Keep up to date with our product launches, events, talks, announcements and all that newsy stuff.
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.
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.
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.
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...
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.