Swiss Discovery & Planning Process

Your idea turned into a winning digital solution

Do you have a great digital idea which you would like to realise?

You are at the right place. We have been helping start-ups and other companies for more than 10 years turn their ideas into reality. The right first step is the Swiss Discovery & Planning Process ®, which is a rigorous planning process with proven methodology to realise any business idea. Swiss Tomato will guide you through the whole process. As an end result you will get the following:

  • Clickable graphical prototype that your users and potential investors or stakeholders will love
  • Detailed Technical Specifications
  • Detailed Cost Estimate and Development Timeline

Defining Goals & Requirements

Defining Goals & Requirements

Business goals

The key to success is first and foremost knowing how to get involved in a project, its objectives and its challenges. At this step we organise workshops where we listen to our Clients and list the Goals & Requirements in a structured way.

  1. Identifying the business goals and requirements
  2. Identifying key target groups (personas) and use cases
  3. Identifying possible future functionalities
  4. Reviewing current apps / systems (optional)
  5. Identifying key system architecture requirements eg:
    1. Security requirements
    2. Hosting & domain
    3. Possible 3rd party connections
    4. Content management / back-end system functionalities requirements
    5. Additional elements eg: GDPR, Performance requirements etc
Persona creation

A user persona is a fictional character created to represent a target user group who will use the planned IT solution. Personas represent the similarities of consumer groups or segments. Persona creation helps to understand the needs of a target group. Also it serves as a good base when prioritising the different user stories and when creating the design of the mobile app or website. There can be external and internal personas as well.  For example an external persona can be the customers of a company, while the internal personas could be the colleagues within the company who have to work with the content management system

User Stories

A user story is an informal, general explanation of a software feature written from the perspective of the end user or customer. The user stories help to create the list of functionalities of the mobile apps or website.

The general structure of the user stories is:
“As (persona name), I would like to (action) in order to (goal)”

Examples, which we did in case of a Directory mobile app:

  1. As a nurse, I would like to reach other related departments in a quick and seamless way even when I am not at my desk in order to speed up the communication processes.
  2. As a nurse, I would like to have a self-updating contact list so that I don’t waste time creating new printed lists on a regular basis.
  3. As a medical information worker, I would like to find the correct specialist in order to provide the best care to a patient with an uncommon illness.
Functional mapping & Prioritisation

Once the user stories have been listed, these have to be translated into functionalities. This is called epic creation, where the different user stories are linked to functionalities. The different user stories / epics have to be prioritised as well. For the prioritisation we usually use the MoSCoW method.


Must have

All the requirements that are necessary for the successful completion of the project.


Should have

Requirements that are important for project completion but not necessary.


Could have

Requirements that are nice to have, but have a much smaller impact when left out of the project.


Will not have

All the requirements that hev been recognized as not a priority for the project’s timeframe.

Based on this the final output is a list of user stories, which have been linked to different functionalities (epics) and these have been already prioritised. Also different phases of development can be set to see how the different functionalities will be built on each other.

ID As a… I would like to… In order to / so that… Epic Priority (MoSCoW) – Must have, Should have, Could have, Won’t have
1 User Identify myself I can see customized data User management / Create user login S
2 New user I would like to create my new profile To be able to use the app New user profile creation W
3 Nurse in the ER unit find a specialist know how to handle a specific illness/situation Search function M
4 Doctor call a desk of another unit make an appointment for one of my patients Search by services + service profile pages M
5 Secretary I would like to know the phone number of the head of a service To organize a meeting Search by services + service profile pages M
6 Nurse contact the physiotherapist and I need his day/night contact details To organize treatment of a patient Search by services + service profile pages M
7 Admin staff know where the building number 16 is (buildings has different names, not numbers) Service Profile pages with map function / General map function S
8 Staff, health specialist find a generic email address of a specific department Search / filter by services + service profile pages including email address, phone number M

Result of step 1:

  • Listing goals and requirements
  • Identifying key personas /  user stories
  • Creating a draft list of functions of the app (including future functions)
  • Functional mapping / priority list
Draft concept proposal

Draft concept proposal

Based on the previous materials our team will create the first draft concepts of the IT Solution. This will include the development of the key user journeys, a draft low fidelity wireframe and a possible branding and UI kit.

User journey

A user journey describes the key steps that a user takes in order to accomplish a high-level goal with a company or product. With the user journeys the key processes can be defined, which will serve as a backbone for the IT Solution.

Creating low fidelity prototypes

Based on the user stories and the user journeys our team will create the first draft prototype of the mobile application or website. This will help to visualise the possible structure. We use a prototyping tool called Figma, which enables us to create clickable prototypes, which can be used very well for demonstrational purposes.

Check out how Figma works in the following example.  Prototype example

Of course all these steps are done together with our Clients who give us feedback at each step of the way. We also organise regular workshops depending on the complexity of the development.

Creating Mood boards and UI kit – Optional

Depending on our Client if brand guidelines and brand visuals already exist or not we also prepare different mood board and UI kit concepts, which would be used when design the mobile app or website. These can be commented and fine-tuned in multiple rounds by our Clients.

