You’ve identified a new or redesigned website as a priority. Now where do you start? Websites can be big projects, so it’s helpful to think about it as if you’re building or remodeling a house. Before you begin to build, you work with an architect to develop a clear plan that meets your budget. The same principles will set your website project up for success. Here are three reasons it’s critical to start with discovery.
Understand the problems you are trying to solve
Do your customers have trouble finding information about you? Are you looking to grow an area of your business? Are you hoping to create efficiencies for your internal team? The more clearly you can describe the problems, the better your website will be designed to solve them. Ask yourself tough questions and push yourself to answer “why” in several different ways until you can clearly describe the problem and potential solutions. Just as you’d work with an architect to determine the design criteria most important to you, website discovery will help ensure your key requirements are clear.
Articulate your vision
Don’t forget to dream a little when you’re planning your website. If you know there are major features you’d like to add in the next 1-2 years, articulate that vision now so you can plan for it. Just as when you’re building a home, additions can be more costly later if the foundation isn’t there to support them. Take a mid- or long-term view so the site can grow with you.
Make smart decisions about where to start
Now that you’ve identified the true problem and defined your vision, it’s time to make the tough decisions about what to develop first. That’s the final step before you build – making smart (and sometimes tough!) decisions about where to invest first. Just as with building a home, you likely have a long wish list of things you want to include, but sometimes have to decide what’s most important. Do we finish the basement now or later? Do we want that heated garage or should we spend the money on granite countertops? The same process applies to your website. A clear vision and wish list makes it much easier to prioritize wants vs. needs. (Who knows? Maybe you just need to remodel what you already have rather than build a new website!)
Once you’ve identified the problem and defined your vision and scope, you’re ready to develop the solution. The investment made in the discovery process ensures that your final result will be exactly what you expect and delivered within your budget.
Take the Next Step
Excited to get started on building or redesigning your website now? We’d love to help make that happen. Our team of experts will help you ask the tough questions to clearly describe the problem you’re trying to solve and articulate your vision.
- Do it Yourself– Download our Website Discovery Questions to Ask guide to start asking and answering some important questions for your website discovery.
- Call in Back-up– A little overwhelmed by the whole process? That’s what we’re here for. Give us a call at 866-ONSHARP or drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you’re ready to update or create your own website, we can help! Feel free to contact us today.
This blog was written by Kirsten Jensen, former Director of Digital Marketing at Onsharp.