When you hire a UX designer to work on your new digital product, you always want to aim to get the best one within your budget. Someone who can help you launch your application as soon as possible. However, there are product owners who doesn’t like to go through a product discovery phase. They just want the UX designer to review all the resources they’ve got, answer questions given to them and just start the project right away. You might be thinking, that’s really how to do the discovery phase. Well, basically, it might work but most of the time it won’t.

But what exactly is the discovery phase?

Let us say that you have a completely unique dating app. You approached a top notch freelance UX designer and you are comfortable on his rates. Then the issue now is how much you think the designer knows about dating site. Let us admit that not all those who matches your budget and skillset know what your project really is. The designer might have worked on different apps, but not all projects are the same specially on the tech field wherein all companies want to rise and be recognized as a new one.  

You know that the designer can deliver highly engaging user interfaces, has a great portfolio and not to mention, fits perfectly your target budget. You already gave all the PDF you made, sketches on your notebook, target market and business related goals. However, along the design process, you saw that something is not right. The designer is not doing it as what you have expected. You even gave an emphasis on focusing on a specific functionality but it seems that the designer is giving more efforts on other parts of the app. But still, the designer is doing a great job in crafting those UX outputs yet he focused on the wrong part of the app. And now, you have to realign your thoughts and make sure that both of you are on the same boat. Given the fact that you’re now adjusting time and budget for the app, you are now uneasy and doubtful if the project will turn out to be fine. This will not happen if you and the designer already have mutual understanding and aligned thoughts for the app. Even if you, the product owner, knows how the app should be and how it’s gonna work, the reality is that, you can’t just tell it to designer and do his work. This is why the product discovery phase is needed.

What are the usual deliverables or outcome after doing Discovery Phase within our process?

  1. Best understanding and aligned thought of the app idea
  2. Clarity of the whole app idea related to UX UI (what to build and for whom)
  3. Identify and reduce unknowns
  4. Optimize Schedule and Goals
  5. Come up for Suggestions / Recommendations for the best approach to do the UI UX of the app

Will you be able to afford the cost of Not-Doing the right Discovery Phase?

Sometimes you might get overwhelmed of the fact that you’re going pay for someone to understand how your project works, ask a lot of questions to you and spend few days or even a week just to set the whole stage before doing the actual design process. You believe that your product idea could be the next big thing and to achieve that, you must understand that it should go through a well-thought out process. You decided to get a UX designer for your digital product, means that you are well aware of User Experience ROI. Investing some time and money from your project budget for Product Discovery Phase will help align everyone’s expectation and empower to be more creative based on performance indicators. And a friendly advice, always ask yourself if you can afford the cost of not doing a discovery session for your product.

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