Planning is essential for most businesses and organizations and planning for the web is just as important. We consult with you and your organization to determine what goals you have in sight and what roadblocks may be in your path. We’ll assess needs, identify roles and responsibilities, plan a content strategy, define functional and technical specs, and prepare a post-launch maintenance strategy.
We’ll also consider search engine optimization, conversion tracking, copywriting, and search advertising to raise your website’s visibility on Google, Bing, and other search engines. As the primary channel of discovery for modern consumers, we work to optimize your website to allow it to rank well in targeted search results.
Competitive AnalysisUnderstanding how well your website ranks against your competitors’ when it comes to usability is also very important in a competitive market. All things being equal, if a user is presented with the option of navigating two websites to find information or purchase a product, they will likely choose the website that is easier to learn and more enjoyable to use.
An analysis of usability on competitors’ websites, in comparison with similar tests conducted on your own website, will be helpful in determining how you can improve your website’s navigation and features. We can provide you with recommendations for improving your website’s usability in comparison with your competition.
Persona DevelopmentPersonas are archetypal users of a website that represent the needs of larger groups of users, in terms of their goals and personal characteristics. They act as ‘stand-ins’ for real users and help guide decisions about functionality and design. Personas identify the user motivations, expectations and goals responsible for driving online behavior, and bring users to life by giving them names, personalities and often a photo.
Although personas are fictitious, they are based on knowledge of real users. Some form of user research is conducted before they are written to ensure they represent end users rather than the opinion of the person writing the personas.
Personas enable us to stand in the users’ shoes. We’ll focus the design effort on supporting user goals, rather than being driven by the ideas of team members or senior executives.
User TestingIf you have an existing website, we recommend running a few tests to see how visitors are using your site, find out what they like and don’t like about the site and identify traffic patterns. This will allow us to retain aspects of the site that may be working and will ensure that we don’t throw the baby out with the bath water. Some of these tests include Online Focus Groups, Live User Testing, Heat Mapping and Online Surveys.
During the design phase, we often test potential layouts and mockups with focus groups using various tools including A/B multivariate testing and online surveys. This process is completely optional but in can provide some valuable insight as to what a large audience likes and dislikes in various designs and layouts. This information allows us to be more scientific in the design direction and guards against decisions based on personal preference alone.
Discovery and PlanningIn order to provide a solidified project plan, it’s necessary to work through a discovery phase that will allow us to properly scope and define the project. We believe that before we can be innovative, we must be thorough. And that means first talking with you to gain a full understanding of your company, your online objectives and the needs of your target audience – before we start talking design. From identifying your objectives through initial stakeholder interviews to examining your technology requirements so you can accurately budget your project, planning helps us refine your vision of success so we can build the right online experience that makes it happen, time and time again.
Functional and Technical SpecsUsing the information gathered in the client survey along with the technical standards of your organization gathered in the discovery phase, we’ll document the Functional and Technical Specifications to clearly establish the project requirements. Working with you, we’ll identify what functionality your site requires to adhere to your business objectives. We’ll pull from the information gathered in the Discovery phase to develop a document detailing all functional specs. Additionally, we’ll define target technical specs relating to browser compatibility, display resolutions, connection speed, page download size and mobile devices. To ensure your site is functional and future-proof, we build websites that adhere to the W3C Web Standards and Section 508 accessibility guidelines. If that doesn’t make sense to you, just know we build websites the right way.
3rd Party Application IntegrationMany times our clients will need to tie into 3rd Party Applications or software such as accounting systems, CRMs, email newsletter systems, custom databases, ecommerce systems and much more. We will do all the legwork to make sure that we have the best possible team in place to seamlessly integrate these applications and APIs as needed. If need be, we will research alternative solutions that may be more cost-effective or may integrate better into your new website.
Team Collaboration ToolsThere is an extensive selection of tools out there to help with project management and team collaboration. Most of us use multiple online collaboration tools such as software for project management, several task lists, software for sharing documents and files such as dropbox and google drive, and CRM systems.
Based on your needs, we’ll provide focused advice and information that will help you decide which project management or team collaboration tool may work best for you. We’ll help you setup and implement your new system and even tie it into your website so that it can start making you and your team more productive immediately.
ConsultingWhether building a web site, or an application, it is critical to clearly define the requirements. Otherwise the site or application will not operate as needed to meet the business objectives. We offer four categories of consulting: business, content, functional and technical consulting. We have a deep understanding of mobile, web and back-end system technologies so we can tell you what’s possible and what’s best for your business. We’ll set clear expectations on costs and help plan the long-term commitment for all sized projects. Finally, we’ll provide you with a long-term strategy and road map that’s right for your budget and target audience.
Learn more about our custom design, development and consulting services.
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