How to best create a successful application? Ask the end users

The creation of any product or application is accompanied by long and expensive development, which may not always yield the expected result. This is because companies often do not fully consider the needs of end users, and are unable to determine with certainty what the purposes of their application are. The "Product discovery" technique helps with all this, thanks to which companies can save both time and money.

Product discovery is one of the most important stages of product design. It helps to recognize the real – not just imaginary – requirements and preferences of the customer. Thanks to this, companies can avoid creating products that no one needs, and minimize the risks of market entry.

“When the rough prototype of an app is launched and tested by its end users, companies receive relevant feedback before the major development begins. Thanks to this, they can determine the most sensible priorities of their concept, and fully devote their resources to these. There are cases when, after the Product Discovery phase, companies have had to reassess where the application should go,” explains Michal Košek, CEO of eMan.

How it works in practice

At first, a client approaches the design team with an idea for a new product, or to improve an existing one. At the introductory workshops, both parties exchange their ideas, visions, data and, most importantly, the expected outputs from the entire activity. Aimed at testing all assumptions, product ideas, and how the final product will help users solve their problems, a subsequent two-week intensive sprint conveys a prototype containing basic functions on which feedback from test users is obtained.

“Although the Product Discovery process alone does not guarantee 100% success, it creates the right foundation for other phases of product development. Therefore, before spending hundreds of thousands on development, consider first focusing on researching the problem your product is trying to solve. After all, the end customers will be the ones for whom the product should fit best,” added Košek.


Case studies

By presenting the prototype to potential users, the customer will be able to identify different types of users and show how each of them will interact with the product. In order to develop an effective solution, it is crucial to spend enough time analyzing and understanding users’ problems and needs. One clear advantage is a thorough investigation of all the risks associated with product development – risks of value, usability and feasibility.

New version of the Patria Finance app

The leading Czech investment company Patria Finance approached the eMan software house with the task of designing a new version of their mobile application for retail investors. The current one is used by 45 thousand users. Before going ahead with the actual design, it was time for intensive research.


Even with a clear vision, it’s good to seek advice

Modern IT consulting is a significant part of the success of any application. At Patria Finance, they had a clear idea of ​​how the app should look. But they knew that the expert view and feedback of current users would best help them avoid mistakes and save time and money. They underwent a “Product Discovery phase” with eMan, who advised on the implementation of new functions in the final version.

“We knew that eMan had already completed a few such projects. The fact that this was the right step has been clear throughout our cooperation. We’re not comprehensive experts in application development, so it was important to have the right partner to navigate the right path,” recounted Tomáš Jaroš, CEO of Patria Finance.

First, there were workshops, prototyping, design sprints, and then came the testing on end users and finalization. The agile method of design allowed both parties to react in real time to any modifications and changes in the individual phases of the project. Every week they went together through new designs and revisions of the original ones, and decided where to go next.


End-user feedback reveals core features

If you are developing a product aimed at end customers, it is crucial to get their feedback and reflect their needs. In the case of Patria Finance, the company worked with almost two dozen users of the existing app who participated in its improvement with their subjective “criticism”.

Ondřej Straka
Design Lead