Discovery research for app proposition development

European travel brand uses discovery research to inform mobile app proposition

image of focus group involved in discovery research


The client is a travel company backed by one of Europe’s largest travel operators. They take more people from the UK and Ireland to the mountains each year than any other provider. Flying people destinations across Europe, the Nordics and North America, they have accommodation available from catered chalets and luxury hotels to self-catering apartments and family-run guesthouses.


The client is consistently focused on improving digital service elements for their customers. The decision was made to conduct user research on their ski app following a change in app features and strategic direction for the company. Having worked with UX24/7 previously when the app was first developed, they approached us once again to moderate focus groups with customers to explore opinions and the usage of the app ahead of redevelopment. Some key objectives of the research were to:

  • Understand the value of current app features
  • Explore general app usage patterns amongst skiers and snowboarders
  • Gather insight into new feature ideas to build in the future

Running the Research

Prior to the focus group sessions, a research plan was created in collaboration with the client team. The participants recruited were representative of the client’s app users. The participants recruited covered 3 different customer groups, including real customers and users of the app.

During the sessions, participants were encouraged to discuss responses with each other. For consistency and comparison between groups, all sessions followed the same general structure and area of questioning relating to the ski app.

These are a few areas that were explored within the focus group sessions in order to meet the research objectives:

  • New concepts proposed for the app
  • Understanding which features are perceived as most compelling and when in the customer journey they are of value
  • Other features users may desire on the app


  • Focus Group sessions
  • Three groups each with 8 participants
  • Live viewing in London across two evenings
  • Focus on wants and needs

Key Insights

The output from a focus group study is always a detailed report containing the group narrative, observations, analysis and recommendations. Our senior consultants are skilled at translating the huge amount of data gathered during focus group sessions into meaningful findings.

These are some of the key areas of insight we uncovered through the focus group sessions for the client:

  • Holiday research and booking behaviours
  • Insights into current perceptions of the app
  • How the app is currently used by users
  • Desired features and functions of the app

We offered a range of suggestions and recommendations for the client to focus on for the next stage of development.

“It was a great experience to work on the Ski app focus groups. We developed a great relationship with the client which helped us to fully understand their objectives and requirements, as well as to understand any potential limitations with the development of the app and what areas were within scope for development. We had a great debrief session with the client to fully discuss and explore the essential elements required to make the app successful and were able to help them prioritise the order of the proposed features for development.”

Sarah, Senior UX Researcher