Product Discovery

Agenda today:

Defining product discovery & its scope
Why is it important?
Understanding the market
Frameworks and Principles
Double Diamond Framework
Application: Public Transport for users with disabilities
Opportunity Solution Tree
Application: Case Study 2
Exercises & Rubric

What is product discovery?

(Generated by GPT-4; it gets a lot of things right, except the spelling. :D)

Continuous process of uncovering what users need and building successful products to address those needs.
usually is:
revolves around understanding user needs, pain points, and desires.
involves research using methods like surveys, interviews, and user testing.
Iterative and experimental:
Ideas tested and refined through prototypes, experiments, and A/B testing.
Failure is embraced as a learning opportunity to improve the product.
Decisions are based on quantitative and qualitative data, not just gut feelings.
Metrics and user feedback are constantly analyzed to optimize the product.
Effective product discovery involves collaboration between different teams, such as product, design, engineering, and marketing.

Why is it important?

Frameworks and Principles

You can use a variety of frameworks to build product discovery, but there are some general guiding principles to apply:
Focus on customer outcomes: Prioritise delivering value to users over simply building features.
Validate before building: Reduce uncertainty by testing assumptions and hypotheses before investing in development.
Seek feasible solutions: Aim for solutions that are realistic to implement within your resources and constraints.
Embrace iteration and learning: Continuously learn and adapt your product based on user feedback and data.
Build a culture of collaboration: Foster open communication and teamwork between different teams involved in product discovery.

Understanding Users

This can be happen in two ways:
Qualitative vs Quantitative
Aims to understand users’ experiences and perspectives, often through interviews and observations
Example question: On Facebook, do they like browsing other people’s profiles?
Aims to collect measurable data, often through surveys and analytics.
Example question: On Facebook, what % of people click on other’s profiles?
Behavioural vs Attitudinal
what people do
Example: *user does not enjoy logging calories on their health app*
what people say
Example: “Yes, I want to stick to my diet plan this New Year’s!”

List of various user research methods
User Research Method
In-depth conversations with individual users.
Interviewing app users about their frustrations and preferred features.
Focus Groups
Moderated discussion with a small group of users.
Conducting a focus group to understand how a website can be made more user-friendly for senior citizens.
Ethnographic Field Studies
Observing users in their natural environment.
Observing doctors in a hospital setting to see how they use a new medical software program.
Participatory Design
Involving users directly in the design process.
Having potential customers help brainstorm ideas for a new clothing line.
Diary Studies
Asking users to keep a record of their thoughts and experiences over time.
Users document their daily experiences with a new fitness tracker in a journal.
Customer Feedback
Gathering user opinions and sentiments through various methods.
Analyzing customer reviews on an app store to identify common pain points.
True Intent Studies
Understanding users' underlying needs and motivations.
Eye-tracking software might reveal users are drawn to a specific section of a website even if they say they didn't notice it.
Desirability Studies
Evaluating how appealing a product or service is to users.
Showing users different design concepts for a product and gauging their emotional response to each.
Surveys (Email Surveys)
Collecting data from a large number of users through questionnaires.
Sending an email survey to website visitors to understand their satisfaction level.
Usability Benchmarking
Comparing the usability of a product to industry standards.
Evaluating a new e-commerce website against known best practices for online shopping experiences.
A/B Testing
Comparing two versions of a product or feature.
Testing two different layouts for a product landing page to see which one generates more clicks.
Clickstream Analysis
Analyzing user interactions with a website or app.
Seeing which sections of a website users visit most often and how long they stay on each page.
Tracking where users look on a screen.
Using eye-tracking to see if users notice a critical call-to-action button on a website.
Moderate Remote Usability Studies
Remote usability testing with a moderator.
Users complete tasks on a new mobile app while a researcher observes and asks questions remotely.
Unmoderated Remote Panel Studies
Remote usability testing without a moderator.
Users test a new website prototype on their own computers and provide feedback through surveys or recordings.
Usability Lab Studies
Usability testing conducted in a controlled environment.
Bringing users into a lab to test a new software program and identify any usability issues.
Unmoderated UX Studies
Remote UX research methods beyond usability testing.
Similar to unmoderated remote panel studies, but can encompass a wider range of methods.
Card Sorting
Asking users to organize items or information into categories.
Having users sort different website navigation menus to see how they group similar items together.
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Case Studies (using frameworks)

There are some frameworks that make it easy to structure a solution.

