Product Management

Continuous Product Discovery: A How-to Innovation Guide

Content Writer

Athira V S

October 27, 2023

Continuous Product Discovery: A How-to Innovation Guide

Around 1.9 million App Store and Google Play apps haven't been updated in the past two years. What does it mean for you?

It means there's immense business value for companies that commit to continuous product discovery by listening to their users and updating the product according to their needs.

This approach views creating digital products as a journey rather than a goal to be achieved.

Unfortunately, most teams aren't aware that their user needs are constantly changing and evolving. And that's your opportunity to stand out. In this guide, we'll help you learn everything you need to know for successful continuous product discovery.

What is continuous product discovery?

Continuous product discovery is a framework for gathering customer feedback and testing assumptions regularly instead of only at specific intervals. It's an iterative process that helps you adapt your product to users’ needs that might change and evolve.

According to Jonathan Widawski, this approach is based on the belief that your product is a living, breathing thing and that users have a central role in shaping its development.

Jeff Gothelf, a UX design and product management expert, further explained that roadmaps might be linear but software projects aren't.

Why is continuous product discovery important?

Why is Continuous Product Discovery Important

Here are the three most significant benefits of implementing a continuous discovery process.

  1. Identifying opportunities

Teresa Torres, who popularized the concept of continuous product discovery, suggests using the term opportunities instead of problems when referring to customer needs, pain points and desires altogether.

For her, product discovery is much more than simply solving customer problems. She advocates for continuously looking for ways to positively impact customer life, no matter what it might look like.

And continuous product discovery allows you to spot those opportunities and delight customers in every phase of their journey.

  1. Reducing customer churn

According to Statista, the average retention rate for Android apps in 2022 was around 2.6% after only one month from download, which means there's a lot of room for improvement for most product teams.

Users' needs evolve, so continuous product discovery is the best way to align your product with your customers' changing needs and ensure you don't lose them.

This approach has many benefits: you'll improve customer satisfaction while increasing their lifetime value and boosting loyalty because who wouldn't stay with a company that's actively listening to their needs?

  1. Prioritizing more effectively

Continuous product discovery will help you avoid assumption-based development, which is the fastest recipe for failure. Instead of relying only on your assumptions, you can have your customers vote and pick the feature you should build next, the one they need the most.

Read this guide to learn how to prioritize product features using one of the popular prioritization frameworks.

Continuous product discovery: How-to guide

You can use many product discovery techniques and strategies, but here are the four core elements.

Build a solid product discovery team with a continuous improvement mindset

Source: Twitter.com

If you're just starting to implement a continuous product discovery process, you need a dedicated team that will be in charge of it and take accountability.

Teresa Torres suggests creating a so-called “product trio” consisting of:

  1. Product Manager
  2. Design lead
  3. Tech lead (software engineer, developer)

It'd be ideal to do customer interviews together because they all come from different perspectives, enabling them to form the bigger picture.

Traditionally, those three roles were focused on very different things and used to stick only to their expert point of view. But Teresa Torres insists on collaboration that enables them to develop much better solutions for meeting clients' needs.

But what does the product team actually do?

Of course, that doesn't mean you shouldn’t include other team members in the discovery process. You can organize product discovery workshops that include all team members.

Completely new to this concept? Consider hiring a product discovery coach to help your product teams shift from the traditional product discovery process to a continuous one.

Have weekly touchpoints with customers

Asking for feedback and acting upon it could be the key to building customer trust. A recent PwC survey shows that:

  • 21% of customers believe that the foundation for building trust is responding to their feedback and providing a reliable experience
  • Another 23% believe that the key lies in quick response and resolution to customer concerns

If you were wondering what continuous discovery habits actually refer to and how often you should gather customer feedback, we've got you covered. Teresa Torres suggests that weekly touchpoints with customers should be the minimum.

Sounds like a lot? Don't worry, you don't have to do live interviews every week.

Here are some other forms that can help you gather regular customer input:

  • In-app feedback
  • Quick surveys
  • Focus groups

If you don't have enough resources, here's what you can do instead: monitor social media and relevant groups and communities and listen to what your customers are talking about.

Remember that even negative feedback can bring you a lot of value: you'll have a clear idea of what needs to be improved.

Here are a few ideas on how to automate getting feedback:

  • You can set up automated in-app surveys that are triggered at a specific moment, for example, when a user completes a particular task, reaches a milestone or is about to leave the app
  • You can schedule and automate email surveys at regular intervals using your email service provider
  • You can add chatbots on your website that will ask customers for their opinion
  • You can do quick A/B tests or ask customers to pick an option/feature that resonates with them more

Click here for the ultimate guide on customer feedback management.

Visualize opportunities

Source: Twitter.com

The continuous product discovery process aims to get a constant flow of information about user problems, desires, needs and potential solutions, but it can become a bit overwhelming.

