4 Takeaways from Design & Discovery for Successful Mobile Products
The process of developing and launching a successful mobile product is long and there are many aspects of the process that influence the end result. With that said, the most important aspect that influences successful mobile app development is proper planning. If you don’t know your business intentions, the reason why you want to launch a mobile product, or your product’s value proposition, it will be very difficult to design and develop a useful product that addresses both business and user needs.
A Design and Discovery session will help your business set product goals, make a compelling business case, and build a solid understanding of your target user base. By the end of a Design and Discovery session, you’ll walk away with a clear product vision statement, user personas, user journeys, and a product roadmap that addresses short-term and long-term business goals with the technology solutions required to achieve them.
This article will go over the most important takeaways from a Design and Discovery engagement that support the design and delivery of a successful mobile product.
Design and Discovery Takeaway #1: A Product Vision Statement
A Design and Discovery engagement encourages companies to think critically about business goals and whether or not they’re attainable. More importantly, the session prompts participants to analyze their business strategy and determine how it will translate into a product strategy. A clear product vision statement is the result of this process and provides a sense of direction towards the end goal of the mobile product.
Why is a Product Vision Statement Important for Mobile App Development?
There are significant advantages to creating a product vision statement:
- A vision statement explicitly defines who will be using the product.
- A vision statement expresses the solution to the problem those users are facing.
- A vision statement differentiates the product from what currently exists in the market.
A product vision statement establishes a definite area of focus for the mobile product, which helps businesses set specific success criteria and clear objectives to determine what features the product needs to be successful.
Design and Discovery Takeaway #2: User Journeys
The purpose of Design and Discovery goes beyond the mobile product itself, and the overall goal is geared towards creating a solution for a specific set of users, which is why it’s so important to have audience insight.
A report published in 2018 by Localytics reveals that only 32 percent of users continue to engage with an app after three months and 21 percent of users abandon an app after only one use. It’s very clear that users have high expectations for the mobile products they choose, so if you want your product to have ongoing engagement, it’s imperative that your product serves a purpose in the user’s life.
A core objective of Design and Discovery is discovering who your target user is, what they value, and the central pain point they experience that your product will address. A key deliverable from the session is your product’s user journeys, but before you can create user journeys, the first step is creating detailed user personas. There can be multiple user groups for your mobile product and each user persona will have its own unique user journey.
Why are User Personas Important for Mobile App Development?
A user persona is a partially fictitious depiction of your ideal user. User personas include everything about a user’s demographics, background, mobile preferences, interests, and unique identifiers. User personas also address the central goals of the user and the challenges they currently face.
In-depth user personas create the foundation for user journey design and help you customize every aspect of your mobile product to each of your users’ preferences and needs. Everything from branding and in-app content to functionality, features, platform choice and monetization need to resonate with your target user. By thoroughly outlining your target audience with user personas, you’ll answer essential questions that will guide your design and product strategy.
- What is a central pain point this audience collectively experiences?
- What mobile OS does this audience use? iOS or Android?
- What types of apps does this target audience frequently use?
- Are there any visual branding patterns evident amongst this audience’s preferred apps?
- Are these users known to pay for apps or make in-app purchases?
- Do these users engage with in-app advertisements?
- What social media platforms is this audience most active on? Can you benefit from paid advertising on these platforms?
Using personas to answer questions like these will help you coordinate design and business decisions to attract the right audience to your product. If you haven’t properly researched your audience, you won’t be able to deliver a product that is relevant to their needs.
Why are User Journeys Important for Mobile App Development?
User journeys are the foundation of user experience design. A user journey is a series of actions a user performs to achieve a particular goal within the mobile product. User journeys are how your product will provide user value by creating an intuitive direction towards solving a pain point. At the same time, a user journey delivers business value by guiding users to your desired conversion point.
Design and Discovery Takeaway #3: Wireframes
Once you establish the goal and audience for your mobile product, you need to record the exact actions a user has to take to complete the product goal. Not only does Design and Discovery provide you with a prioritized list of product features, but the session also provides wireframed maps of how those features come together to create the entire user experience. Wireframes outline step-by-step how a user will move through the app.
Why are Wireframes Important for Mobile App Development?
If you’re looking to win stakeholder or investor buy-in, it’s essential to have a high-level visual solution that details the product’s user experience. Wireframes are outlines of what the mobile product will be without the granular details. They’re used to depict how the product’s basic functionality will play out on screen before including visual components. Through the process of creating wireframes, you create a succinct path towards the central action you want the user to take. This process helps keep the first version of your product lean and user-friendly.
Need help mapping out a user experience step-by-step? Get in touch with one of our mobile experts about creating wireframes for your product. Start a conversation.
Design and Discovery Takeaway #4: A Product Roadmap
Ultimately, you want to build a product that is scalable. You need to be able to adapt to the ever-changing needs of your users. The Design and Discovery process will prioritize approximately five of the most important features necessary to launch a successful product, but also delivers a summary which includes the product vision and the long-term direction of the product.
Why is a Product Roadmap Important for Mobile App Development?
A product roadmap addresses the now, next, and later of your mobile product. A roadmap creates a collective consensus for the direction of the product and helps determine the level of investment at each future stage of development.
The Product Roadmap Now
The initial phase of the product is considered the Minimum Viable Product (MVP). An MVP includes only the features that are required to take the product to market. MVPs follow a build-measure-learn process, which allows you to learn how your target users react and experience the product’s core functionality. From there, user research identifies what features to include to address evolving user needs over time.
The Product Roadmap Next
The next iteration after the MVP includes features to support the pre-existing functionality of the mobile product, as well as any new features that can add distinct user value. The launched product should continue to address all business objectives and provide insight into the success rate of the product roadmap. This phase also continues to collect data about user engagement patterns.
The Product Roadmap Later
The later phase of the product roadmap is for future iterations of the product and includes new features to build out the ideal functionality of the mobile product. Again, this phase addresses all business objectives and provides user insights to further guide product decisions.
The Bottom Line About Design and Discovery
A Design and Discovery session takes your initial idea and transforms it into actionable deliverables, which you can use to validate your assumptions before development and win stakeholder or investor buy-in. By the end of a Design and Discovery engagement, your product team will have a future-oriented product roadmap, user journeys, wireframes, mockups, and a clickable app prototype. The entire process helps guide your business, design, and development decisions so you can confidently take a fully scalable mobile product to market.