web design discovery process

What Role Does the Web Design Discovery Process Play?

The Web Design Discovery Process
What role does it play?

To a new customer, a discovery session is that first big meeting between a project team and key stakeholders to ensure alignment around business goals, web design strategy, expectations around the process moving forward, and other key information. From the perspective of a website developer, the discovery phase is the most important phase of all. It’s the first stage of web development that investigates how the prospective website will best serve the demands of a business and its consumers. You could say that the design thinking that goes into this process is the first phase of research and analysis. And, the most important piece? Considering your end-user and recognizing for whom the website is being designed.

Discovering Your Goals

Of the best practices of any web designer, a critical one is a thorough analysis of the website’s goals. Much like a reflection process, the website designer and developer will quiz you on a series of topics to gain the necessary insight to act upon your needs. In our opinion, a company’s brand comes down to six key components:

  • Focus on your customer
    • Who is your target audience?
  • Culture
    • What can your customer expect from you? Do you promise that same thing every time, with everyone?
  • Voice
    • Is your brand serious and buttoned-up or is it playful and fun?
  • Feelings
    • What does your market think of you? What do you want them to think of you?
  • Impact
    • What are your values and how does that impact your every decision?
  • X-Factor
    • How do you position your brand relative to others?

It is important that the client can provide one to three phrases, in line with their brand messaging, to describe each of these qualities. Website designers will help you during this brainstorming session by throwing in the odd suggestion. There are no “good” or “bad” answers here. If your responses are relevant to your website, we’ll take it and act upon each one.
The process may well seem like an awkward one — you may even feel uncomfortable being a part of it — but the goal is to leverage your website as a digital marketing tool and establish your company’s image to the world.

An example of discovery session questions may be as follows:

  • What is the desired project outcome? 
  • What is the project’s expected timeframe?
  • What is the budget for this project for its initial development?
  • Have you considered a budget for routine or periodic maintenance and updates?
  • Who is the project sponsor and what is their relationship to the key decision-makers?
  • Who is your target end-user and what are their expectations? 

Crafting your Brand’s Statement

After discovering your primary thoughts, we get to work on producing a mission statement, assuming you don’t already have one. Using your own wording, we’ll create a formal summary for your brand that reflects your needs. Using your mission statement and all of the information gathered during the web design discovery process, we will compile a document for use by everybody who works on your website to ensure they understand your project goals and company positioning. We have found that this type of alignment between the client and our project teams facilitates more rapid development and also better synergy. 

Looking Externally

Understanding your “internal needs” is essential, and a lot of the early parts of our discovery process helps to create some important insights. However, it’s one thing to look within but it’s a different ballgame when you look for answers that may not be within the walls of your corporate headquarters. Because of this, we also seek to understand the external face of your brand. What do your customers need? We’ll need to establish the following subcategories:

  • The cultural narratives, region, and identity of the world from which your target market hails.

Backstory problems:

  • What are the problems, or pain points, of your audience? And what can your website provide to address those problems?

Your customers’ needs:

  • What are your audiences’ interests, what are they looking for, and how can your website provide a solution?

How to exceed their needs:

  • What can we do for your business that won’t just satisfy your customers but “wow” them?

What’s the Point of this Process?

Well, the point of the discovery process is to create a common understanding among everybody involved with the project. This not only clarifies your objectives, but it allows us to develop a website that meets your directives. When we say everybody, we mean you, our client, as well as the web designer, the website developers, and the marketing content creators – quite literally, everybody. That very reasoning is why discovery is one of the best practices to begin any web design process.

Not sure what to ask in your own website kickoff meeting??  Here's what to ask.

Summing Things Up

From day one, our experts will work with you to build your website based on information obtained during the web discovery process. Our award-winning web designers and web developers will confer with you throughout the entire development process. If revisions are necessary, we will work to ensure that the final result of your website becomes an extension of your brand, creating an engaging user experience, and helping to grow your brand’s reach and subsequent success. During this entire process, you can expect us to share suggestions and offer helpful solutions that help you more rapidly achieve your desired end result.
To get the ball rolling on your project, all it takes is a quick, no-obligation first conversation. So let’s get the ball rolling. We have completed over 1200 projects and we can share information that will help you fill in the blanks — Reach out to the Dallas based website experts at Agency Partner today and let’s discuss your goals and objectives.

Not big on reading? That’s okay. Watch “A Guide to the Web Design Discovery Process”

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