Occasional thoughts on product and process from the Mint team

Flavours of Mint Discovery

Posted in Design by Noam Sohachevsky

Mint Discovery main image

Mint projects often start with a discovery phase, where we work with our clients to gain insights into a product, its market, and the potential business opportunity.

This approach ensures we don’t just dive straight into the complexities of a full technical build, littered with assumptions about how people might want to use a product. It is also an effective toe in the water for our clients - enabling them to commit a relatively small portion of budget to a project and validate their ideas quickly (or throw up problems early).

At the end of a discovery phase, we come away with a clearer picture of what the product should look like, how people want to use it and how they don’t, based on real-world testing and data-backed validation.

Every discovery phase involves competitor analysis, identification of user needs, product prototyping, and user testing. Sometimes we add other things to the mix - no discovery phase is ever the same, as every product (and client) has a different set of needs and problems.

Here’s what we’ve done on three different discovery phases, including what we delivered at the end of each phase.

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The Product Development Detective

Posted in Reflections by Laura Grace

Sherlock Holmes

It begins with a knock at the door.

Or perhaps a telephone call, a letter, even a newspaper headline. There may be a body. There will certainly be something hidden and unexplained. A mystery, a secret, a problem to be solved.

There follows a process of observation and investigation — clues, facts, witnesses. Hypotheses will be proposed and interrogated, answers will prove false. Eventually — preferably in a dazzling dénouement — the facts will reveal an explanation that satisfies, a solution to the problem.

If, like me, you are a fan of detective stories, this structure will be familiar. But twist it just a little — we rarely have to deal with bodies — and I think it looks rather like the way we make products at Mint. The cycle of observe > test > analyse is at the heart of our approach to product development and is, in essence, detective work.

Of course, this approach is firmly rooted in the principles of Agile development: fast, iterative, user-focused. But the detective story parallel throws up some interesting corollaries when you consider the work of the Agile agency.

We’re waiting for that knock on the door; a client with a problem, a question. That problem will throw us into an unfamiliar world. There will be interviews and evidence to be collected. We’ll probably come up with a few red herrings before arriving, eventually, at what we believe is the ‘right’ product, the right solution for that problem. All for twenty five dollars a day plus expenses. Or thereabouts.

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A disposable camera for your phone

Posted in News by Tim Morgan

WhiteAlbum Pics

On January 6th we wrote about WhiteAlbum, our disposable camera app for your phone.

One question we face when we launch a new product or service like this is “how do we know if it’s working?” That’s a tough question, I mean what does that even mean? But here I will try and answer it.

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Shoot now and forever hold your photos

Posted in News by Greg Beck

WhiteAlbum main image

The brand new year brings a brand new venture. One that provides keepsakes, preserves memories, and is generally pretty cool.

We built a simple camera app that prints the photos you take. But our app is a bit different than others in the category...

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Open Policy Making toolkit with the Cabinet Office

Posted in News by Tom Jarrett

Cabinet Office

We recently kicked off an exciting new project. It’s a discovery phase with the Open Policy Making team at the Cabinet Office. On their blog, they describe Open Policy Making as: “broadening the range of people we engage with, using the latest analytical techniques, and taking an agile, iterative approach to implementation.”

The brief for Mint: Create an Open Policy Making toolkit to help policymakers use the most up to date methods and tools.

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