The key to success with any web project – from app design to a new site build to adding interactive functionality – starts with intention. To create a more purposeful web, it’s important to challenge clients who know what they want but not what they need.
With any project – big or small, rescue or new – we start our process with a Discovery.
The Discovery process is simple – it’s an open, straightforward conversation that uncovers two important pieces of information:
A defined business strategy and goals.
What you need (not want) your users to do.
Although time and money are precious, a Discovery sets clear goals for your web project, gets the entire team on the same page and positions the project for success. Unfortunately, many vendors provide an estimate or start a complex project without Discovery, based solely on their assumptions. The proposed “solution” often leads to missed business opportunities, unmet expectations and frustration.
There are a variety of ways to conduct a Discovery – word games, group activities, etc. – and a lot can be uncovered in a single session.
For example, one of our clients wanted a way to sell event tickets on their website. Rather than just taking an order and delivering, we took the time to speak with the client and understand their goal of increasing sales. We defined a solution which created an event listing and an API that also allows third-parties to sell tickets, thereby increasing their reach and best achieving their goal. The client wanted to sell tickets on their website, but what they really needed was a way to sell more tickets.
What goes into a Discovery?
During Discovery, we gather all pertinent information needed to determine criteria for a successful project. Areas we document include:
- Stakeholders and sponsors
- Problem statement
- Vision statement
- Business goals
- Metrics of success
- Project balance sliders
- Content audit
- User personas
- User goals
Discovery sessions are all different – they can range a couple of hours to several days. Regardless, it’s our way of making sure your business gets what it needs. Afterwards, we are typically able to build out a detailed scope of work and a realistic timeline for project completion.
Here are tips for a successful Discovery session:
Ask questions. Discoveries are the time for you to ask pertinent questions and get answers. This is when we dispel all confusion. Don’t be afraid to challenge your vendor, either.
Be open. Disagreements can occur during a Discovery, whether it's within your team or with your vendor. Have the courage to get clarification and ask “why” if you find yourself disagreeing with a person. Discoveries often make you realize your team is not on the same page. Make your Discovery session the opportunity to get back on track.
Have fun. Sure, a Discovery session sounds like a lot of information to process and maybe more work than anticipated, but it’s a fun way to kick off an exciting new project. Enjoy the process and have fun along the way.
Engage your team. Great ideas come from conversation – your team may have insights that could be critical to a successful project. Gather their ideas and share them during Discovery.
Align business goals. The investment for a new or revised digital property can be significant. Recognizing the ultimate business goals for each project creates a baseline of expectation for the project, aids in defining potential solutions, and helps to measure success of the project.
Do you have a project in mind? Let’s chat.