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What Is The Discovery Phase In App Development?

By: Frank Garnett


ux developer and ui designer presenting  and testing mobile app interface design on whiteboard in meeting at modern office.Creative digital development mobile app agency

When we think of app development the first thing that comes to our minds is countless hours spent on coding, testing, designing the user interface, etc. However, we often forget one thing that’s crucial for the entire app development process, and that takes place way before the steps we mentioned above, and that’s the discovery phase of a software project.

If you clicked on this article, my guess is that you’re interested in how a discovery phase can benefit your product development. So without further ado let’s take a look and see what it’s actually all about.

1. What Is The Discovery Phase?

The discovery phase is a process that involves planning and research before the app development. By that, we mean that this is the process where you take some time and reflect upon your idea. See if your idea is feasible, if there’s any competition you will have to face, how you can stand out from the crowd, what problem your project solves and for whom, so on and so forth.

In essence, as the name suggests, this part of the app development process focuses on exploring your idea and discovering how it would actually work.

This phase is most commonly used in outsourcing, where contractors need to take some time to figure out exactly what the needs of their clients are.

2. Is It Important?

Yes, it is, and you should absolutely go through it. It brings a series of benefits that will definitely make it worth it. The time needed for the project discovery depends on the size of the project. For example, for a project smaller in scale, the discovery phase would take around two weeks at most, whereas some other projects might take months before getting to the app development process itself.

As we’ve mentioned before there are a lot of benefits that make going through the discovery phase worthwhile. First off, it gives you the opportunity to think of potential problems that might arise during the app development process, anticipate them, and eliminate potential surprises. Secondly, it would help with the communication within the team in the long run.

After all, communication would be much smoother if every employee knows what you’re talking about and where the project is headed. And lastly, you’ll already know how the final product is going to look like. Therefore, you will be able to avoid drastic changes that might happen in the middle of the app development process.

3. What Does The Discovery Phase Look Like?

Now that we’ve mentioned what this stage is and why you need it, let’s take a look and see how you can actually go through one on your own and offer a superior digital experience.

The first step you should make is to think about your idea and figure out if the product you’ve got in mind is going to be useful to anyone. Set your target audience, give surveys, take interviews with potential customers, and see if their needs align with your product. In short, take some time and try to understand who your potential users are.

After that study your competition. Understating your competitors is the key to any successful project. Take a look at their strengths and weaknesses and see how you are going to make yourself stand out.

During the discovery phase, you might also want to think about the monetization strategy and see which strategy will fit your app the best. After you’ve figured that out, it’s time to move to the most important part out of the entire discovery process, and that’s the planning, where you’ll establish your objectives, the scope of your project and prepare a task list.

And finally, it’s time for prototyping, where your team will start building a wireframe. This step is important because it allows you to visualize how your app is going to work, while also getting the feedback you need.

Published: December 2, 2020

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