4 mins

The Importance of Discovery Sessions for Brand/UX

9 April 2024
Image shows team in a Discovery Session
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Discovery Sessions are a huge part of our service delivery here at Show + Tell. When I started the agency back in 2009, there were a few non-negotiables for me in terms of the way we’d do things, and Discovery Sessions were one of those things.


Because, when it comes to Branding and User Experience (UX) design, success hinges on an understanding of the intricacies of a brand, its strategic approach and goals, and its audience. You cannot fully understand any of these things without a deep-dive discovery session, in my view. I've witnessed first-hand the transformative power of discovery sessions in shaping brands and crafting exceptional user experiences for our clients.

I wanted to delve further into why we at Show + Tell believe these discovery sessions are crucial for brand and UX design excellence and how they form the bedrock of our service here, so let’s get down to it.

Understanding Brand Identity:

At the heart of every successful brand lies a clear and compelling identity. However, uncovering this identity requires more than surface-level analysis, and it’s usually not until you get a lot of people into a room that the real crux comes out. Discovery sessions provide a structured framework for exploring a brand's values, vision, and voice. It’s a tried and tested methodology we’ve been honing for well over a decade.

Through in-depth discussions, we collaborate with clients to unearth their brand's unique essence and what their audience needs, enabling us to craft strategies and designs that resonate authentically with their target audience.

In discovery sessions, we’re privileged to get a real feel for the business, spend time in and tour their premises, and speak to various team members. For larger brand strategy projects, we talk to people from across the organisation - not just directors and marketing/sales staff - along with speaking to their customers to gain an external perspective and wider understanding.

Mapping User Journeys:

Effective UX design goes beyond aesthetics; it's also about creating a seamless and intuitive user experience. To achieve this, gaining insights into user behaviour and preferences is essential. In our discovery sessions, we employ techniques such as user journey mapping to identify pain points, motivations, and touchpoints across various interactions.

By understanding the user's perspective, we can design interfaces that anticipate their needs and streamline their journey, ultimately enhancing satisfaction, engagement and conversion rate. The same goes for clients working with us on branding or digital marketing via our sister agency, Next Chapter.

Aligning Objectives & Expectations:

One of the most fundamental benefits of discovery sessions is aligning the objectives and expectations of all stakeholders involved. By bringing together key decision-makers, creatives, and developers, we foster collaboration and ensure everyone is working towards a shared vision.

Through open dialogue and consensus-building exercises, we establish clear project goals, timelines, and deliverables, setting the stage for a smooth and productive workflow.

The likelihood of a straightforward project and more buy-in from those involved throughout the process is drastically impacted by these discovery sessions, because the people in the room really feel like they’re working together to achieve a common goal. Which, of course, they are.

Driving Innovation and Differentiation:

So many of our clients operate in deeply competitive sectors. Competition is the name of the game, and the only way to compete is to innovate, differentiate and - wherever possible - disrupt.

Discovery sessions serve as a catalyst for innovation, allowing us to explore new ideas, trends, and technologies that can set a brand apart. Whether uncovering untapped market opportunities or experimenting with emerging design concepts, these sessions provide an open forum for creativity and experimentation. A key way to drive innovation is to put the customer at the heart of the conversion. How can we make it easier, simpler or more intuitive to engage with our brand? These questions can often lead to ideas that drive innovation or differentiation.

By pushing boundaries and challenging conventions, we help our clients come up with concepts and ideas that break through the noise, forge a distinct identity in the marketplace and resonate with their end users.

Mitigating Risks and Avoiding Pitfalls:

Finally, discovery sessions play a crucial role in risk mitigation and problem-solving. By conducting thorough research and analysis upfront, we can identify potential pitfalls and address them proactively, adjusting our approach as we go.

Whether it's navigating technical constraints, anticipating user objections, or adapting to market dynamics, these sessions empower us to make informed decisions and course corrections along the way. By embracing a mindset of continuous learning and adaptation, we ensure our designs remain agile and resilient in the face of change.


One of the most rewarding aspects of discovery sessions is the opportunity to collaborate with and learn from the brilliant talents that work within our client’s businesses. Over the years, I’ve had the pleasure of working with hundreds of fantastic people thanks to these discovery sessions, and it’s always nice to discover more about them as people, outside of project delivery.

We get to discover more about their interests and ambitions, and sometimes, this sparks ideas too. Better yet, we usually enjoy a good meal and some drinks to toast to a day well spent, and it’s lovely to have that social bonding time with clients outside of the office.

Whilst we very rarely get any pushback from our clients about a full day (or two!) spent in discovery mode, it’s sometimes useful to put the experience into context for anyone new to it (hello, new clients!) and what they can expect from the day, and the results possible from it.

At Show + Tell, we firmly believe client success is built on a solid foundation of discovery and exploration so that ideas can flourish. By investing time and resources into these crucial initial stages, we lay the groundwork for the meaningful and impactful outcomes we’ve become known for.

Want to find out more about our approach? Get in touch.

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