Why discovery is important during software development
The current business environment is ripe for new and fresh product ideas. These ideas are usually developed by business minded entrepreneurs with very little to no technical background. Moving the product from idea stage to development involves a number of pre-defined steps. First of these steps involves going through a discovery phase.
The discovery phase helps answer our clients’ questions about what it will take to develop their future mobile application or website. This includes detailed documentation of their idea, a variety of UX solutions, a clickable app/web prototype, and an accurate budget breakdown for the development process.
This step not only helps our clients to move to a development phase with confidence, but also provides them detailed documentation in preparation for the first venture capital round.
Preparation for the discovery phase requires deep market research and analysis.
UNDERSTAND YOUR USERS
Your full attention should be directed to your potential users. If you don’t understand who your users are, your app or website is doomed to fail. Put yourself in the users’ shoes and decide if your app is going to resolve their problems. Answer two important questions: WHO and WHAT?
WHO is your target audience? Try to be very clear about your user profile. Main demographic targets such as age and gender should be well-defined. However, be more specific; think what your users wish to accomplish; their ambitions and drives, and why they will use your app or website.
WHAT is your users’ desired task? What is it that they can’t achieve or would take a long time to do? What will your app be able to do that no other app can currently do? What you offer should be connected to your business, but at the same time be focused on your users’ needs. The users should feel impacted in a positive way once they’ve downloaded and used your app or website.
RESEARCH YOUR COMPETITION
Devote your time and energy into looking at your competitors, because whether you want to admit it or not, they’re out there.
Google search: find your competitors, visit their websites/apps and review their products and services. You may be surprised to find very valuable information that could help you to figure out your main KPI and set up clear goals for your company.
Use social networks since they are the main marketing outlet for most companies. Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter are filled with great information that can help you pick up on some marketing trends and even give you an idea how to market your own company.
THINK ABOUT MONETIZATION
Functionality you include in the app or website should be a solution that will resolve your users’ needs, but at the same time profit your company.
Think about how you are going to monetize your app. For example, if your platform’s monetization is going to be based on advertising, then your goal could be acquiring and retaining as many users as possible (social, gaming etc.). For travel or utility apps, your monetization may be ticket purchases or service subscription.
TOOLS TO USE DURING DISCOVERY
Some examples are:
- Ivisionapp.com for your clickable prototype;
- Draw.io for your functional diagram;
- Trello.com to manage your project;
- Google office to manage all your document exchanges.
In summary, preparing for the discovery phase of a project necessitates significant research into your idea. Results of your research will lead to a more clear and concise idea transfer to the design and development teams.
Cider is a Software Development Company based in the heart of Silicon Valley. We combine business domain knowledge and technology expertise of more than 50 development studios spread around the world.
At Cider we understand the importance of discovery phase and its impact on the success of a project. We help our clients to be well-prepared for it, providing them with all necessary assets and information. Let us help in your efforts to develop a successful mobile app or a web property.
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