TL;DR - A paid discovery project must provide the basis for decisions down the line - taking the time to establish competitive, market, and consumer insights will show you the way forward. Audio and transcript here.

J was recently interviewed on a hyper-focused episode of the Ctrl+Click podcast, concentrating on Discovery Projects. Hosted by the always engaging industry vets Emily Lewis and Lea Alcantara of Bright Umbrella, this episode is the latest in their series of podcasts exploring the business of the web.

The episode delves into an oft-overlooked bridge between the sales and project process: the Discovery. Both parties need to determine out if they will be a good match to work together, and it frequently makes makes more sense to ease into a defined discovery project than a mammoth extended engagement.


Disciplined Discovery Process

Much like the honed-in podcast topic, discovery projects are an exercise in discipline and goal-setting. Establish a clear set of expectations and outcomes so that both parties know what to expect going in, and have a defined idea of what will be delivered at the completion of the project.

Since we’re a UX shop, we’re overtly conscious of what the experience of working with us is like. Through years of client work, we’ve found that the more a discovery project is outlined and codified, the more efficiently the project can run. As soon as the project gets the go ahead, the team understands what needs to happen: which emails to send, which meetings to schedule, and which interviews to begin conducting.


Kickstart Projects + Discovery Workshops

A discovery project is best used to lay the foundation for future decision making. Empathy mapping, stakeholder interviews, and value proposition assessments are essential to informed strategies and design decisions. Our Kickstart Projects and Discovery Workshop sessions are all focused on delivering the project with a clear set of next steps that can be used for future initiatives.

When you do it right, you win more work. And, in our experience, 85 to 90 percent of partners that complete a Discovery sign on for additional projects.