Do you ever wonder how a successful website gets its start—even before the concepting and ideating? At ColinKurtis Advertising, before every website refresh or new build, we plan a web discovery session to ensure our client can properly evaluate their current site and help us establish parameters for the next iteration. This session is a necessary tool used by the team to learn more about the client, their brand, and how the website will be utilized by future users and potential leads.
Web Discovery Fundamentals
A web discovery is the first step of the design and development process for any site. While it’s usually used for big projects, the sessions can also be used on a smaller scale if your client is new to your business. For any successful web discovery session, you’ll need to develop a series of questions or prompts that make your client—and their team—really think about the functionality and purpose of their brand’s website. Have them imagine their ideal website and possible features they want to be included.
Center your questions and prompts around the following topics:
- The purpose of the site
- Any user experience goals
- Features they want to include
- Relevant content that should be highlighted
- What their new site should look like
Surfing the Web of Expectations
At ColinKurtis, we love a good web discovery session. It not only helps our teams get to know each other, but we begin to understand both sides’ perspectives and expectations on the project and become like an extension of your team. And, websites tend to have long timelines, so it’s important for us to get off on the right foot by creating a mutual understanding of the next steps and end goals.
Why else is it important? We get to know our clients’:
- Likes and dislikes
- Pet peeves
- Dreams and visions
- Favorite examples
Hosting the Perfect Session
Consider the following steps to begin the web discovery process:
- Schedule a 1–2-hour meeting at a date and time that works for all key players on the client side. Include members from the creative and development side.
- Come prepared: Create a PowerPoint with talking points outlined for the client. This will help guide the conversation and get the exact information you’re seeking.
- Start with more general questions/prompts that will get people in the mindset of critically thinking about their existing site.
- After you cover a few general questions, lead into more specific questions about topics you may notice are important to them. For example, if they keep bringing up their product page, allow the conversation to expand on the topic organically.
- If the client needs more prompting, ask them specific questions about what they like, don’t like or want the page to accomplish. This could include visual elements, functionality or particular content.
Remember: It’s more than okay to veer off the pre-written questions and into your own questions that arise as you go. The discovery is meant to be more of a discussion than a Q&A. And, the more detailed information you gather, the better!
If applicable, record the session so your team has something to refer back to when they dig into the process.
Landing on the Same Page
There are various benefits to working with a marketing agency—especially with as huge of an undertaking as a website. From the information our team gains during the discovery, we’re then able to create a brief for our creative team. The information learned in the session will help guide the overall site structure and the creative path that will be taken in the next steps of the design process.
These new insights will also be useful when creating your brand’s design comps and when deciding what content is valuable to highlight. Our copy and design team will have the necessary guardrails to ensure we’re meeting your needs while also delivering concepts that align with your brand’s look and feel and are totally unique to you.
Put Your Brand on Display
With so many sites on the World Wide Web, it’s more vital than ever for your brand to have a great one. Not only do you want a reliable touchpoint for any potential leads or current customers, you also need to make sure it’s accessible and convenient for anyone seeking to learn more about your company, services and products.
Have additional questions about our web process, or are curious about what a web discovery with ColinKurtis entails? Contact Mitch Robinson at Mitch@colinkurtis.com or call 815-965-6657 EXT. 1 to learn how we can engage your team in a successful web plan and execution. Curious about our previous web work? It’s worth browsing here.
Blog post from:
Vice President, Digital Integration