Continuous discovery is a user experience (UX) research method that has picked up a lot of momentum recently, but it's not really that new. But just in case you're not familiar with the concept, in a nutshell it is a way of gathering data and insights from your users and their behaviour on a regular basis to inform design and product decisions.
UX researchers love this approach because it offers a ton of benefits. We figured it would be worth breaking down some of the key benefits of continuous discovery and why you should start incorporating it into your UX research process, right now!
One of the biggest reasons continuous discovery is so great is that it saves time and resources. Instead of conducting a massive research project every few months, you can collect data and insights on an ongoing basis. This allows you to make informed design decisions quickly and efficiently. As Teresa Torres, a leading product coach, says in her book, "Continuous discovery helps us to create a culture of continuous learning and improvement".
Continuous discovery also leads to better decision-making. Askable customers gather data and insights on a regular basis, to gain a clearer understanding of what users want and need from their product. Like them, you can make more informed decisions more often. Plus, by constantly iterating based on user feedback and data and not just your gut, you'll be shipping features or delivering better experiences that nail your customers’ pain-points more often. It goes without saying, but nailing customer pain points at the right time is ultimately the best way to build raving fans.
Deeper Understanding of User Needs
One of the most valuable aspects of continuous discovery is that it allows you to gain a deeper understanding of your users. By engaging with them on a regular basis, you'll get a clearer picture of what they want and need from your product or service. There is always the added bonus of uncovering a need that you may not have discovered. The wonderful thing about talking to users more often is that you are more open to hearing about other pain points and not just the one you had put on the interview agenda.
Continuous discovery also helps to foster collaboration between UX researchers, designers, and product managers. By sharing data and insights, team members can work together to create a product that meets the needs of users. This cross-functional collaboration is essential for creating a successful product, and it helps to break down silos and encourage teamwork. According to Teresa Torres, "Continuous discovery helps build a shared understanding among team members and aligns everyone towards a common goal".
In summary, if you're looking to improve your UX research process, consider incorporating continuous discovery into your workflow. With increased efficiency, better decision-making, a deeper understanding of user needs and improved collaboration, you'll be well on your way to creating a product that users will not only love; they'll be hard pressed to live without.