It is not as simple as just “Creating A Website” anymore, you’ll need to consider doing a digital presence evaluation. Businesses today must create a full Digital Presence to know what is working and what is not, and planning is the key.
The planning stage is extremely important as it puts in place a foundation for all changes, additions or redesigns as technology changes down the road. The competition is fierce out there in “CyberSpace” so we need a good plan of attack!
Analysis Of Needs
Lets face it. I wouldn’t be writing this and you wouldn’t be reading it if everything was working the way you had hoped. For some reason you and/or your business feel there is something wrong with your Digital Presence. So let’s figure out whats wrong and fix it. This is where the initial outline of skeleton requirements are discussed and prepared. Whether this is done with an in house product management tool or as simple as writing it down on a notepad. The process of creating a skeleton block diagram of outlined requirements will help develop your internet road map.
This is also where our ‘Todo Checklist” is discussed. We like to keep everyone on the same page at all times. So in addition to the requirements we like to create a ‘Todo Checklist” with end of stage sign off to keep everyone on track and deterring the need to go back and change things. Here’s how it works…
While there will always be instances where things pop up beyond anyone’s control, and this should be realized up front, by creating a Todo Checklist you can see a clear view of goals to reach and deliverables. It is very easy to scope creep a project or want to change things at the last minute (which is very common), so by implementing the ‘ToD0 Checklist’ in addition to the requirements, it helps to keep work going in stages and by signing off means there is no going back (with exception of course) only forward.
Digital Footprint Report
Once your needs are analyzed the next thing to do is figure out how much of a dent have you made on the internet. What are your weak / strong areas based on our analysis and what can be improved? Can you be found in the search engines? Are you listed on directory websites? Is the footprint you are making even working? Is there too many negative posts online that may need to be removed if possible? Is your digital footprint accurate, void of errors and is the content current?
Usability Run Through
Q: Is the site easy to use?
Q: Does the website have solid navigation throughout the site?
Q: If there are forms on the website, do they properly validate and make the user experience easy?
Q: Are there any potential user blockers?
Q: Do you have common user components or a plan for them?
Q: Do you have a branding standard and is it being implemented correctly, if at all?
Q: What does your website look good on phones, tablets and all the cool devices available today?
Q: Do you need to be accessible and/or international?
Errors, Broken Links And Missing Content
Before starting work on new requirements we should fix what is there first. Does this content serve a purpose? Is it working? Does it need more? Less? This is done after the skeleton requirements are created so these requirements can be used as guidelines. It helps with the process of… “no, leave that there. We will fix it in this stage” or “take it out, holy crap! who’s idea was that?”.