better tool

A successful example of this is the introduction of Stack Exchange sites based off the Stack Overflow model.

As you've eluded to in your question, there can be downsides as well. Here are some examples:

  • If a user needs features from both products, will it cost them more? How compatible will they be?
  • If the design language is inconsistent, this will cause transition strain
  • Will your company be able to provide support for both products with existing resources?

Just some things to consider. If you provide more detail or focus the question more you may get better answers (I'm not sure I understand the concept of "light integration").

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