The main decisions you
need to make before starting a new website project or upgrading your
existing website are related to what we call "Planning and Discovery".
Because business models and priorities change, this is an ongoing
process that should be revisited / done at least once per year. For new
websites, the result of this process will dictate the scope of your
website. For existing websites, the result of this process will dictate
the scope of your redesign efforts. The redesign typically involves
some reorganization of your navigation, a redesign of your home page,
some new content that needs to be generated, and in some cases new
The following are the steps you need to go through.
Note: For companies or organizations that have many stakeholders /
decisions makers, we suggest that one person take the lead on getting
the process done. It typically works best if the lead person puts
together a list of everything they think applies to Step #1 and then
circulate it to the other stakeholders. These stakeholders then make
additions and modifications as needed until the step is complete. Then
the lead goes to the next step and repeats the cycle.
Step 1. Define your target audiences
List all of your target audiences for the website (i.e. potential
customers, existing customers, existing reseller, potential reseller,
existing investors, potential investors, existing employees, potential
employees, press, existing vendors, potential vendors, etc).
Step 2. Rank the target audiences
Rank / prioritize the target from 1 to X. The number 1 ranking
should be the most important audience you need to address with your
Step 3. List your goals for each target audience
Starting with number 1 priority - list the goals you have related to
website for each specific target audience (i.e. "Resellers need to be
able to complete a quote", "Resellers need to be able to place an
order", "The press needs to be able to see press releases and download a
media kit", "Vendors product and inventory data needs to flow into the
website easily", "Orders need to be automatically fed to vendors",
etc). The goals should be centered around what actions you want your
target audiences to take on the website or as a result of the website.
Note: List these goals under each target audience. A general statement
will work fine (like "Franchisees need to be able to complete a quote")
- we can nail down the specifics of how they will complete the quote,
what options they need to have, and what the quote format will look like
Step 4. Prioritize/flag the goals in two ways.
First by Importance - use an A, B, or C.
- A = Must get done
- B = Should get done
- C = Get done if it's easy / doesnít bump other more important
Next by Urgency
- 6 = Needs to be done within 6 months
- 12 = Needs to be done within 12 months
- 24 = Needs to be done within 24 months
- NI = Not urgent
When you are done with the above steps, you should be able to look at
the overall results and say... "if we donít get anything else right, we
have to do these X things".
Once these steps are complete, we can help you turn your list of
goals into a prioritized / phased list of functionality needs. For the
purposes of evaluating your potential return on investment (ROI), we
- Translate your goals into the software modules need to make your
- Provide a price for each module
- Provide some estimate on the internal resources you will need to
generate and manage the data associated with the module