You have an amazing idea and can hardly wait to realize it!
“Production is a bit costly, but worthy since it is going to be a cutting-edge product, never seen before! No need for market analysis, people will definitely love it.”, you believe.
Any chance for things to go downside?
When trying to solve a problem or launch a new product or a service, people often tend to be overconfident about their understanding of the market and customers’ needs and thus often believe they themselves are able to detect a problem and offer the best solution.
Finding someone to turn the ideas into reality seems to be all they need. This misconception is often the main reason for a fiasco.
How to minimize the risk of failure? Product discovery is an answer.
Product Discovery is often defined as the iterative process of reducing uncertainty around a problem or idea to make sure that the right product gets built for the right audience.
When talking about launching a new product or a service to the market, product discovery aims to identify the product opportunity from an unbiased, objective view. If the focus is on solving a problem, the main goal is finding the right solution that works for clients and for the users of the service as well.
Either way, product discovery has to prove the idea is technically feasible. Making proof of concept for every complex functionality is a must in every discovery process for it is minimizing the risk of unpleasant surprises in later phases of product development.
Generally speaking, there are two stages of the product discovery process: detecting a problem and finding a solution.
In the first stage, the most important task is to identify the problem from various perspectives, aiming to define and understand the client’s issues, as well as users’ needs. In this stage, we can differentiate the Alignment and the Research phases.
Phase 1- Alignment
In the Alignment phase, all stakeholders describe problems the way they perceive them. The focus is on defining problems and thus providing enough context for the team to study.
Phase 2- Research
The main task in the Research phase is to understand the issues the potential customers have and to define the main aspects of the problems the product should solve. Once detected, the problems are prioritized so to focus on the most important issues.
Finding a solution usually understands three main stages: Ideation, Prototyping and Validation.
Phase 3- Ideation
Ideation is the stage where the team, after gaining a comprehensive understanding of the problems, discusses the possible solutions. It is a good idea to give the team time to think independently and to exchange ideas once again to get various possible solutions. As the result of the analysis, the team comes out with concrete solutions for the improvement.
At this point, the team is well aware of the options and tools they have at disposal.
Phase 4- Prototyping
Once the team agrees on what would be the most adequate solutions to the identified problems, they move to the stage of Prototyping. Prototypes aim to demonstrate the ideas the team has gathered during the previous phase and provide them to users for testing.
Prior to that, the team conducted different tests so to ensure that all the solutions they had come up with could be implemented. The results of the phase are products such as wireframes, mockups or clickable prototypes made by the designer for clients to understand the solution design and functionality of the product.
Phase 5- Validation
The final stage is Validation. Once the quick prototype of a product is made, the team is testing it out with competent users. The procedure understands asking the users a set of questions until the team is completely confident that they have found the adequate solutions worth investing clients’ money and time, so-called usability test.
The product then moves to the Product Development phase.
DVC Solutions specialists are very devoted to the product discovery process since we deeply believe that product discovery is a time and money saver. Our main goal is to deliver value to our customers and gathering the right information and finding the most convenient solution is inevitable for success.
The greatest advantage of product discovery is that it takes place at the very beginning of the product development process since it is always easier to make changes while the idea is still growing than when you have already had the final product made. The product discovery process usually takes two to eight weeks, depending on the complexity of the task and the cost of this service is about 5-10% of the total price of the whole project.
After proper validation of the ideas and the proof that the product which a client wants to build is technically feasible and has a market value, the client is able to make an informed decision if to continue with the product development or to cease.
Without product discovery, there is always a risk of spending money on creating an expensive product that no one needs. Once the activities start in the wrong direction, the whole process can easily become time and money-consuming.
Trying to depict the importance of the product discovery process, we sometimes tell our clients that creating a product without conducted the product discovery process is like building a house with no project or making a cake with no recipe. You never know what the outcome will be.
If you aim to create a valuable project, our answer is: Product Discovery Is Your Best Friend!