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Mastering Your Product's Discovery Phase: A Step-by-Step Guide for Startups

You've got a fantastic concept, and you're prepared to get started with it right away! You have a high level of confidence in the quality of your idea and can therefore safely bypass the discovery stage of the live development cycle. Does something like this ring a bell?

However, statistics show that 35% of startups fail because they cannot find the right target market, and more than 45% of large tech projects overestimate the final cost. The reason is simple: all of those projects skip the discovery phase. Let's talk about why you need this phase in the development process and how it will benefit your business or tech ideas. 

What is the Discovery Phase?

In a nutshell, the discovery phase is the first step in research. It's where you figure out who your target audience is and what their needs and pain points are. You also look at your competitors and figure out the best technology stack for your future platform or app. It is a typical stage for any startup—you can only build a product once you know what kind of product you need. It appears to be simple, but many entrepreneurs skip this step. Also, the reason is simple: we used to think we already knew our target audience and didn't need to do any more research. But what if we told you that you still require the discovery phase?

How to Make Your Project Better Through the Discovery Phase

What advantages come from investing more time and resources in the discovery phase? Here are some of the most typical for various business types:

1. Get a market-driven product

The discovery phase of product development is critical for creating a market-driven product. During this phase, you have the opportunity to gain a better understanding of your target audience, their needs, and the market trends. This information will help you to identify the most viable business model for your product. By conducting user research, interviews, and surveys, you can gain valuable insights into your users' preferences, behaviors, and pain points. These insights can help you to refine your product concept and ensure that it aligns with the needs of your target audience. 

2. Get revenue faster

One of the main advantages of conducting a discovery phase is that it can help you to get revenue faster. By understanding your target audience and the market trends early in the development process, you can save time and money by avoiding costly mistakes. You can also plan your product launch more effectively by identifying the most effective marketing channels and messaging strategies. This can help you to generate interest in your product before it is even launched, ensuring that you hit the ground running when it comes to revenue generation. 

3. Improve communication within the team

Communication is critical to the success of any product development project. Miscommunication between team members can lead to missed deadlines, wasted resources, and suboptimal results. During the discovery phase, you have the opportunity to define all tricky questions and potential roadblocks, making sure that everyone is on the same page. By taking the time to clarify your goals, objectives, and constraints early on, you can avoid misunderstandings and ensure that your team is aligned and working efficiently. 

4. Meet your business objectives more quickly

Finally, the discovery phase can help you to meet your business objectives more quickly. By clarifying your business goals and understanding how to achieve them early on, you can make better decisions throughout the product development process. This can help you to avoid costly mistakes and ensure that your product meets the needs of your target audience. Additionally, by conducting market research and identifying your competition, you can position your product more effectively in the market, increasing your chances of success.

The Main Steps of the Discovery Phase

When you realize you can't avoid the discovery phase, you can concentrate on the critical steps to making a good discovery. Most of the time, this phase needs a project manager, a business analyst, and a UX designer. You can also ask a tester or a software architect for help with this task.Next, look at the most efficient steps in the running discovery phase.

Step 1: Compile the data you'll need for a comprehensive viewpoint

Run stakeholder interviews, gather research information, create wireframes, and create project roadmaps in an effort to gather as much information as you can. You can use a business model canvas to gather the information.

Step 2: User experience research

Try to put yourself in the shoes of a user to understand what they need and how they might use a product. Make a customer journey map at this point. 
How to Conduct User Research for UI/UX Design? Click here!

Step 3: Look for the best design solution

Here, your team can come together to generate the best project design ideas. The entire process should be developed based on user needs and feedback.

Step 4: Develop a clickable prototype

You will test the prototype with users once you have one. Analyze each response to help with the project's final solution. To read a Comprehensive Guide to MVP Development: From Ideation to Launch click here!

At the end of that journey, which began with a discovery phase, you will have a project roadmap, a product wireframe, a business model canvas, and software specializations. And at this point, you can begin creating your product.  


Development teams and interpreters frequently skip the discovery phase. It happens because we used to believe that our ideas were clear-cut and that we didn't need to do any additional research before beginning the coding process. Nevertheless, you may avoid failure in the future by completing this stage! 

If you already have a fantastic idea for a business but need to get started on the discovery phase, talk to the experts at DevPals. We at DevPals have a wealth of experience that can help with your upcoming project.