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Here’s Why Design & Discovery Should Come Before Your Mobile App RFP
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Before selecting a mobile app development partner, it is critical for any business leader to thoroughly understand the key aspects that surround the vision of their proposed mobile project. These aspects can include business objectives, proposed timeline, and budget. Having a thorough understanding of these details will allow business leaders to submit an in-depth mobile app RFP that answers all of the questions a vendor needs to be answered for them to respond accurately. In turn, this will help the delivery owner evaluate vendor responses and choose the best partner for the mobile app project. 


It’s common for companies sourcing vendors to submit RFPs that lack detail and fail to acknowledge the entire scope of the project. Ultimately, if an RFP poses more questions than it answers, businesses run the risk of receiving low bids from vendors who promise to deliver on budget, but as additional work that wasn’t originally covered in the RFP arises, present higher costs. It is also possible that some vendors may decide not to bid at all. 


For leaders who are struggling to understand the aspects listed above, partaking in a Design and Discovery session can help. Below we outline the deliverables that come from a Design and Discovery session and how applying the insights gained from this session can help add necessary detail and focus to the RFP document, for both businesses that have an existing mobile product, and those just starting the process. 


To get started, download a copy of our Mobile App RFP template to wrap your head around what information is required for this document.                                      

What You’ll Get From Design & Discovery

The Design and Discovery phase of a project helps leaders and their stakeholders establish goals for their mobile app and understand the business outcomes they aim to achieve. At Clearbridge Mobile, we tackle four key areas of product discovery: product strategy, product definition, visualization, and presentation. Participating in a Design and Discovery gives those involved the opportunity to meet with development experts and ask questions to clarify their RFP. During this process, you can discuss the full breadth of services you require.  


Specifically, for businesses planning their first mobile product, a Design and Discovery session helps: 


  • Determine the purpose of the mobile product and how it aligns with business goals
  • Define business outcomes 
  • Identify market viability through competitive research 
  • Create user personas rooted in extensive user research
  • Communicate and justify a product’s concept with user journeys, wireframes, and mockups
  • Create and prioritize a scalable product roadmap
  • Enter the market quickly with the most impactful and useful features


But this session isn’t designed to only benefit companies just entering the mobile market. For businesses who already have a mobile product, but aren’t seeing the ROI they expected can also greatly benefit from a Design and Discovery session. There are many reasons why mobile apps don’t always perform as expected and businesses need to revisit mobile strategies to effectively reach product goals. In these cases, Design and Discovery sessions also carry many benefits for reimagining, rebuilding, and expanding existing mobile apps. Specifically, Design and Discovery helps businesses: 


  • Reorganize existing mobile product strategies to better align with business goals 
  • Outline a clear vision of how the product will scale 
  • Develop an app analytics strategy 
  • Validate market opportunity
  • Realign product features with user needs based on research and not assumptions
  • Further, define a user retention strategy and opportunities for long-term growth


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How to Use Design & Discovery to Write a Mobile App RFP

Once a business has collected all of the information from their Design and Discovery session, it is important to translate those insights into an RFP. Here is how to apply that key information to add detail to the document.


A large portion of the session focuses on your business itself. Understanding business objectives, what you aim to accomplish with this product, and where you fit into a specific market plays a large role in an RFP. Because detailed market research is conducted during a Design and Discovery on the respective business and competitors, leaders will receive the detailed information they need to provide a high-level company overview which will allow vendors to tailor the product to the business and market accordingly. Knowing your market will also allow you to make important decisions such as choosing, if not both, which platform to release your project on. Platform choice, for example, has a direct impact on key RFP elements such as timeline and budget. 


As mentioned above, a Design and Discovery session at Clearbridge will provide you with user journeys, wireframes, and mockups. These items will allow you to define user experience deliverables, clarify your ideas, and ultimately leave you with a better understanding of how your target audience will interact with your mobile app. This information is vital to thoroughly define the functionality of your product as well as getting a better understanding of the project scope. As the app development price tag can vary significantly from project to project depending on scope and complexity, having a well-established idea of what features you want to include, and what you are ultimately trying to achieve will give everyone involved a better understanding of your budget, leading to better, more accurate vendor bids. 


Bottom Line

Design and Discovery sessions allow companies to not only learn about their business and markets but also develop a clear-cut concept and plan for their product. Gaining the knowledge and insight that is provided during a Design and Discovery will ultimately lead to a more detailed RFP, which in turn will lead to a higher probability of sourcing the vendor that best suits a business’ individual needs.


Don’t leave your mobile app requirements open to interpretation; talk to us today to learn more about Design and Discovery and how it can help you write an amazing RFP


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