When you've gathered enough data, it's time to visualize opportunities. Multiple product discovery frameworks can help you with this, but it's best to start with creating an opportunity solution tree:

  1. Define the product outcome you want to create. For example, it could be increasing customer lifetime value.
  2. Identify the opportunities that align with the desired product outcome from all the data you've gathered. You shouldn't eliminate opportunities that don't fully align with a given business outcome either. Remember, product discovery is a continuous process. Those insights might be helpful later, in some other phase.
  3. Move to the solution space of the tree. Think of all the possible solutions for the opportunities you've identified. There will be time to thoroughly test underlying assumptions during the validation phase, so do not limit yourself – write everything that comes to mind. It could also be an excellent team-building exercise.

Use product discovery tools

You could use various research methods for continuous product discovery, but having a platform to keep everything in one place can be a good idea.

Zeda.io is an AI-powered product discovery tool that helps you with all phases, from discovering and prioritizing problems to solve to gathering customer feedback and providing actionable insights.

Our goal is to help you transform customer feedback into actionable insights and strategies to avoid common mistakes that happen when a team starts building/improving products based on their assumptions instead of precise customer data.

The platform enables you to automate many processes to run product discovery in the background, even when you're focused on something else.

Here's how Zeda.io can help you with continuous discovery:

  • You can capture and organize feedback from multiple channels
  • You can segmentize and prioritize users' needs
  • You can do holistic user research
  • You can prioritize features by determining their business impact
  • You can build an actionable roadmap and track progress
  • You can use AI insights to discover high-revenue opportunities

Conclusion

Continuous product discovery is one of those traits that all successful product teams have in common, and that sets them apart from their competition. It becomes much easier when you have the right tools to support you.

Zeda.io combines a continuous product discovery framework with AI-powered insights, taking the guesswork out of the decision-making process and saving you much time.

Sign up today and see why so many product managers choose Zeda.io as their go-to discovery tool.

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FAQs

What is the continuous product discovery process?

Continuous product discovery is a process that enables product teams to gather customer feedback and insights regularly. The goal of this process is to identify more opportunities to solve customers’ problems and delight them, but it can also help you with innovating and prioritizing features that you need to build.

What is an example of a continuous discovery?

Spotify could be an example of a company that relies on continuous product discovery to innovate and improve user experience. They're constantly conducting small research activities that don't take much of customers’ precious time but allow their team to develop new features like Spotify Wrapped or Discover Weekly that they test and implement if the user feedback is positive.

What are the continuous discovery processes by Teresa Torres?

According to Teresa Torres, continuous product discovery consists of three complementary processes: constant user research activities, generating potential solutions and validating assumptions.

How do you implement continuous discovery?

First, you should have a dedicated product team (also called a product trio) that's committed to continuous product discovery with the right mindset. Then, you should schedule a recurring weekly discovery process (customer interviews, feedback etc.) and use the right tools to help you visualize insights you've gathered and prioritize features to build.

Product Management

Continuous Product Discovery: A How-to Innovation Guide

Athira V S
Content Writer
October 27, 2023
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IN THIS ARTICLE:
  1. What are product discovery techniques?
  2. 8 key product discovery techniques link
  3. Conclusion
IN THIS ARTICLE:
  1. What are product discovery techniques?
  2. 8 key product discovery techniques link
  3. Conclusion

Around 1.9 million App Store and Google Play apps haven't been updated in the past two years. What does it mean for you?

It means there's immense business value for companies that commit to continuous product discovery by listening to their users and updating the product according to their needs.

This approach views creating digital products as a journey rather than a goal to be achieved.

Unfortunately, most teams aren't aware that their user needs are constantly changing and evolving. And that's your opportunity to stand out. In this guide, we'll help you learn everything you need to know for successful continuous product discovery.

What is continuous product discovery?

Continuous product discovery is a framework for gathering customer feedback and testing assumptions regularly instead of only at specific intervals. It's an iterative process that helps you adapt your product to users’ needs that might change and evolve.

According to Jonathan Widawski, this approach is based on the belief that your product is a living, breathing thing and that users have a central role in shaping its development.

Jeff Gothelf, a UX design and product management expert, further explained that roadmaps might be linear but software projects aren't.

Why is continuous product discovery important?

Why is Continuous Product Discovery Important

Here are the three most significant benefits of implementing a continuous discovery process.

  1. Identifying opportunities

Teresa Torres, who popularized the concept of continuous product discovery, suggests using the term opportunities instead of problems when referring to customer needs, pain points and desires altogether.

For her, product discovery is much more than simply solving customer problems. She advocates for continuously looking for ways to positively impact customer life, no matter what it might look like.

And continuous product discovery allows you to spot those opportunities and delight customers in every phase of their journey.

  1. Reducing customer churn

According to Statista, the average retention rate for Android apps in 2022 was around 2.6% after only one month from download, which means there's a lot of room for improvement for most product teams.

Users' needs evolve, so continuous product discovery is the best way to align your product with your customers' changing needs and ensure you don't lose them.

