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Product Discovery Process - a guide to design the best product

This article is a guide to design the best product thanks to an in-depth knowledge of Product Discovery

Product Discovery
Photo de Clément Gauthier
Clément Gauthier
Product Discovery Process|

Product discovery is crucial to product development and involves identifying the right product to create. It’s a process of understanding the market and the customer’s needs and identifying opportunities for building a new product or improving an existing one. The product discovery process aims to find the right problem to solve and the right solution to solve it.

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Importance of Product Discovery Process

Product discovery is essential for several reasons. 

First, it ensures that the built product meets the customers' needs. This is important because if the product doesn’t meet the customer’s needs, it’s unlikely to be successful ! 

Second, it helps in identifying new opportunities for growth and innovation. By understanding the market and the customer’s needs, a company can identify new opportunities for growth and innovation. 

Finally, it helps in reducing the risk of failure. By understanding the market and the customer’s needs, a company can build products that are more likely to succeed.

Product Discovery Best Practices

Several best practices can help ensure a successful product discovery process. These best practices include:

 #1 - Focus on the problem, not the solution

The product discovery process should focus on understanding the user's needs and pain points rather than creating a solution. This ensures that the product is built to address the user's real problem.

#2 - Stay customer-centric

Keep the customer at the center of the product discovery process. Regularly test and validate assumptions to ensure the product meets customer needs and provides value.

#3 - Involve your teams in the project

The product discovery process should involve a cross-functional team that includes designers, developers, product managers, and marketers. This ensures that the product is designed to be technically feasible, meet the user's needs, and has a viable business model.

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Steps involved in Product Discovery Process

The product discovery process typically starts with ideas or problems statement used as a starting point to develop a product. This idea or problem statement can come from various sources, such as customer feedback, market research, industry trends, or internal brainstorming sessions. Once the idea or problem statement is defined, the product discovery process starts by following a set of steps to validate and refine the idea before moving on to the product development stage.

Even if it could be seen as one of several marketing techniques, to be a real success and lead to product delivery, the product discovery process has to be part of a real business strategy !

Identifying the problem - learn about the users pain.

The first step in the product discovery process is identifying the problem. This involves understanding the customer’s pain points, the problems they face and the context in which they experience the problem. One way to do this is by conducting user research, such as surveys, observations, and interviews, to understand the customer’s needs, gather insights, and pain points and validate assumptions. 

The key to successful idea generation involves diverse teams, including designers, developers, and business stakeholders. This ensures that the ideas generated are not limited to one perspective and are more likely to be innovative and effective. Once the problem has been identified, it’s important to prioritize the problems based on their impact on the customer and the business. This will help in deciding which problems to tackle first. 

Understanding and mapping the market

The second step in the product discovery process is understanding the market. This involves conducting market research to understand the size of the market, the competition, and the trends. By understanding the market, your company will identify new opportunities for growth and innovation. One way to conduct market research is by analyzing the data, such as sales data and industry reports. Stay up to date with the latest market trends, competitor offerings, and technology advancements. This helps to identify opportunities and threats and make informed decisions.

Defining the product

The third step in the product discovery process is defining the product. This involves creating a product roadmap that outlines the features and functionalities of the product. The product roadmap should reflect the customer’s needs and market trends. It’s essential to keep the product roadmap flexible so that it can be adjusted based on feedback from the customers and the market. For each project, define the desired outcomes and metrics to measure the success of the new product or feature. Clear goals and ideas will help your team to focus efforts and make data-informed decisions.

Prototyping and testing - find the best solution

The fourth step in the product discovery process is prototyping and testing. This involves creating and testing a product prototype with the customers to gather feedback. The prototype can be a simple sketch or a more advanced prototype, depending on the stage of the product development process. Iterate and test product ideas and features with users early and often. Start with low-fidelity prototypes and gradually increase the fidelity to get feedback on functionality, usability, and desirability. Later, the prototypes could be wireframes, mockups, or even a minimum viable product (MVP). 

This step aims to test the assumptions and gather data that will help make informed decisions about the product's future direction. A company can gather feedback and improve the product by testing the prototype with the customers.

Testing can take many forms, including user testing, A/B testing, and beta testing. The goal is to identify any issues with the product and gather users feedback on how to improve it.

One of the key benefits of testing is that it allows you to validate assumptions and make data-informed decisions about the product. By testing with real users, you can ensure that your product meets their needs and is more likely to be successful in your business activities.

Analyze data and design the product

The fifth step is to analyze the data gathered from the experiments and refine the product concept. This involves interpreting the feedback and deciding what changes must be made to the product. The feedback could be quantitative data, such as user engagement metrics, or qualitative data, such as user feedback. Data analysis should be used to refine the product concept and improve the product's features.

Launching the Product - it’s time for the delivery phase

Thanks to all those insights, The final step in the product discovery process is launching the product. This involves releasing the product to the market and promoting it to the customers. It’s important to have a marketing strategy to ensure the product is successful in the market. The marketing strategy should be based on the customer’s needs and market trends.

Following a right and well prepared product discovery process will help you team to understand the problem, learn about the potential solutions and work on the best product delivery.

Product Discovery Process - start with Agile Methodology

The product discovery process can be integrated into the Agile methodology. Agile methodology focuses on iterative development, continuous feedback, and collaboration. 

In the Agile methodology, the product discovery process is integrated into the product development process. The product discovery process is used to identify the problems and opportunities. Use agile methodologies and processes to work in short cycles and adapt to change. Prioritize and continuously refine the product backlog to ensure that the team is working on the most valuable features.

Following these best practices (and techniques) ensures that your product discovery process is well-informed, collaborative, measurable, and customer-focused, leading to successful product launches and continued growth. 

At Screeb, we help our clients to create better products. From product discovery to product delivery, we support your teams with an intimate understanding of their target user, and truly uncover their main problems and—in turn—the best potential solutions. Your team will thank you !

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