A discovery workshop is a research activity we usually do to kick off a new project. It often tells us if we have enough information to proceed into the wireframes/concept phase or we still need to do some research.
The main goal of the discovery workshop is to get the whole team on the same page before the project starts.
Workshops with clients usually last for one or two days and can take place on-site, at Infinum’s or the client’s offices, or remotely. If we are doing a live workshop, it can last up to 8h a day, but if it’s remote, we don’t advise going over 4h a day.
Usually, two designers, a tech director, and a project manager participate from Infinum’s side. From the client’s team, anyone who is responsible for project requirements and outcomes can join too.
In workshops, we use a variety of methods and design exercises, which helps us produce a more precise brief for the project, as well as define the scope and the design process.
Discovery workshop talking points
- Questions about the brief and the requirements
- Stakeholder definition
- Understanding project goals
- Post mortem exercise
- The context and use cases
- Competition analysis and market positioning
- Target audience and persona exercise
- User journey mapping
- Sketching flows on paper
- MVP features discussion
- Design process proposal & deliverables
Before every workshop, we ask the clients to provide any materials they have regarding the product requirements, user findings, as well as short-term and long-term goals.
Discovery workshop, a timeline
Before the start of the workshop, Infinum shares the agenda with the clients and asks if they have any comments or suggestions regarding the workshop flow. The schedule for the workshop includes relevant exercises and the duration of each exercise per day, as well as the duration of any planned breaks.
Typically, each session will have a brief introduction, maybe something unrelated to the project as an ice-breaking exercise.
At the beginning, everyone introduces themselves and their role in the company. A moderator makes sure the workshop activities are on schedule, while a facilitator leads the conversation, makes sure everyone is contributing and explains the design exercises.
A tech director is there to help with any technical discussions as well as any scope or estimate-related issues.
Maximum workshopping efficiency
To make sure the output of a discovery workshop will be useful for the client, we must follow these steps:
- Gather all the insights and information available
- Ideate the possible solutions and iterate your ideas
- Validate the winning idea with actual users
These steps apply to every digital product and every client looking to obtain one, from pre-seed startups to industry behemoths.
After each workshop day, our project team reviews the steps and summarizes the work done before proceeding with the next day’s agenda.
Assuming all the participants have a stable internet connection at their ocation and that the time zones are not too far apart, a discovery workshop can also take place online.
To facilitate online workshops, we use tools like Zoom, Figma, and Miro. The latter two are browser-based collaborative tools that make collaboration easy and fun. For more info about remote discovery workshops, read this article.
Discovery workshop deliverables
After the workshop, the client receives a discovery report including all information and conclusions from the workshop, as well as the design process timeline and a list of MVP features – your digital strategy.
With a sound strategy in place, it’s time to start building your digital product.