Result of step 2:

  • Key user journeys
  • Low fidelity prototypes
  • Mood boards and UI kit – Optional
Draft technical proposal

Draft technical proposal

Based on the materials gathered at the 1st step of the process, parallel to the draft concept creation our development team with the lead of a system architect starts to work on a draft technical proposal.

Draft IT Architecture creation

Swiss Tomato’s development team will create a high level architecture plan of the IT Solution, where we list the key front-end and back-end elements, the communication between the different elements, the used technologies and also the different 3rd party elements will be listed. This proposal will serve as the technical backbone of the project.

Feasibility check

As one of the first steps when creating the technical proposal and specification our team will check feasibility of the more complex functionalities and will provide possible solutions. It might happen that some functions can not be developed exactly how it has been described in the user stories, in this case our team will suggest alternative solutions. Also in some cases with small adjustments of the functionalities a more cost effective solution is available.

Draft specifications creation

Based on all the previous steps our team will start to compile a draft specification of the development.

This will include the following maine elements:

  • General technical proposal based on the architecture
  • Specifications of all listed user functionalities
  • Description of admin functionalities
  • 3rd party integrations
  • Security measures
  • Hosting and domain questions
  • GDPR related questions

A typical final specification document is 20-80 pages long. It takes a lot of effort from our development team and also from our Clients to discuss each functionality in the smallest detail. Usually our team created a Google document for this, which can be then commented by our Client.

Result of step 3:

  • Draft IT Solution Architecture
  • Result of feasibility check
  • Draft specification
Designed prototype

Designed prototype

Once the low fidelity prototype has been discussed and fine-tuned with our Clients, then based on the created and approved UI kit or the received brand guide-lines our UX/UI team will develop the designed prototype. This means that design, style, colour, illustrations, icons are added to the low fidelity prototype. This prototype will include the 10-15 most important screens.

Example of a designed (high fidelity) prototype Prototype example

The first version of the designed prototype will be presented to our Client at workshop and then it can be commented on multiple times to make sure that our Client is 100% satisfied with the finally designed prototype. This prototype can be used very well for demonstration, and this can help to showcase the concept internally or for possible investors

Result of step 4:

  • Designed figma prototype including 10-15 screens, which can be used for demonstration
Final proposal

Final proposal

Final technical specification

The final step of the process is to finalise the technical specification based on all the final materials. This document will include the detailed description of the MVP functions and a high level description of all possible future functionalities. The final specification will be the base together with the designed prototype of the IT development. The final specification will also include a maintenance plan as the developed IT Solution has to be maintained after the development is ready.

Cost estimate

Based on these final documents Swiss Tomato will create a detailed cost estimate broken done function by function. The cost estimate includes the possible 3rd party fees (eg: hosting, domain, any integrated 3rd party solution etc) and the maintenance costs as well. So our Clients can get a clear picture with the financial implications they have to consider  when deciding to launch this IT development project.

Development timeplan

Our team will compile a detailed timeplan as well, including all the key steps and milestones. We will also list those tasks which have to be carried out by our Clients so their involvement and the workload can be also calculated from their side. 

Result of step 5:

  • Final technical specification
  • Detailed cost estimate
  • Development timeplan

Swiss Discovery & Planning Process ® final outputs

Once the discovery and planning process has been completed our Clients will have a detailed proposal on how their business idea could be realised into a real working IT Solutions. As a final output package our Clients will receive the following materials

Structured list of goals and requirements


Structured list of goals and requirements




A prioritised list of user stories grouped into epics


A prioritised list of user stories grouped into epics



Mood board with UI kit (optional)

Designed prototype including the 10-15 key screens


Designed prototype including the 10-15 key screens

Technical specification


Technical specification



Cost estimate for the development



Timeplan for the development

Optional step:  <br>User testing & Market research

Optional step:
User testing & Market research

As an optional step user testing and market research can be added to the process depending on our Clients requests. These additional steps can help to further improve the concept at different stages of the process.

User testing

User testing can be most effectively added at two possible steps of the process. The first one is after step 1 when the created user stories can be validated and fine tuned with the help of user testing. For this we usually propose user interviews where we present the concept to members of the target group. At the interview we collect their overall feedback and also detailed feedback and prioritisation on the different user stories. Also we ask about their ideas and what additional user stories they could find useful. 

User testing can be also done once the designed prototype is ready, this helps to validate the overall acceptance of the idea including the functionality, structure and design. The user feedback gathered can be used to modify the final concept.

Market research

Some of our Clients also task us to do market research on the given business idea. Usually this is part of the first step of the process before we develop the user stories. The market research includes an analysis of the best practices within the given industry including local and international examples. All these examples and ideas can be used as input when developing the user stories.

Additional parameters of the project


For the Swiss Discovery & Planning Process we compile a team of our most senior team members to grant the highest possible quality as our aim is to get 100% Client satisfaction. The following team members will be included in the process.

The Swiss Discovery & Planning Process usually requires 150-300 work hours depending on the concepts complexity.

Used tools

We use the following professional tools throughout the process:


Project management tool for teams to manage tasks, projects, and workflows


Document management tool enabling collaboration


Wireframe and UX tool for creating prototypes


Team communication and conference tool


Streamlines website feedback allowing multiple team members to comment on specific elements

Other useful information

Here you can find some other useful information on the possible developments


Have a project in mind?
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