Discovery refers to the activities required to determine if and why a product should be developed. Carrying out this work makes it more likely to create a product users actually want and need.
By speaking to stakeholders, analysing data, and researching we can inform the next stage.
The key questions at this stage are as follows.
- What do we want to do?
- Who are we doing it for?
- What business goals are we meeting?
- What business metrics are important?
- What technical restrictions do we have?
- How much time do we have?
And activities that take place include.
- Data Analysis
- Competitor Analysis
- Focus Groups
- User Interviews
“If I were given one hour to save the planet, I would spend 59 minutes defining the problem and one minute resolving it.” - Albert Einstein
A well defined problem often contains its own solution, and that solution is usually quite obvious and straightforward. By defining problems properly, you make them easier to solve, which means saving time, money and resources.
We can define the problem using the following techniques.
- Insights prioritisation
- Card Sorting
- Affinity mapping
- Problem Statement
- Value proposition
- "How Might We" questions
We can better understand our users goals through these activities.
- Empathy map
- User journey
- User Stories
Wait, is ideate a real word? I hear you say. Yes, the cambridge dictionary defines it as...
"to think of an idea or ideas, to form an idea of a particular thing"
Coming up with ideas can be hard, but there are many ways to spark creativity in teams. Workshops in the following are a great place to start.
- Building a team
- Playing 6 to 1, Crazy 8s, and Round Robin
- Card Sorting
Creating representations of a users thought process with a mind map, affinity map, and information architecture all help to create empathy for the user and come up with great and varied ideas.
A prototype is an early sample, model, or release of a product built to test a concept or process.
As with any design this starts off life as hand drawn wireframes, and evolves into interactive simulation of the product.
There are a number of tools designers can use to do this, such as Invision, Figma, and Adobe XD.
As with static illustration, prototypes are often best designed in grey scale to allow users and teams to focus on the content, and not get wrapped up in colour choices at this early stage.
Once a prototype has been validated, work on the finer details can begin, this will include things like.
- Copy writing
- Micro Interactions
When we've turned our prototype into a functioning product, we need to establish if it solves the problem we defined.
To do this initially we perform usability tests such as shadowing, and system usability scale (SUS) testing in addition to repeating the same usability testing done during the discovery phase.
If out initial evaluation seems to solve the problem we've defined, then we get approval for our solution by analysing data.
In software, this would generally take the form of an A/B test to a small percentage of traffic. Gathering data like this is only effective when substantial traffic use a product.
When you've solved the problem that was defined, and backed that up with data and/or positive feedback from usability testing. You've done your job.
Your team should fully ship your solution and celebrate this milestone!