Unearthing the Discovery Phase in UX Research

“Great discoveries and improvements invariably involve the cooperation of many minds.” Alexander Graham Bell

Discovery Phase in UX Research

Discovery Phase in UX Research is one of the first quintessential steps in the User Experience Journey.  During this phase, the UX Researcher partakes in uncovering the fundamental and preliminary aspects, such as initiating conversational meetings to understand and develop rapport with the associated stakeholders in a preeminence way. This engagement process will help contribute to a successful UX design implementation product.

Let’s unearth how and why this phase is an important part of the UX Research journey.

What is Discovery Phase in UX Research?

To begin working on the UX Design of any commodity/product, whether as a new launch or enhancing an existing feature as a UX researcher, we should first lay the foundational base to the UX Research Roadmap, which is often referred to as Discovery Phase.


“Discovery phase is a preliminary phase in the UX-design process that involves researching the problem space, framing the problem(s) to be solved, and gathering enough evidence and initial direction on what to do next. Discoveries do not involve testing hypotheses or solutions.”

Prepping up

To begin with, as a UX researcher, one has to gain insights into the current scenario and the project's strengths and weaknesses. This is done by initiating communications with the stakeholders. The next process to perform would be identifying and mapping key stakeholders. This is followed by recruiting and scheduling research interview sessions. Next, UX researchers dive further to read/learn the subject matter of the related project documentation and vital user data information.

What Happens Next?

Once the groundwork is readily set, there would be one high-level Discovery session conducted by the UX Researchers with a core group of members. That would include Client team members such as Project Managers, Architects, IT team members, Business Stakeholders, and end users. This is to understand the main objective and get the ball rolling. The high-level agenda comprises-

  • Team Introductions
  • Goals and Objectives
  • Project scope
  • Formalities
  • User requirements
  • Observations
  • Justification for the work
  • Deadlines
  • Constraints (Budget, Technical tools, Company guidelines)
  • Attaining key contacts list
  • Questionnaires
  • Additional cardinal features

Discovery Phase’s Analytical Approach

Analytically, being a part of the qualitative research method Discovery phase provides insights into the user's behavioral and attitudinal perspectives, observations about tools, and other related activities. Once the analyzed information results are mapped and documented accurately, the UX Research team will start working on the next steps.

By brainstorming, prioritizing, selecting, and shortlisting the core features, this analytical approach helps execute the UX Research & Design process by

Fundamental Checkpoints in Discovery Phase

Listed below are basic fundamental checkpoints that are most commonly followed in a typical UX Discovery Phase scenario:

  1. Study / Read / Understand
  2. Identification / Classification
  3. Recruitment
  4. Scheduling User Interviews
  5. Building Rapport
  6. Observations
  7. Gaining Insights
  8. Consolidated Analysis
  9. Planning UX Strategy
  10. Next Research Phase Journey

Additional Prerequisites:

  • Run Contextual Inquiry
  • Understanding the target audience
  • Competitive Analysis - Comparing with other companies/organizations
  • Investigate user experience hypotheses
  • Assumption Mapping - Validate initial user experience assumptions

(Resource reference - Bootcamp.uxdesign.cc/ux)

What Next?

Setting standards in the Post-Discovery phase, we are now well prepared with a clear vision for the future UX Research Process. We can begin the next phase in the Research phase series with great tenacity- The Empathy phase.

To learn more about the process of in-depth investigative Discovery Phase and other important phases in UX Research, please reach out to our dedicated UX Research Professionals at Radiant Digital.


Cumulative Adaptation: From Business Analyst to UX Researcher

If you want to be successful, you have to be focused on constant evolution and adaptation. If you stand still, you quickly notice your career and role in your team pass you by, and you’ll become expendable.

For business analysts and other professionals in research fields, the ability to adapt and grow is key to sustained success.

The best analysts always find ways to explore their field and broaden their skills in new areas. In this blog, we’ll be discussing cumulative adaptation and the importance of personal growth in the world of UX research.

Are you where you want to be?

Are you heading in the right direction? Would a career change improve your professional development?

For example, would making a career change from UX Researcher to Business Analyst improve your overall prospects. This would not just be a change in your current career path but also an opportunity for broad expansion to acquire new skills and knowledge.

Below we’ve highlighted a few essential insights that can be gleaned from a successful UX Research to a Business Analyst journey. Just as nature makes its transition from one season to another, moving from one role to another can be seamless and important for your overall professional life.

For example, business analysts have an opportunity to take their responsibilities a step further in the role of a UX Researcher. Within the realm of UX, you will get the opportunity to work with cross-functional partners and stakeholders.

Your vital findings are recorded and used to inform UX decisions in the research process. These findings can relate to user feedback, informational and statistical data, process flow, pain points, challenges, and good points. This data can then be a foundational stepping stone to begin a series of research journeys and improve user experience. If you’re interested in playing this role, then UX research might be for you.

Added Advantage

As a business analyst, moving into UX research is a natural next step. Adapting to a role within UX research could deliver actionable perks of surveying and individual interviewing and allow you to discover and explore new research methods. You will often have a broad remit to get involved with various qualitative and quantitative research methods. Then you will be able to use these results to inform and improve your business’s user experience.

Process Flows

There are a few key stages to pay attention to when considering UX research. These include:

  • Discovery
  • Exploratory
  • Foundational
  • Empathy
  • Define
  • Ideate
  • Culminate
  • User Persona
  • UX Design


Each of these headings covers an essential stage within the overall lifecycle of a UX researcher. Every week you will be dealing with ideating projects, learning about your user personas, and using your insights to empower UX designers. The process should flow seamlessly with input and collaboration from several different teams. The end product will culminate all these simple processes flowing together in harmony.

            Correlation between the Responsibilities of Business Analysts and UX Researchers

Establish Relationships and Build Towards the Future

The relationships you build as a business analyst can continue to thrive as you transition into a UX researcher role. Moreover, your professional journey can serve as a connecting bridge to build a rapport across departments and stakeholders.

This adaptive approach to professional life is one of the best ways to build toward a brighter future. You can widen your perspective and the perspectives of professionals close to you. This will help on a fundamental human level, but it will also help you improve workflows, research methodologies, and a final product's prospects.

Engage and Explore

If you want to make progress in your professional life, you should always be looking to adapt and evolve. For some people, this may mean making a role transition. There is plenty of overlap between a business analyst and a UX researcher, and a move from one of these roles to another would be natural for many people.

It would help if you always kept an eye out for new opportunities within your field and beyond. Cumulative adaptation is about making the most of these opportunities, learning as much as possible, and using what you’ve learned to become a better professional.


To learn more about cumulative adaptation and the world of UX research, please get in touch with our UX experts.