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Project Discovery Phase in Custom Software Development

Saving money, building a better user experience, identifying risk, and learning more about the niche. All these can come out of the software product discovery phase. This “step 0” will not take a lot of your time and budget, but its results will become a foundation for every next step as you move further in the development process.

What is discovery phase in software development?

Software development discovery phase is a substantial research work that is done prior to any significant design and development. During the discovery phase, stakeholders, investors, and business owners define the scope of work, expected deadlines, the main goal of a project, and the target audience.

Why opt for the discovery phase?

  • To build a product validated by the market.

  • To design a perfect user experience.

  • To set clear goals and deadlines.

  • To provide your team with market context.

  • To get a detailed project estimate and scope.

Without the software discovery phase:

  • You will get a product that nobody needs.

  • Your budget will be wrong.

  • You will not meet the deadlines.

  • Your team will feel lost.

You need the discovery phase of a project if:

A project discovery phase will allow you to clearly define your business goals, set realistic expectations about your future product, and create the first wireframes and prototypes. They will play a significant role during your negotiations with investors.

Suppose you already have an established business and want to optimize your processes or look for new niches. In that case, the software product discovery phase will serve as a solid foundation for changes. The discovery phase will result in the necessary documentation, tech stack, and budget estimate.

If you want to develop a new product to support your business ecosystem, a discovery phase will help you identify if your initiative is worth the game. If it is, you will have all the necessary tools to start the full-scale development.

It may happen that the product you already have is underperforming or has some issues that you need to fix. With the help of a thorough discovery research phase, you will be able to identify bottlenecks and examine the opportunities for change.


Benefits of discovery phase in software projects

The discovery phase of product development has several major benefits that will boost the chances of your solution succeeding in the market.

Reducing the risks

A discovery phase will provide you and your team with the necessary data to decide whether to continue the development. You will know about possible risks and be prepared for them.

User validation

When you have a clickable prototype on your hands, you may not only just show it to stakeholders or investors, but also to beta-test groups of your target audience to receive real user feedback.

Cost reduction

The discovery phase in software development is not costly compared to the full-scale process, so if you decide that the idea is not worth the game, your final expenses will be minimal.

Transparent goals

A discovery phase will give your team a clear understanding of the project. They will know why each feature is needed and what user pain point it solves.

Who is involved in the discovery phase of a project?

The discovery phase of a software development project requires the following project team:

Project Manager

Organizes the team, controls the processes, communicates with the client

Business Analyst

Evaluates business data, analyzes the market and competitors, visualizes the results

UX/UI Designer

Draws the Mind Map, creates wireframes, assembles a clickable prototype

Software Architect

Analyzes the feasibility of the solution, determines functional requirements, builds the logic

Software Engineers

Creates Technical solution proposal, lists the tech stack, estimates the necessary time

Discovery phase of a software development project: How do we work

A discovery phase of a project is a well-structured process. The structure helps you and your team clearly see what you should do and why you should do it.

Stages of the discovery phase

What our software discovery process looks like:

Background/business research
Mind Map creation and data structuring
Writing high-level project requirements and building the first interactive prototype
Getting feedback from potential users on your side
Defining the project’s tech stack
Preparing the final proposal

Discovery phase of a project: Deliverables with Yellow

When the discovery phase is finished, you will get the following project discovery phase deliverables to move on with your idea:


Choose what your project needs: Pricing plans for discovery phase at Yellow

At Yellow, the discovery phase service for a software project has two pricing teplans for you to choose from.



From you:

  • Introductory data based on the brief

  • Feedback on intermediate results of prototyping and user stories


  • Project Manager

  • Business Analyst

  • Designer

From us:

  • Two calls to collect requirements

  • Analysis of incoming data (up to 8 hours)

  • Creation of user stories

  • Gathering feedback from Yellow's internal team

  • Up to three rounds of client review

  • Creation of a clickable prototype (desktop or mobile)

You get:

  • A clickable prototype (10 main screens)

  • User stories descriptions

From you:

  • Introductory data based on the brief

  • Feedback on intermediate results of prototyping and user stories


  • Project Manager

  • Business Analyst

  • Designer

  • Lead of UX/UI

  • Software Architect

  • Software Engineers

From us:

  • Three calls to collect requirements

  • In-depth analysis of the customer's brief, domain, and market

  • Competitive analysis

  • Creation of User stories and Buyer Personas

  • Creation of Technical solution

  • Mind Map building

  • Gathering feedback from the internal team.

  • Up to five rounds of client review

  • Collection and analysis of feedback from potential users of the product

  • Creation of a clickable prototype (desktop or mobile)

You get:

  • A clickable prototype (25 main screens)

  • User stories descriptions

  • Buyer personas descriptions

  • Competitive analysis report

  • Technical solution proposal

Why choose the discovery phase by Yellow?

Business-first approach

Coding and design are just parts of software product development. We value business needs first and direct all our work to addressing them, not just writing code and drawing lines.

Product lab

We create our own projects from scratch, starting with the discovery phase, so we know the peculiarities of the software product lifecycle and apply this experience to your project.


Before any work starts, we sign a non-disclosure agreement, so all your data is legally protected. We also use the best security practices to make sure you are safe with us.

Experienced communications

Yellow has been developing mobile and web solutions since 2015 and has already successfully finished 100+ software solutions in various industries, from communication to fintech.

Yellow’s achievements

Twilio Partner for 5 years

Top 1000 Global Service Providers for 2020 list by Clutch

Top 100+ Software Development Companies in 2022 list by Techreviewer

Top 1000 Service Providers for 2021 list by Clutch

Best Website Design Agencies in San Francisco list by DesignRush

Answering questions

How can the research and discovery phase benefit my business?

A discovery phase for software development will reduce the risks, provide you with market validation, minimize the costs, and clarify goals.

What are the discovery phase steps?

The stages of the discovery phase include background/business research, Mind Map creation, data structuring, writing high-level requirements, building the first interactive prototype, collecting feedback from potential users on your side, defining the project’s tech stack, and preparing the final proposal.

How much does the discovery phase service for software development cost?

With Yellow, you will pay $1,900 for the Light plan and $7,900 for the Complete plan.

Why Yellow?

We create our own projects and apply the experience we get there to the project discovery phase in custom software development of your solution. Your business needs are our top priority. Your data is secure with us.

Want to start? Download the brief

Fill it in and come back to us. We will discuss your idea in more detail and start the discovery!