This approach has many benefits: you'll improve customer satisfaction while increasing their lifetime value and boosting loyalty because who wouldn't stay with a company that's actively listening to their needs?

  1. Prioritizing more effectively

Continuous product discovery will help you avoid assumption-based development, which is the fastest recipe for failure. Instead of relying only on your assumptions, you can have your customers vote and pick the feature you should build next, the one they need the most.

Read this guide to learn how to prioritize product features using one of the popular prioritization frameworks.

Continuous product discovery: How-to guide

You can use many product discovery techniques and strategies, but here are the four core elements.

Build a solid product discovery team with a continuous improvement mindset

Source: Twitter.com

If you're just starting to implement a continuous product discovery process, you need a dedicated team that will be in charge of it and take accountability.

Teresa Torres suggests creating a so-called “product trio” consisting of:

  1. Product Manager
  2. Design lead
  3. Tech lead (software engineer, developer)

It'd be ideal to do customer interviews together because they all come from different perspectives, enabling them to form the bigger picture.

Traditionally, those three roles were focused on very different things and used to stick only to their expert point of view. But Teresa Torres insists on collaboration that enables them to develop much better solutions for meeting clients' needs.

But what does the product team actually do?

Of course, that doesn't mean you shouldn’t include other team members in the discovery process. You can organize product discovery workshops that include all team members.

Completely new to this concept? Consider hiring a product discovery coach to help your product teams shift from the traditional product discovery process to a continuous one.

Have weekly touchpoints with customers

Asking for feedback and acting upon it could be the key to building customer trust. A recent PwC survey shows that:

  • 21% of customers believe that the foundation for building trust is responding to their feedback and providing a reliable experience
  • Another 23% believe that the key lies in quick response and resolution to customer concerns

If you were wondering what continuous discovery habits actually refer to and how often you should gather customer feedback, we've got you covered. Teresa Torres suggests that weekly touchpoints with customers should be the minimum.

Sounds like a lot? Don't worry, you don't have to do live interviews every week.

Here are some other forms that can help you gather regular customer input:

  • In-app feedback
  • Quick surveys
  • Focus groups

If you don't have enough resources, here's what you can do instead: monitor social media and relevant groups and communities and listen to what your customers are talking about.

Remember that even negative feedback can bring you a lot of value: you'll have a clear idea of what needs to be improved.

Here are a few ideas on how to automate getting feedback:

  • You can set up automated in-app surveys that are triggered at a specific moment, for example, when a user completes a particular task, reaches a milestone or is about to leave the app
  • You can schedule and automate email surveys at regular intervals using your email service provider
  • You can add chatbots on your website that will ask customers for their opinion
  • You can do quick A/B tests or ask customers to pick an option/feature that resonates with them more

Click here for the ultimate guide on customer feedback management.

Visualize opportunities

Source: Twitter.com

The continuous product discovery process aims to get a constant flow of information about user problems, desires, needs and potential solutions, but it can become a bit overwhelming.

When you've gathered enough data, it's time to visualize opportunities. Multiple product discovery frameworks can help you with this, but it's best to start with creating an opportunity solution tree:

  1. Define the product outcome you want to create. For example, it could be increasing customer lifetime value.
  2. Identify the opportunities that align with the desired product outcome from all the data you've gathered. You shouldn't eliminate opportunities that don't fully align with a given business outcome either. Remember, product discovery is a continuous process. Those insights might be helpful later, in some other phase.
  3. Move to the solution space of the tree. Think of all the possible solutions for the opportunities you've identified. There will be time to thoroughly test underlying assumptions during the validation phase, so do not limit yourself – write everything that comes to mind. It could also be an excellent team-building exercise.

Use product discovery tools

You could use various research methods for continuous product discovery, but having a platform to keep everything in one place can be a good idea.

Zeda.io is an AI-powered product discovery tool that helps you with all phases, from discovering and prioritizing problems to solve to gathering customer feedback and providing actionable insights.

Our goal is to help you transform customer feedback into actionable insights and strategies to avoid common mistakes that happen when a team starts building/improving products based on their assumptions instead of precise customer data.

The platform enables you to automate many processes to run product discovery in the background, even when you're focused on something else.

Here's how Zeda.io can help you with continuous discovery:

  • You can capture and organize feedback from multiple channels
  • You can segmentize and prioritize users' needs
  • You can do holistic user research
  • You can prioritize features by determining their business impact
  • You can build an actionable roadmap and track progress
  • You can use AI insights to discover high-revenue opportunities

Conclusion

Continuous product discovery is one of those traits that all successful product teams have in common, and that sets them apart from their competition. It becomes much easier when you have the right tools to support you.

Zeda.io combines a continuous product discovery framework with AI-powered insights, taking the guesswork out of the decision-making process and saving you much time.

Sign up today and see why so many product managers choose Zeda.io as their go-to discovery tool.

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