Step 3: Discovery

Discovery validates and expands upon the initial project definition. Deeper understanding is developed through design research focused on business and customer needs. Technical investigation also happens in this phase. These activities serve as the foundation for product concept exploration.

Outputs
  • Discovery Report
Leads
  • Project Team POC
  • Project Team Leads
  • VA Product Lead
Participants
  • Engineering
  • Full stack engineer
  • Site reliability engineer
  • Front-end developer
  • Engineering lead
  • Data scientist
  • Content Strategist
  • VA Product Lead
  • VA Content Writers
  • VA SMEs
  • Design researcher
  • UX Designer
VA Stakeholder Engagement
  • Participate in working sessions to provide business requirements, validate design concepts, and provide feedback to vets.gov team as needed.
  • Provide requested documentation and timely responses to questions as requested.
  • Provide introductions / access to end users as available.
  • Provide any available feedback or data about end users
  • Develop launch communication plan
  • Provide input for sunset strategy for systems and content
Engineering
  • Identify all required data elements.
  • Identify data collection needs and data-driven goals. (For example, tracking completion rates for a form, or top search terms.)
  • Identify related systems. Plan for rebuild, or integration. (For example, sending an electronic disability claim.)
  • Define system architecture including data, security, integrations and services
Search
  • Identify current user search terms on Google, VA.gov
  • Identify initial keyword list
Content
  • Define goals for content. What do users need?
  • Review existing content, online and off. What can be incorporated? What needs to be newly created?
  • Define feature set – the content elements that will be included in this release.
  • Use vets.gov Style Guide in creating new content and revising any that’s reused.
Design Research
  • Review existing research to determine how much additional research is required.
  • Create a research plan
  • Conduct research
  • Synthesize findings
  • Document findings
  • Share with larger core vets.gov team and with the business partner team
Design
  • Heuristic audit
Back: Kickoff Next: Alpha: Design, Prototype & Plan