Remote Product Discovery Workshop

Weronika Kościelniak
16 June 2020

Innovation never happens alone. Synchronized teams create the best products, and the most effective way to teamwork is, of course, through workshops. We're following these rules when developing products with our clients as we believe in the Design Thinking framework. Let’s take a closer look at it.

What is product discovery?

Even when you have a firm vision for the MVP that you want to develop, we're encouraging everybody to take a step back and spend some time on the research and ideation. The product idea is crucial, that's why even before starting to code, you need to be sure that you're fulfilling the customer's needs and that the MVP will meet previously defined business criteria. 

Do you know how many startups fail at the beginning of their journey? Well, that's strongly connected. Misguided business models, creating features that nobody uses, does it sound familiar? Taking the other path will save you a lot of money, not only in the long term. That's why before the development starts, we'll invite you for a Product Discovery workshop, that will broaden the knowledge about the user, expand ideas, and help to choose the right features for the MVP. 

The product discovery process

The Product Discovery process is divided into two parts: a deep understanding of users, then using that knowledge to design a desirable product. Remote Design Sprints come with their own set of challenges that can be overcome with the right methodology.

There are two things to keep in mind for running a successful remote Product Discovery Workshop: 

  • Be visual: That will help to bring the group together and will organize and structure the information.

  • Generate creative energy: Handle the remote workshop as you would an onsite one, do not forget about inspiring introduction, warm-ups, and breaks. Ask participants to move and eat healthy snacks during the day. Do what you would typically do for them if they were in the office.

The product discovery workshop in practice

The Product Discovery workshops are divided into three days:

1. Empathy
2. Ideation
3. User story mapping

Day 1: Empathy

Get inspired and curious about what people want. Act as the anthropologist. Record behaviors through empathy maps. The best scenario is to invite befriended users to the workshop. If you can't, try to ask someone who knows a lot about them. During this day, we'll learn about users' customs, pains, and challenges. We'll go through biases and stereotypes, and search for the real insights.

First, we need to choose the customers' segment. Write down all the user types that can be interested in using your product. We'll help with bringing the success criteria, and you'll vote and pick your persona or personas for the product. 

Depending on the product or service, we'll use different exercises like a customer journey map, product life cycle, or process mapping. Moreover, we'll fill out the customized persona canvas. The most important information about the user that we'll try to collect is jobs to be done (social, functional, emotional), pains, gains, how to reach them, and motivation to use.

We'll end the day by voting on the most significant pains and challenges that we would like to attack the next day.

Day 2: Ideation

It's the day of unlocking team creativity. We'll tackle each user challenge one by one and come up with as many ideas as possible. We'll boost cleverness by using some design thinking exercises like reversed brainstorm, scamper, or Osborn's questions. Here, the basic rules for brainstorming are crucial: first quantity, then quality. In the beginning, we're deferring all judgment and try not to censor anybody, especially ourselves. New ideas are built upon others.

After the creative part, we'll set the business criteria and vote on the ideas that have the biggest chances to meet them. We'll end this day with listed and prioritized ideas for your MVP.

Day 3: User Story Mapping

User Story Mapping is a great way to define the project’s scope and to make sure that everybody is on the same page. Once you’ve done it, you can relax and sit back: you’ve got a brilliant plan for your MVP. Let's start the UX and UI work and then happily develop a digital product for your unicorn startup. We're documenting every step, so you can show the outcome to your investors and stakeholders, or just think about it after the workshop.

PS: Don't forget to test the prototype on the users first ;)

A couple last words

We know that creating a product is a very complicated process. Still, if you think systematically and divide it into smaller parts, it's easier to not only grasp everything but also not to lose focus in the meantime. If you need any help or would like to know more about what we do, we’re here! You can also get in touch with us at hello@start-up.house

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