The Discovery Phase

Progressive Web Apps Anyone ?
January 16, 2020

The Discovery Phase

Covid-19 has really taken a toll on the whole human population, people have lost jobs and livelihoods. As a business owner you have the option to (change direction) pivot and take this pandemic as an opportunity to evolve how you do business.

What does the above paragraph have to do with the topic at hand (Discovery Phase)? So let us say you are a thrift store owner and you have been working with the old brick and Mortar  model of selling your clothes. With the social distancing and quarantine measure in place around the world your store becomes obsolete.

Solution is to move your store to have an online presence, and with that brilliant idea you approach a web design agency e.g Plus Two Agency to build you an E-Commerce website.

So how do we approach this, let me break it down:

What is The Discovery Phase

The first step before we start any project is the Discovery phase. Which is simply research (collecting and analyzing information) done by a mixture of people such as the project manager, UX designer, business owner, key marketing people all collectively called Stakeholders which allows us to define the requirements, features, goals etc.

We cannot skip this step in a project. “Over 70% of IT vendors require a discovery phase before tackling a project ”  Just like buying a car you need to do your research. You do not just walk into a car yard and pick up the first car the salesman shows you. You already have a brand in mind, color, practicality, budget, consumption etc. This all falls into the discovery phase/process before you make up your mind on which car ticks most if not all your boxes.

What Happens During The Discovery Phase

  1. Identify Customers/Users of the WebsiteHere we research into your customer’s backgrounds and characteristics and future customers who will interact with the website. This is done to know what their pain points are.
  2. Identify the Goals of the WebsiteWe get to know what the business owner wants the website to do since they are stakeholders in the final product. One of the questions we try and answer here is “What business needs should the website address?”
  3. Analyze CompetitionMarket share and position in the market is what we analyze here.What space does your business occupy, who is the market leader ?The outcome of this stage is how we position your business to take up more dominance in the market by the final product we deliver
  4. Amalgamation of User needs and Business GoalsIn Step one we found the user/customer needs.Here we now look at what the business goals are and how we can make them meet and mesh with the user needs.This is an important stage and we always have the key stakeholders involved from the business owner to the sales and marketing team. If we fail to align the needs of both parties then the solution is not right for the organization.
  5. Flow/ Process DiagramsThe UX designers now take all the data we have collected in the above steps and map them into a visual representation and an experience map.It will make it clear on interactions of the product(website) and the business goalsThe site map creation is also done at this stage and the hierarchy of the website defined

    Wire-frames which are the blueprint of the website are also done but at a very low level. Simple sketches are used to define the content layout of the website. This is done with the business stakeholders.

    Finally the technical specifications and technology to be used are documented. Security, hosting data protection and other recommendations are put into the report.

    Photo by UX Indonesia on Unsplash

Conclusion

If the discovery phase is done well, the project is objective and not delivery focused. “Just because a deliverable, like a website, is delivered on-time and on-budget, doesn’t mean the project will be a success.”

By having a good discovery phase all stakeholders and the Web Design Agency can get together and minimize the risk of misunderstandings leading to the project going out of scope leading to other costly mistakes

At Plus Two Agency we emphasize a lot on the process laid out above. It is the road map to solving your problem, providing you a solution that is way effective and aligned to your business objectives.

Do not waste time and money by engaging in a project without a proper discovery phase. Take the time to do it well by allowing us to lead it. We offer our discovery phase and website specifications as a stand alone service, or as part of a full website project.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *