From concept to completion: The end-to-end journey from product discovery to experience engineering at Ciklum

6 minute read
Updated On | Jun 21, 2024 7:10:18 AM
Publish On | Jun 10, 2024 7:24:52 AM
Ciklum Editorial Team

 

Delivering an exceptional user experience is a critical component of any successful product strategy. At Ciklum, we’ve taken this ethos to heart through our end-to-end approach that starts with product discovery and enables businesses to engineer experiences that resonate deeply with end users from the very first interaction.

This end-to-end journey not only enhances user satisfaction but also drives significant business outcomes, making it a cornerstone of our client partnerships. This blog explores how our unique methodology can transform your digital presence and set your products on a path to success.

What are product discovery and experience engineering?

First of all, it’s important to define what product discovery and experience engineering are. 

Product Discovery is the crucial first step on the road to a successful development process. It’s the continuous process of understanding customer needs, identifying real user problems and gaining a clear direction for building the right products. 

Experience engineering refers to the idea of creating experiences through advanced technology. User experience, product design and engineering all come together to define solutions that have the overall experience as their top priority.

Ultimately, experience engineering helps organizations work towards creating digital user experiences that are seamless, integrated and enjoyable, helping boost productivity, generate sales and maximize customer satisfaction.

Why is end-to-end experience engineering so important?

Basically, it comes down to the time, expense and resource consumption that the development of any product requires. Around 70% of new products fail because user problems aren’t correctly identified, and as many as 80% of new feature releases never actually get used.

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Now more than ever, with the business world so competitive and fast-moving, it’s essential to get product development right first time and ensure that new products achieve their intended goals, whether that’s more efficient user experiences, or generating more sales. Products designed, developed and built incorrectly represent a huge amount of waste that many businesses can’t afford.

Our unique approach to Experience Engineering makes sure that this scenario doesn’t arise, by keeping the entire development process, from product discovery to ongoing management, laser-focused on the overall experience and how it delivers on that. For us, that includes working with clients to keep them engaged and ensure they’re similarly aligned on what they’re trying to achieve.

Throughout this process, we bring together two teams within Ciklum: the engineering team that uses cutting-edge technology to build products, and the customer experience team that focuses on the latest user needs and consumer trends. This combination ensures that the latest technology is always explored in the context of what it’s meant to solve. Through Continuous Discovery and Continuous Delivery, the engineers and experience specialists can guarantee that what they are creating and deploying is always in response to a real user need, and will therefore, deliver successful business outcomes.

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Why experience engineering starts with product discovery

Ultimately, it’s impossible to create experiences that users will love without first understanding what it is that they want and expect. But product discovery is about more than that: it’s about removing the uncertainty from development and gaining as much confidence as possible that a new product or feature is going to hit the spot.

So before we start building any new solution, we take a very close look at our intended users and customers, and pinpoint exactly what they need from a product or feature. This not only helps put development on the right track, but it also uncovers some helpful new ideas and efficiencies along the way. For example, we sometimes find that our customers can take half their idea to market and still make an impact. This means they can focus on getting that first half live and in the marketplace faster, and then come to the additional elements later on.

Product discovery allows the scope of a project to be defined with pinpoint accuracy right from the very beginning. This is very powerful for clients helping to drive new products, those hoping to take an existing product into a new marketplace, or those who simply want to enhance an existing product.

But product discovery is not a ‘one-and-done’ process. When you start building products, you continuously discover new things, and experiment with them to ensure that they’re appropriate and validated. We have tools that speed up that process and help keep the project on the right track.

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Driving cultural change

We’ve also found that our approach to product discovery has been the catalyst for real cultural shifts among many of the organizations we work with. We’ve often finished a product discovery run of between eight and ten weeks, and found that the client team has been transformed into a high-performing unit that is much better aligned on user needs - even if their views on the product differ.

This means that we’re regularly used as the blueprint for building products properly, and helping clients understand what they need to do internally to support that process. We see fundamental culture change in the products and technology teams that we work with, and their products are becoming more successful because they have embarked on it with us.

Delivering tangible business outcomes

By developing our unique approach to Experience Engineering, we’ve been able to solve complex business challenges and foster innovation across a broad spectrum of industries and organizations.

One example of this was a learning education platform for a large network of private schools, which needed more features to be tailored for parents. At the product discovery stage, we found that some parents had as many as 17 different logins for accessing different services and types of information. We also found through validation and testing that many parents were going straight to the calendar from the homepage to try and find timetable notifications. 

To resolve these issues, we pivoted the product so that the calendar became integrated into the homepage itself, making for a better experience for parents who could get the information they wanted at first glance. Additionally, we leveraged our expertise in artificial intelligence to add a large language model bot, so that parents without strong computer proficiency could still engage with the platform by discussing issues and queries in natural language.

Adapting to a fast-changing technology landscape

The art of Experience Engineering is a constantly moving target for two reasons: the fact that technology and innovation is progressing and advancing all the time, and the fact that user and customer expectations are also evolving. 

Generative AI is a perfect example of both of these drivers: it’s becoming more technologically capable all the time, and people at large are becoming more aware and appreciative of what AI can do for them. Increasingly, AI applications are coming within users’ ‘zone of tolerance’: that is to say that they are so familiar and comfortable with AI that it feels like second nature. 

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But it’s important to remember that Experience Engineering is all about being user-led, rather than technology-led. It’s for this reason that we collaborate closely with all our clients, not only to help them use the latest technologies, but also to ensure that they do so in ways that address user problems. We help them develop an understanding of what their next features should be, and how they are going to deliver meaningful value to them and their users. 

Find out more on how Ciklum’s unique approach to experience engineering can help you innovate with success. Whether you want to embrace generative AI or maximize digital experiences, we have the technology and expertise to support you. Get in touch with our team to discuss your specifics.

 

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