Remember - frameworks are a tool and not the solution.
Feel free to use them or avoid them as you like.. but it’s usually the critical and creative thinking you will inside them that will make or break your product strategy.

We will cover two such frameworks:
Double Diamond Framework
Opportunity Solution Tree

Double Diamond framework

The Double Diamond framework is a popular and versatile tool for product discovery, often visualized as two interlocking diamonds representing two phases: diverge and converge. It helps teams to approach problem-solving and solution development in a structured and user-centric way.


The two diamonds represent:
First Diamond (Diverge):
Discover: This phase is about uncovering user needs, pain points, and opportunities. It involves research activities like user interviews, surveys, and observations to understand the user landscape.
Define: Once you have a good understanding of user needs, the next step is to synthesize and consolidate the findings. This involves identifying patterns, prioritizing problems, and defining a clear problem statement.
Second Diamond (Converge):
Develop: Now that you know the problem you're trying to solve, it's time to brainstorm and generate possible solutions. Encourage creative thinking and explore various options without limitations.
Deliver: This final phase involves choosing the best solution, prototyping and testing it with users, and iterating based on their feedback. The goal is to deliver a solution that effectively addresses the identified user needs.


Public transportation systems often fail to adequately cater to the needs of people with disabilities, presenting them with accessibility barriers and hindering their independent mobility. This leads to social isolation, reduced access to opportunities, and feelings of frustration and exclusion.

How can we solve this?


Case Study: Making public transport better for users with disabilities

Problem: Public transportation systems often fail to adequately cater to the needs of people with disabilities, presenting them with accessibility barriers and hindering their independent mobility. This leads to social isolation, reduced access to opportunities, and feelings of frustration and exclusion.

Diamond 1: Diverge

User research: Interviews and focus groups with diverse individuals with disabilities, including those with mobility, vision, hearing, and cognitive impairments, revealed:
Physical barriers like narrow doorways, steep ramps, and inaccessible ticketing systems.
Lack of awareness and training among transportation staff on disability needs.
Inaccurate or outdated information about accessible routes and schedules.
Feeling unsafe and unsupported while using public transportation.
Market research: Analysis of best practices and emerging technologies in accessible transportation design and communication systems.
Problem statement: Public transportation systems need to become more inclusive and accessible by removing physical and informational barriers, fostering positive interactions with staff, and empowering users with disabilities to navigate independently.
Target user: People with disabilities who rely on public transportation for daily commutes, accessing amenities, and participating in society.

Diamond 2: Converge

Brainstorming potential solutions:
Implementing universal design principles for stations and vehicles, including wider doorways, lowered platforms, and tactile warning strips.
Deploying assistive technology like audio announcements, real-time arrival information, and navigation apps with accessibility features.
Providing comprehensive accessibility training for all transportation staff, focusing on empathy, communication, and assistance techniques.
Establishing dedicated customer service channels for people with disabilities with prompt and informed response.
Trialling innovative solutions like smart wheelchairs for autonomous navigation within stations and on board vehicles.
Prioritization: Prioritize solutions based on feasibility, impact, and alignment with disability rights principles.
Developing a pilot program: Focus on implementing key solutions in a specific station or route, including:
Upgrading infrastructure with tactile paving, accessible elevators, and lowered counters.
Equipping vehicles with audio announcements, visual displays, and dedicated accessible seating.
Providing on-site mobility assistance and navigation support using trained staff.
Piloting a real-time accessibility information app with personalized route planning and alerts.
Testing and iteration: Conduct user testing with the pilot program and gather feedback to identify areas for improvement and refine the solutions.
Scaling and advocacy: Based on successful pilot results, advocate for and facilitate the scaling of accessible solutions across the entire public transportation system. Partner with disability rights organizations and stakeholders for ongoing feedback and collaboration.

Opportunity Solution Tree

The Opportunity Solution Tree (OST) is a visual framework used in product discovery to map out potential paths towards achieving a desired outcome. It helps teams organize their thinking, track their progress, and make informed decisions about where to invest their resources.

