Business

Product Discovery: Don’t Build Things Better But Build Better Things

This curated column is authored by Ajeet Singh, Co-Founder & Director of Business Management at Algoworks

Product discovery …have you heard about it ??? Still oblivious!!

This might come as a new term for most of our readers. But I ‘ll tell you why this makes some sense. It does because it is about seeing things as usable instead of being useless.

Here I bring to you a detailed exposure to product discovery. Product discovery clearly defines what should be built and why.

Product discovery is vital yet an overlooked aspect of product development. And in a majority of the cases, we witness that usability is marred at the expense of utility. Though the former is highly crucial but it is void without the latter. Product discovery, therefore, vouches to be a process that aids in making products which are useful not just usable.

Product Discovery doesn’t help us to build things better but to build better things!!

Rise Of Usable Yet Useless Products

One of the major problems with the new products is that they fail to get recognized and become market-fit. The term ‘market fit’ implies that the product is available in a good market and has the capabilities to satisfy the market. The root cause of the problem lies when the enterprises fail to spend a time to enhance the likelihood and market fit of the product before they start to design and development. Our primary focus should lie on Minimum Desirable Products because there is no use of first iterations if it all sinks into a local maximum at a high pace.

Stepwise Guide For Product Discovery

In order to design successful and useful products, we have to stop designing solutions really early and initiate the process with process discovery instead. It not only helps us understand the base of the problem properly but definitely help us better products which can be utilized better.

The four steps to product discovery process are as follows:

  1. Frame the problem definition
  2. Explore and access multiple solutions
  3. Sketching a Solution and
  4. Prototyping

Frame The Problem Definition

  • We have to start framing the problem definition and initiation should be done by scratching out why are we building the product in the first place. We have to try to foresee the obstacles and the long term goals. What are the types of assumptions we are making and what could probably lead to the failure of the product?
  • Then we have to map the entire process and sketch what actions each player should take to reach their goal.
  • After the entire journey has been mapped we have to involve the subject matter experts to understand what the process is? What direction it should proceed in and what are the areas of improvement to add more value to the product?
  • Lastly we have to jot down all the problems as opportunities for example if an action is taking too long to process the opportunity created would be how to minimize the amount of time taken.

Explore And Access Multiple Solutions

  • Once we have chalked out all our problems and opportunities we can hold a session to lash out all the solutions related to the opportunities created. And you come up with potential features of your products which can resolve your pain points.
  • Take the idea from your paper on board and sketch out each solution to visualize what your product would look like.

Selecting A Solution

  • The next important step is to select one potential solution out of the myriad solution suggested at the brainstorming session. There will be multiple solutions but the main purpose of this step is to choose the most appropriate solution and proceed with it.
  • You have to map out how the solution would look like and gauge how it would function in the hands of the end user (storyboarding) . This would eventually help for further app prototyping which is supposedly the next phase in product discovery process.

Prototyping

  • The app prototyping phase is the phase where you create a concrete visualization of your app using the prior phase (storyboarding) as your base. You can further develop an interactive and clickable sample for future demonstration. Mockups can also be created to give a brand like representation of your product.

Once you are over with this prototyping phase you have to get your prototype validated by testers and take the feedback from users and subject matter experts. Using these four imperative steps of product discovery you will actually be able to gauge both the aspects: that if the product is actually solving the problem and what is the user’s experience with the product. Thereby product discovery helps in building things better than better things carving the path to useful and usable products!!

Disclaimer: This is a curated post. The statements, opinions and data contained in these publications are solely those of the individual authors and contributors and not of iamwire or its editor(s). This article was originally published by the author here.

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