The software development process is a complex journey that requires planning, collaboration and efficient execution. A crucial stage in this process is the discovery phase, where the foundations for the entire project are laid. At Yapiko, as specialists in software development and custom programming, we will explain how the discovery phase can save time and money, as well as its impact on the overall success of software development.

The basics of the discovery phase

Understanding customer needs: stakeholder interviews and requirements analysis

In this initial stage, in-depth interviews are conducted with stakeholders to understand their needs and objectives. This process helps to clearly define project requirements and avoid potential misunderstandings as development proceeds.

Market and competitor research: industry analysis and trend identification

A thorough analysis of the industry and competition is essential to identify opportunities and gaps in the market. This provides valuable information for the development of unique features that can give the application a competitive advantage. To do this you can list your direct and indirect competitors in the market and consider both large companies and emerging startups that could affect your niche. Analyse your competitors’ websites for information about their products, services, prices, key features and focus on user experience.

Definition of objectives and scope

The discovery phase aims to understand the customer’s needs, define objectives and establish a clear plan for the software development project. Setting clear objectives and a well-defined scope is crucial to avoid project drift. This helps to keep the focus on goals and avoids costly deviations during the development process.

Methods and tools in the discovery phase

Rapid prototyping: visual prototyping and early concept validation

Rapid prototyping allows the creation of early versions of the application to validate concepts and get early feedback. This saves time by detecting potential problems before entering the full development phase. To do this, you should identify the key interaction flows you wish to demonstrate in the prototype and may include actions such as navigation, data entry and use of key features. You can use design tools such as Adobe XD, Sketch o Figma to create the visual interface of the prototype. Focus on the general layout, design elements and structure of the application.

Empathy mapping and customer journey: creating empathy maps and mapping the customer journey

The use of empathy and customer journey maps allows for a better understanding of the customer’s emotional needs and touch points. This ensures that the final product is designed with the user and the complete user experience in mind.

A good starting point is to identify the users or user segments for which you want to create the empathy map. They can be existing customers or people representative of your target audience.

SWOT analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats, Weaknesses)

The SWOT analysis provides a comprehensive view of the position of the project in relation to the market and the competition. This helps to identify areas for improvement and to make informed decisions on how to address potential challenges.

Collaboration and effective communication

Multidisciplinary teams: integrating experts from various fields and fostering creativity

Collaboration between experts from different fields enriches the discovery phase by bringing in diverse perspectives. This encourages creativity and the generation of innovative ideas.

Continuous communication with stakeholders: regular updates and feedback

Maintaining fluid communication with stakeholders throughout the discovery process is essential. Their continuous feedback ensures that the project remains aligned with expectations and can be adjusted as necessary.

Benefits of an efficient discovery phase

An efficient discovery phase reduces risk, optimises the use of time and resources, and improves customer satisfaction by focusing on the customer experience.

Risk reduction: early identification of problems and minimisation of costly errors

Rapid prototyping allows early versions of the application to be created to validate concepts and receive feedback before full implementation. A robust discovery phase helps to identify potential problems in the early stages, avoiding errors and cost overruns in later stages of development.

Optimisation of time and resources: avoidance of unnecessary functionality development and alignment of priorities

Clearly defining objectives and scope avoids wasting time and resources on creating unnecessary features. It also ensures that resources are properly allocated to priority tasks.

Improving the user experience: user-centred design and customer satisfaction

The focus on the user experience during the discovery phase leads to a design focused on the user’s needs. This results in higher customer satisfaction and a more successful end product.

Steps after the discovery phase

After the discovery phase, the entire process is documented, specifications are created and development is planned, followed by the transition to implementation and training of the team.

Documentation and planning

Detailed documentation of the entire process and decisions made during the discovery phase is essential to guide further development.

Creation of specification documents

Clear and complete specification documents serve as a reference for developers during the following stages of the project.

Development planning

Once the discovery phase is completed, a detailed plan for continued development is established, incorporating the defined objectives and requirements.

Transition to the development phase

Delivery of relevant artefacts

The transition to the development phase involves handing over to the development teams the artefacts generated during the discovery phase, such as prototypes and specifications.

Training of the development team

Training the development team on the key issues identified during the discovery phase ensures effective and accurate implementation.


The discovery phase in software development plays an essential role in the creation of successful products. At Yapiko we pay special attention to this phase because, by understanding customer needs, researching the market, using effective tools and fostering collaboration, we reduce risks, optimise resources and improve the user experience. Investing in a solid discovery phase translates into more controlled development and more successful end results.