Here's how it works:
1. Root and Stem:
At the top of the tree is the desired outcome, which is the ultimate goal your team wants to achieve. This could be anything from launching a new product to improving customer satisfaction.
From the desired outcome, a single vertical line extends down, representing the stem. This is the main path you'll follow to reach your goal.
2. Opportunities:
Branching off the stem are opportunities, which are potential areas where you could make a difference and advance towards your desired outcome. These might be identified through user research, competitive analysis, or brainstorming sessions.
Each opportunity should be clearly defined and connected to the desired outcome in a meaningful way.
3. Solutions:
For each opportunity, you brainstorm and list multiple solutions, which are potential ways to address the opportunity and move closer to your goal. These can be anything from features in a new product to changes in your marketing strategy.
It's important to have a diverse range of solutions at this stage, even if they seem unconventional or far-fetched.
4. Experiments and Validation:
For each solution, you identify experiments that can be conducted to test its feasibility and effectiveness. These experiments can range from user interviews and prototype testing to A/B testing and market research.
The goal is to gather data and feedback to validate your assumptions and determine which solutions are most promising.


Opportunity Solution Tree:

Spotify - Maximising Time Spent on Platform

Opportunity 1: Enhance Algorithmic Recommendations and Personalization
Refine the music recommendation algorithm to personalize playlists and discover based on user listening history, mood, and context.
Introduce "micro-genres" and niche playlists to cater to specific user preferences.
Integrate with fitness trackers and smart home devices to suggest music based on activity and context.
A/B test different recommendation algorithms and playlist formats to track user engagement and time spent listening.
Analyze user interaction with personalized playlists compared to generic recommendations.
Measure the impact of context-aware music suggestions on time spent listening and user satisfaction.

Opportunity 2: Gamified Listening and User Incentives
Implement listening challenges and streaks with badges, rewards, and social sharing options.
Develop "music bingo" or "song scavenger hunt" features to encourage active listening and exploration.
Offer exclusive content or early access to new releases for long-time listeners or high engagement users.
Track user participation in listening challenges and gamified features compared to passive listening.
Analyze the impact of rewards and incentives on average time spent and user retention.
Monitor the effectiveness of exclusive content in attracting and engaging high-value users.

Opportunity 3: Enhance Podcast and Audiobook Integration
Improve podcast discovery and recommendation engine, personalized for individual interests and listening habits.
Introduce seamless transitions between music and podcasts/audiobooks for continuous listening flow.
Develop features like interactive podcast quizzes, chapter summaries, and sleep timers for deeper engagement.
Analyze podcast/audiobook listening time before and after personalized recommendations are implemented.
Track user engagement with transition features and interactive elements within podcasts/audiobooks.
Measure the impact of sleep timers and chapter summaries on time spent listening and user satisfaction.


Exercises & Rubric

Level 1: Use any framework or structure and solve a question.
Level 2: Do level 1 + use a rubric to see how well you did.
Level 3: Use a framework each (Double Diamond, Opportunity Solution Tree, no framework) on each of the question. Find what feels most comfortable to you.


1. Local Food Delivery App for Busy Families:
Imagine you're tasked with building a food delivery app specifically for busy families with young children. What challenges and pain points do these families face when ordering food? What features and functionalities would make their lives easier and more enjoyable when using your app? How would you ensure the app provides healthy and kid-friendly options while accommodating dietary restrictions and budget concerns?
2. Educational Gamified App for Teenagers:
You're developing a mobile app that gamifies learning for teenagers, aiming to make studying more engaging and effective. What subjects or skills would be most relevant to this age group? How would you use game mechanics like points, badges, and leaderboards to motivate learning and knowledge retention? What ethical considerations need to be addressed when designing such an app, especially regarding screen time and data privacy?
3. Sustainable Living Platform for University Students:
Design a platform that connects university students with resources and information related to sustainable living on campus and in their communities. What challenges do students face regarding sustainability practices in dorms, apartments, and dining halls? How can your platform encourage eco-friendly habits, facilitate resource sharing, and promote awareness of green initiatives? Consider how to overcome potential limitations like funding, student apathy, and accessibility.


Understanding the Problem
Solution Creativity and Feasibility
Framework Application (Optional)
Presentation and Communication
Overall Creativity and Potential
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