What are product discovery workshops and why are they important when developing applications?

Building a desktop or mobile application is a process that requires proper preparation. In order to fulfill all the requirements of the client and the target users of the app, it is worth implementing product discovery workshops. They will help you better plan the creation of the software. Learn how such workshops are implemented by the CosmicWeb team and what benefits can be achieved through them.

Product discovery workshops – characteristics

Product discovery is a process or philosophy of action that aims to better prepare for project implementation. It enables you to understand:

  • the goals to be achieved by implementing the application for use – such goals could be, for example, to increase the number of customers and the company’s profits related to online activities,
  • theactual needs of the application’s users, in order to offer them solutions that are precisely tailored to their requirements.

During product discovery workshops, we aim to learn about our clients’ expectations and translate them into concrete solutions. Such workshops allow us to plan the implementation of the project taking into account possible problems and risks that may become apparent during the construction of the software. This is done by isolating potential risks and determining ways to neutralize them.

Product discovery workshops enable our clients to check and make sure that the construction of a specific application will bring measurable benefits, and that the final product will be created for the right audience. They are a great way to verify whether an idea for a completely new business or for developing an already running business by building an application has a chance of success. Thus, they are used to formulate an answer to the question of whether it is worth the financial outlay for a specific project.

Course of the product discovery workshop

It is best to start a product discovery workshop by getting to know the client’s needs and his idea for business development. After gathering preliminary information, it is worthwhile to answer the following questions together:

  • who is (or is to be) the user of the application?
  • what is the spatial scope of the product (local, national, international)?
  • what devices are used by app users (computer, smartphone, tablet)?
  • what functionalities are necessary for the app to work properly?

Once the answers to these questions have been formulated, you can move on to the next steps, which include:

  • visualization of the processes in the application using a virtual board – it allows you to get an idea of the complexity of the project and what resources are necessary for its proper implementation,
  • determining the ways in which the user will integrate with the application, that is, how the user will navigate through the menu and use the various functionalities,
  • selection of appropriate technologies, that is, those that will ensure smooth operation of the system without the occurrence of problems such as slow loading of the page,
  • valuation of the project with a breakdown of the costs of individual activities,
  • estimation of risk along with ways to eliminate or reduce it.

Product discovery workshops conducted in this way allow us to gather maximum information not only on the client’s requirements and the nature of the project, but also on the market and the competition operating on it, as well as the target group. This provides our team with the basis for effective planning of further steps when it comes to building the application.

Techniques we use during product discovery workshops

Product discovery workshops are based on various methods. Our team uses the following:

  • Value Proposition Canvas – the technique makes it easier to find the best product by determining the functionality that the designed app should have; when using this approach, the emphasis is on analyzing the pains (pains) and potential gains (gains) that come from using the app,
  • Event Storming – this element of the workshop gives an idea of what happens to the app when users use it; with Event Storming, for example, you can check the interaction of the app with external systems, including online payments.

The Design Sprint is also very useful. This is a five-stage workshop, during which successively it comes to:

  • establishing and understanding the problem – in this respect it is necessary to define the ideal state, i.e. a vision of what the final product should look like,
  • sketching of ideas by workshop participants – concepts can be based on their own ideas or solutions similar to those used by the competition; ideas can be written on cards using text and geometric figures,
  • selection of the best design,
  • create a prototype of the application, for example, in the form of virtual mock-ups,
  • testing the product in order to obtain comments and suggestions for changes from users.

In addition, during product discovery workshops we use user stories, or user stories. It allows us to describe the functionality of the application from the point of view of user needs. This allows you to determine the requirements that the final product should meet.

In product discovery workshops, it is important that they are carried out by competent and experienced people who have the appropriate programming knowledge. At CosmicWeb, we place special emphasis on this, which allows us to properly prepare for the construction of the application and create a „tailor-made” product, i.e. one that is consistent with the needs of the client and the users of the application. During the workshop we make sure to:

  • leverage the knowledge of multiple experts, including UX/UI specialists,
  • focus on ensuring that the future product generates concrete value for users,
  • patiently and successively arrive at a satisfactory solution.

During product discovery workshops, it is crucial for us to have a dialogue with the client. Discussions with him, which can be conducted either physically or online, are an invaluable source of knowledge for us, allowing us to get a better idea of his needs. This is essential to the success of the project.

Benefits of participating in product discovery workshops

There are many advantages to our clients’ participation in product discovery workshops. They can:

  • verify whether their ideas, for economic and usability reasons, are worth implementing and effectively solve the problems of potential users – if not, other, more effective solutions are worked out during the workshop,
  • get acquainted with the pricing of the project, which will allow to plan an appropriate budget in order to eliminate downtime during the construction of the application,
  • gain a lot of useful information about members of the target group, so you can respond to their needs more effectively,
  • increase your knowledge of modern technologies and their role in achieving business goals.

The final effect is a significant acceleration of work – our team of programmers, having precise guidelines and a plan of action, is able to efficiently build the application and deploy it. For our clients, this means a reduction in expenses.

It is also important to eliminate potential costs that may be associated, for example, with the launch of an application that does not meet user requirements. In such a case, it needs to be modified, which involves specific expenses. In addition, it is important not to have to make numerous modifications while building the application, which would also generate specific costs.

When is it worth using our product discovery workshops?

We recommend product discovery workshops with CosmicWeb team members when:

  • you have an idea for a product, but do not know how to implement it based on modern IT systems, or you have an incomplete technical specification,
  • you want to improve the implementation of an already implemented project, which, for example, due to the complexity of the processes involved, encounters significant difficulties,
  • you intend to familiarize yourself with the operation of your application and how it looks from the user’s point of view.

As a qualified and experienced team of developers, we invite you to take advantage of our services. During the product discovery workshop, together we will analyze your vision and propose the best solution so that it can be quickly put into practice, so that you will gain tangible business benefits.