What is the Discovery Phase - Best Practices
Discovery Phase is the stage that precedes the development of any new web or mobile application. During this phase, the appearance of the application, its functionalities, detailed technical requirements, and marketing research are determined, along with the preparation of UI & UX design.
Below, we will explain how we conduct the Discovery Phase in our company before developing any application.
Stage 1 - Material Review
We take everything the client provides, such as mockups, a general description of the application idea, and begin a detailed review, consulting with the technical team regarding any necessary solutions.
Stage 2 - Competitor Analysis (if applicable)
We study all the leading competitors, if they exist. We test their products, explore their solutions, and identify their strengths and weaknesses. This is handled by our Product Manager, who also investigates user feedback. User reviews are one of the most valuable sources of what your potential audience genuinely likes or dislikes. Simultaneously, the Marketing Manager assesses demand, gathers data on the potential market size, and levels of demand.
At the same time, we compile a list of what we can do better than the competitors. This way, we gather detailed information on what users are missing, what can be improved, and we come up with Killer-Features that will undoubtedly outperform all competitors.
In the case of developing a unique solution in the market with no existing demand or competitors, it's important to conduct research on the potential audience. It's crucial to do this correctly.
Stage 3 - Prototyping
Our Product Designer creates the structure of the future application, positioning different elements. This is somewhat similar to the future final design but in a basic version.
We also create a clickable prototype in case there are doubts about whether it will be user-friendly. This way, we establish the UX design of the future application.
Stage 4 - Documentation Compilation
Our Business Analyst or Product Manager compiles a special document that describes everything in detail. Typically, this document includes a significant portion of the following list:
- Application goals
- General application description
- User types
- User scenarios for each user type
- Technical requirements
- Acceptance criteria
- List of third-party services/SDK/APIs for integration
- Potential challenges
- Security requirements
- List of additional dependencies that may become blockers.
Everything depends on the complexity level of the application. The more complex the application, the more potential challenges may arise during development, and the more in-depth you need to delve into all the details.
Additionally, the Business Analyst continually consults with the technical team to find the best solution tailored to this specific case and avoid any future issues.
Stage 5 - UI Design
Based on the prepared prototypes, our designer creates the final UI design. We use Figma for this purpose. In addition to the design, we create a UI kit, upon which the future design is built. Subsequently, with the help of the UI kit, any designer can add new screens to the application that will harmoniously blend with the existing ones.
Moreover, we pay special attention to all possible states of various elements. For example, how a form will look if a user hasn't entered any information, how it will appear if they've entered incomplete information, how it will look if they've entered incorrect information, and how it will appear if they've entered all the information correctly. All of this is super important as success lies in the details, and our team knows it.
Once the UI design is ready and approved, we create a final clickable prototype in which you can recheck and ensure that it's precisely what is needed.
With this, the Discovery Phase comes to a close. Next, all the materials are handed over to the development department, which, based on the comprehensive information, can provide precise estimates for development timelines and costs.
If you're interested in conducting a Discovery Phase for your product and need assistance, feel free to contact us.