Web Development Process Part 1: Discovery and Planning

Scott's Photo by Scott Wakefield


Following on from last week’s introduction to our process, we’re going to put the discovery and planning phase through its paces and use it establish some clear goals for our new website.

Following on from last week’s introduction to our process, we’re going to put the discovery and planning phase through its paces and use it to establish some clear goals for our new website.

Getting Started

We consider the discovery stage of a project to be the most important. The first stage of this process involves completing our project questionnaire. We have 2; one for web and one for branding projects, however they both share some common questions. These include:

  • What are your goals for this project?
  • What is motivating you or enabling you to do this project now?
  • Where do you see us adding the most value to your company by completing the project?
  • What does success look like? How will you know this project has been successful?

The purpose of this particular set of questions is to help us learn more about the main project requirements and what business needs are driving the project.

We’ve found that once businesses start to sit and think about their problems it unearths the real pain points they’re experiencing and opens the door to solutions that wouldn’t have surfaced had we just dived right in.

Our Discovery Questionnaire: What we learnt about Club

Before we even thought about opening Photoshop or writing any code, our first task was to complete our own questionnaire to help us establish and refine our goals for the project.

You can view the questionnaire and our answers on Google Docs by clicking here.

It was clear from our answers that we have outgrown our current website as it isn’t accurately reflecting what Club has evolved into over the past 2 years. We focus on what we’re best at - branding and web design, although if you visited our site today you wouldn’t know it.

We also mentioned that we want our site to instil a certain level of trust in our abilities to potential clients and make it clear that our process is incredibly inclusive and that we hope to form strong, lasting relationships with our clients. Even more importantly, that we can provide solutions that get results.

Follow-up meetings

Once we have a completed questionnaire we follow-up with a discovery and planning session (or a few!) where we discuss our initial thoughts and start to refine the project brief into a clear set of goals.

Having those initial questionnaire answers, and the brief to hand at all times during the duration of the project, helps us to keep on the right track and make sure we’re all moving in the right direction.

Informed Decisions

So how have our questionnaire answers helped dictate how we’ve approached the rebuild of our new website?

First of all, our services page was going to need restructuring. 9 individual service pages are now to become a ‘Web Design & UI’ page and ‘Branding’ page, both of which will provide an in-depth and focused account of what a client can expect when working with us. We want to move away from just describing our services and talk more about what benefits our solutions can bring to your business; more ‘why we do’ and not ‘how we do’.

We already consider the news section of our website to be one of the most important areas - it’s the most active area of the site and tries to be as informative as possible - but calling it ‘news’ has naturally made it quite a restrictive place.

It was time for a rethink! We needed a name for this section that encouraged regular posting and was also interesting and inviting for visitors. It didn’t take long to settle on ‘Journal’ - somewhere we can post anything from notes to case-studies and share the experience we’ve gained during our years in the industry.

The other areas of our website are quite simple; the homepage will function as an introduction to the company and will act as a portal into other areas. We want you to get to know us more, so our new ‘studio’ page will include more information about the team and contacting us will be nice and easy through a streamlined contact page.

That’s all for now. See you next week for part 2 of the series, where we’ll explore how these decisions inform the design process. Until then…


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