How to Use Product Discovery Workshops to Build the Right Product?
Does building a product seem challenging to you? Of course, the process continues after completing the initial research, creating wireframes, and generating an MVP. But there’s more to it.
In reality, developing a product requires time, effort, research, and a proper understanding of your target audience. You may also need help along the way. That’s where product discovery comes into the picture.
When done correctly, the product discovery process cuts through assumptions, and all your company resources are put toward creating the right products to solve your user’s needs.
This article will cover everything you need to know about the product discovery process.
What is product discovery?
Product discovery is helping you identify the exact steps to develop a product you want. It’s one of the most exciting and dynamic processes – identifying your target audience’s problem, finding the best solution to the problem, and making it better with evolving customer and business needs.
Companies should invest in product discovery workshop before developing a new product, prioritizing existing features, or working on important new functionality. Some common activities include:
- Developing customer personas
- Reviewing customer feedback
- Creating user story mapping
Product discovery aims to learn more about the target audience’s needs and requirements and identify which features will help create the most helpful user experience.
Why is it important?
Building a product usually needs a lot of work. In addition, identifying the product discovery process is much more challenging. This requires a deep understanding of your customer’s challenges and needs. It helps to dig deeper rather than just scratching the top surface.
The software product discovery workshop gives your product team a structured approach to product development. Providing clarity and focus on the goals you want to achieve. It gives you a more data and customer-centric approach to product building – to help you confirm the problem and validate the assumptions.
Using product discovery, you can:
- Empathize with your users by taking a customer-centric approach toward product development.
- Provide new ideas for product development.
- Decide on the features that give a great user experience.
- Helps minimizes wasted efforts by only focusing on what the user wants.
The goal is to gain a holistic understanding of how your product can provide value and what your customers need so that you can maximize its impact.
How does the product discovery process work?
Depending on the company, some have a more defined product discovery approach, while some are more open to experimenting with new things to help them develop the product.
The usual product discovery process includes the following:
- Learning and understanding the target market
- Defining and validating the problem
- Ideating the solution
- Building a prototype
- Testing the product
It doesn’t matter the approach you take to the product discovery process.
However, it’s common for companies to jump into the solution space quickly before understanding the market’s needs during the product discovery process.
Try to focus on learning and re-learning. That’s what your users would love you to do.
Collaborating closely between developers, product marketing designers, and product marketing is important to create and develop a product that resonates with your users.
Take everyone’s opinion into account, including customers, to understand more about their problems and struggles in the agile discovery workshop.
Identifying the Problem
The first step of the product discovery process is to find out the major challenge that your product can solve. Often identifying the problems consists of rinse and repeat processes. You will have to approve and disregard different assumptions based on your research on user needs.
At this point, try not to jump on specifics. Instead, find out what they need, and create user personas to help develop deep user empathy. Instead, focus on getting the broader picture of challenges.
Some of the common challenges are:
- Open-ended challenges come up when you have a rough sketch of everything.
- User-oriented challenges that focus on user needs.
- Growth challenges that need you to improve a certain product metric, for example, user retention.
- Technical challenges that require you to improve your product performance.
The problem identification stage encourages you to learn and define a problem that your product can solve.
Learning and understanding your target market
While building your product, user needs should be a priority, and your product should effectively answer your needs. Therefore, you need to do user research profoundly and understand all their pain points.
Interacting with the target audience
The best way to understand anyone’s needs is by directly conversing with them. There are two ways through which you can interact with your target audience:
- By interviewing them
- Organizing user-research surveys
Whatever method you choose, try to collect as much information as possible.
Ask your product team to conduct qualitative and quantitative research to help you understand your user needs. Then, let the users talk, and ask your team to note down all the points.
Study your competitors, and dig deeper into the market to learn more about your target audience. Try to find the gaps where your users are facing problems. Reverse engineering the product discovery process can get you all the valuable information.
Define the problem
Once you learn more about your user’s needs, the next step is to work on that problem and develop an optimal solution.
- Simplify the problem – summarize the problem you must resolve in one sentence. It helps avoid misinterpreting things with your team members and ensures that you understand the problem correctly.
- Justify the problem – only some situations are worth creating a product. Make sure that the problem you’re working on makes your user’s life easier.
- Prioritize the right problem – you need to prioritize the right situation. Using different product discovery frameworks, such as RICE or ICE methods, will guide you to prioritize the right problem.
Identify the right solution
This step is all about reframing those problems into small, crackable solutions and doing ideation, making a prototype, and testing possible solutions with your product team.
The reframing stage is important to ensure that the product and its features are ready for launch.
In the ideate stage, you need to understand the user’s problem and find the most viable solution for their problem. Then, you would have to allow your team to be creative and try innovative ideas by:
- Mind mapping – connect the points and visually arrange them around your product.
- Brainstorming – to try different techniques and conclude creatively.
- Storyboarding – visually organizes different ideas and connects dots with them to create a sequence.
Once you’ve brainstormed all the possible ideas, refine them to create a prototype.
In the prototype stage, the idea is validated before the product is developed. Different types of prototypes are:
- Clickable prototypes
To select a prototype, you need to know what type of product you’re testing and whether it’s moving around your user’s needs.
Depending on your budget and resources, you can select a usability test that suits your needs. There are three main types of testing:
- Remote usability test
- Guerrilla usability test
- Unmoderated usability test
To build a great product, you need to understand your user’s needs before actually launching the product. By properly understanding the product discovery process, you can launch a great product that benefits your audience, investors, and the whole business.
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