Our Discovery Process
So you've decided that your website needs to be updated or that it's finally time to build an application for your organization. What's the best way to ensure the development team is prepared for every single detail of your project. In this video, I'll walk you through our discovery process to ensure we are building a project to solve your underlying business needs.
What's up guys my name is Stetson Blacker, Business Development Manager here at ActiveLAMP. When taking on a new project there are several important steps that take place to ensure your organization gets what it truly needs a crucial step is the discovery process. This process is where we learn and outline every detail of your wants and needs regarding your project. But what if you don't know all the details? That's okay. This project is collaborative and we will help you be sure every detail is thought-out, planned, and executed.
The first step of the discovery process is establishing proper project management. Each project has its key players involved in guiding a process to success. We start by identifying who these key players will be and placing them into one of two categories stakeholders or site managers. Stakeholders are the top people with influence and authority or who have a stake in the outcome of the project in your group of stakeholders. You should identify a day to day project owner and decide who has final authority on the team when it comes to making decisions. You should also identify any content creators, editors, or publishers that will be involved in the project. We need to know everyone that will be affected by this project. Stakeholders could also include members of your tech support team. Site managers are the people who will keep your site or application running after development is finished. Site managers could include a web manager, content editors, designers, or your tech support team.
Once your key players are identified, the next step is outlining the goals and objectives of the project. We want to understand your organization and specific goals as best we can.
The problems you are facing with your website or application will be our opportunities to help your organization succeed. First, we need to answer a few questions:
- What isn't working on the current site or application?
- What needs to change?
- What is working on the current site or application?
- What needs to continue?
These questions will help us know exactly how to help you accomplish your goals and objectives and we can be 100% sure that our delivered product aligns with your desired outcomes.
To further help you envision the future of your website or application consider the following questions:
- What would you like this site or application to be?
- What is your vision of the ideal user experience?
- What do you not want it to be?
- What are your specific business objectives for this project?
- How will we know if we have succeeded?
- What worries you about this project?
Answering these questions will help us align our vision of your project with yours.
Personas are a powerful tool to identify your most common site users. We will ask you to create specific personas and rank them in order of priority relative to the goals of your project. It is crucial that these personas are as specific as possible. Everyone is not an answer. Defining these priorities will help everyone make better decisions. Once you have your personas each one will be given a name and a title to help us know who you're referencing. Pick a name and a title that's easy to remember. For us alliteration is best. For example, if you're part of a pet supply store one of your personas could be Paul the pet owner.
Next, you'll take the personas you've created and translate their wants and needs into tasks. These tasks will take the form of actions, objects, and benefits.
- What objects are on your site?
- What can people do with them?
- Why would they do it?
- What are the most common tasks for this persona?
Take Paul the pet owner, for example, some of his wants and needs could be:
- I need to buy dog food to feed my dog and keep her healthy.
- I want to find an obedience class so I can teach my dog basic commands.
- I want to read an article about properly taking care of my pet so I can better myself as a pet owner.
Once your personas are created we will begin the content strategy phase. Content strategy occurs in three phases. The first phase is the content audit. Our team will conduct an audit of all the current content and the system. We will prepare an inventory of the current system with next-generation actions associated with each page of content. These next-gen actions would be keep as is, improve, remove or consolidate. This will give us a clear direction of how to handle existing content when we migrate to the new platform.
The next phase will be content modeling. A content model documents all the different content types of the system. We will define the data types in each field of the model and define the relationship of each type to each other. We are strong believers that form follows function. It's very important to us to understand how your data relates to each other. Let's use the example of public transportation. A bus would be considered its own set of data. That bus would be associated with a route, another set of data. On that route would be bus stops, another set of data. All of these objects are their own sets of data but they relate to one another the same goes for your website or application.
The last phase is migration planning. This planning involves understanding what content we are migrating and how the content needs to be transformed to align with the new content model. We will identify the transformations that can be done programmatically and if any content needs to be fine-tuned once in the destination platform we will make note of that during the content audit report.
After the content strategy has been signed off. The blueprints of your new app or website can be constructed. At this stage in the process, we will build a site map of your project. A site map is a diagram illustrating the connections between each page of the application and the content on those pages. This site map will give you a bird's-eye view of your site structure. Think of it as looking at a forest from a helicopter 40,000 feet up. Once you have your aerial view, we zoom in and look at each individual tree. Each of these trees represents a wireframe. A wireframe is a blueprint of the content and functionality of each individual screen of the application. We will create a wireframe for each unique page type in order to identify the core content that needs to be on a given page to meet the desired goals. Once all the plans have been signed off they will be sent to our development and visual design teams for the execution phase.
Hopefully, this video has given you an insightful look into our discovery process. If you have any questions feel free to leave a comment below. Thanks for watching. If you like this video give us a thumbs up and subscribe to our channel for future videos. See you next time.
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