A Complete Guide To Product Discovery And Ideation

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A complete guide to product discovery and ideation

Imagine that your team has an idea for a new project or you would like to improve an existing solution. What is the best way for you to make sure that your ideas are worthwhile? There is no 100% guarantee of success, but product discovery can increase your chances of launching a successful product. 

The innovation process of product discovery and ideation allows product teams to refine their ideas by understanding real user problems and finding the best way to solve them. Problem space and solution space are traditionally the focus of the discovery process. As a team, we define what problems exist for users, buyers, and stakeholders in the problem space. The team focuses its efforts on solving the problems and achieving the desired goals in a solution space. When it comes to product discovery, each product manager has their own best practices and favorite techniques. However, the process is always somewhat the same. 

Using this guide you can discover the types of products that will be useful and successful.

Product Discovery Process

  • Understanding and defining the user need
 user needs

To carry out this research, product teams rely heavily on quantitative and qualitative data. A few useful methods include user research, focus groups, observation, interviews with customers, data analytics, competitive research, empathy mapping, and more.

The next step is to clearly define the user needs based on what you have learned about them. Your goal is to come up with one sentence that covers the entire problem at hand. It enables you to align your team around a common goal and communicate clearly with them. Ensure that you are actually using your time to work on problems that require a solution. 

  • Identify the solution by ideation and testing
Identify the solution by ideation and testing

The reframing stage involves coming up with, prototyping, and testing possible solution ideas that you have prioritized with your team. You can apply creativity through brainstorming exercises and other ideation tools including mind maps, storyboarding, and design sprints. 

In order to build the right prototypes, teams should consider what they are trying to learn, what will be tested, and what is still unclear to them. Here we use a variety of tools and techniques, including A/B testing, customer interviews, user testing, distributing surveys, and product testing. 

At Applify, we take both these steps very seriously. In fact, we have a time-tested process of product development that covers everything from user needs to testing. 

Purpose Of Product Discovery 

  • Taking customer feedback surveys and participating in focus groups
  • Understanding users’ needs and behavior by observing them as they interact with clickable prototypes or mockups
  • User journey maps are developed based on user research
  • It is important to prototype and tests the viability of your product (e.g.: a/b testing)

Product Discovery Process Outcome

  • From Product Idea to Product Discovery

Make sure all product decisions and ideas align with the vision. Provide a free and open environment for the team to innovate and iterate. To ensure the technology is ready for development, ensure it has been tested. Maintain the proper staffing levels and resources for projects. Maintain a development environment that facilitates rapid, iterative improvements.

  • From Product Discovery to Product Development

Product development begins with product discovery and ideation It may involve multiple teams of different sizes and a variety of skills depending on the situation. In your product discovery process, you will obtain the following data that will be useful for web and mobile app development:

  • Defining the problems clearly
  • User requirements
  • User journey maps
  • User personas
  • High-level wireframes
  • Business Value Propositions

To conduct the product discovery process, what team do you need?

As a result, a team’s membership and involvement can vary with the complexity and goals of the project. For successful completion of the product discovery process, it is crucial to define who must be directly involved in each step.

Product Managers- Who look after team meetings, information collection, development of documentation, and management of details

Tech Lead- Examines solutions for their technical feasibility, decides on the technology stack to be used, and supervises the development

UI/UX Experts- Who create and design the solutions

Business Analysts- Identify market trends, analyze research data, and offer solutions

QA Estimators- Provide estimates for quality assurance tasks based on feature breakdowns

What Do You Understand By Product Ideation?

Product Ideation involves a process of developing new and innovative ideas using certain techniques and sessions leading to product release. When brainstorming, your ultimate objective is to look for the pain points and problems faced by the customers in the market.

Few product ideation techniques

  • Brainstorming session: At the top of our list is one of the most commonly used and popular methods for generating ideas and solving innovative problems. Within a limited time frame, participants need to brainstorm all possible solutions to a specific problem. Participants are forbidden from criticizing or evaluating ideas while the session is in progress since each and every idea is documented. It allows even the most absurd ideas to be heard and get an opportunity to be considered. It can be a bit challenging to schedule, organize, and document the actual session in a practical format that you can share with others and use to update or re-refer to.
  • Mind mapping: Using it for brainstorming sessions, meeting management, and event planning can help you visualize and organize information better. The feature allows you to easily add ideas at any time which also assists in focusing on the connections so you never get disconnected information.
  • SCAMPER: An acronym that stands for:

Substitute- You can achieve greater results by replacing a part of your product, concept, or process with another, 

Combine- integrating two ideas in one, 

Adapt- create a more dynamic process, 

Modify- From a holistic standpoint, zoom out on the problem and improve the results, 

Put to another use- Consider using the current solution for another purpose and assess the resulting benefits, 

Eliminate- Would it make any difference if some parts of the concept were removed? 

Reverse- An idea can be shifted from one interchangeable element to another.

  • Meetings with focus groups- By gathering small groups of individuals with different characteristics, this technique provides structured information to the audience. The goal of this form of qualitative research is to analyze a client’s reaction and perception of a product or service. 
  • Storyboarding- Storyboards are visual representations of how a feature will function or how a product could be developed. Researchers can use this method to represent the information they have gathered during research. Corkboards are hung with images, quotes from the user, and other relevant information to represent a scenario and show how all the ideas relate to each other.

Applify tries to incorporate all these techniques into our ideation process. That’s why we create thoroughly researched and high-quality products that deliver. Whether you have a solid idea or want to start from scratch, explore our services based on your requirements.

Final Words

We hope that this article gave you an idea about how to plan your product discovery and ideation process. One thing that you should always keep in mind while beginning a new product development process is to ensure that your product discovery is well-planned and organized.

Are you someone looking forward to developing a product based on an initial idea? Connect with us and let’s discuss.