As part of our project process, we undertake a discovery phase, working closely with our clients to gain a deep understanding of their business, requirements, objectives, brand and operation. Throughout this analysis, we document client project requirements and produce comprehensive functional specifications aligned to the wider business needs and objectives.
These documents illustrate the key user journeys and functionality through wireframes for use by Agency51’s development teams.
Throughout this key stage of the project, it’s important to keep in mind the problems you are trying to solve and the goals you’d like your business to reach. To this effect, our Operations Manager has put together the following top tips to help focus your efforts:
- Always bear in mind the business problem you are trying to solve or the goals you’d like to reach. Express this in a positive light and always benchmark what functionality you require against this. As the scope of the project starts to increase, you can focus your efforts and budgets on the items which will provide you with the best ROI.
- Engage. With everybody in the business! Your best tool is to work alongside your staff that will do the work. We regularly find these people as the most useful contributors to the project as they provide suggestions for streamlining processes that they are familiar with and undertake frequently. By not involving these team members, you are potentially missing out on the opportunity to achieve even greater value and success from the project.
- Start small and build from the ground up. It’s great to have a website with all the frills, bells and whistles however always bear in mind the fundamentals that underpin a good website. Succeed well at the basics with your new website, make the most of the increased traffic and conversions and then look to implement and develop those bells and whistles!
- Don’t underestimate the value a phased approach can bring. If your current site has seen better days, there are a potentially a lot of quick wins that can be made through a refreshed design that generates more revenue or leads than your current site. By launching the first phase of your new website, you are quicker to market and already reaping the rewards. Additional functionality can be added at a later date, rather than waiting to bundle everything into one launch, by which point you have potentially lost weeks or months or those quick wins you could have achieved in that time.
- Always think from a users perspective. Try not to implement something (if you can!) just because the boss wants or likes it. Use real data such as Google Analytics to justify your thoughts, claims and ideas. Behind each requirement should be a clear rationale and don’t underestimate the value that feedback from your current users can bring. If you think this might be difficult to obtain – incentivise your customers – offer a promotion code or a reward for those willing to help.
- Keep your requirements and objectives for your project aligned with wider business goals. Digital Marketing is incredibly powerful when done right and should be part of a much wider integrated strategy. This is where we thrive and where Agency51’s expertise comes into it’s own.
- If your agency questions a requirement or suggests an alternative approach – listen to them and take on board what they have to say. This is particularly important if it is likely to effect the website’s usability or user journey. Websites have a host of best practice guidelines that should be followed. Straying from these could have a detrimental impact on the launch of your exciting new project. It is after all, in the best interest of your agency to make your new project as successful for you as possible. It will generate you more revenue or leads to reinvest in the next phase of your digital strategy.
- Prototype wherever possible. Get friends, users, colleagues or even acquaintances to try out a real task through your site. The insight this can give is invaluable – it can help you refine and optimise your site to make it even more user friendly.