Discovery: The Key to Success in Our Web Projects
You may have noticed that some companies always seem to launch successful websites while others fail repeatedly. The difference between success and failure doesn’t come from pure luck. More often than not, the difference is whether the company includes a discovery phase in its project.
3 Media Web has such a high level of success because we begin every project with a discovery phase that identifies needs and potential problems. Before you start your next website development project, make sure you include discovery.
The Benefits of Discovery
Discovery gives website developers numerous benefits that can make their projects more successful. Since the discovery process demands answers to difficult questions, it prepares your company so you can:
- Anticipate potential setbacks
- Know what features your visitors want
- Create a useful structure that helps people navigate the site
- Make an accurate budget
- Determine whether you need outside help
- Get your product launched as quickly as possible
Starting the Discovery Process
A discovery process forces you to spend time and money before you see any results. A lot of companies skip the discovery phase because they think it wastes resources.
In reality, discovery forms the basis for successful website development projects. Without them, you don’t have a proper map that will help you reach your destination.
Some people try to avoid discovery because it can be a messy process. You have to ask a lot of questions and think about a lot of scenarios. The answers aren’t always obvious.
In fact, you might find times when you don’t even know which person within your organization can answer a certain question.
By the end of the discovery process, you may have met with several teams, team leaders, and third-party consultants. It’s a lot of work, but it pays for itself in the end.
When you start your discovery process, ask questions like:
- What are all of this project’s goals?
- Does another company already offer a similar product or service?
- How can our organization take a fresh, innovative approach that will impress the site’s visitors?
- What are the project’s milestones?
- Realistically, what deadlines should I set to reach milestones on time?
- Does our organization have the right technological tools and personnel to complete the job?
The specific questions that you ask will vary depending on what type of site you want to launch. A media site, for instance, will have different requirements than an e-commerce store.
If you’re not sure what questions you need to ask, then you should talk to an experienced company that has worked on a variety of web projects. When it comes to discovery, you can’t underestimate the value of experience.
Decide Whether You Have the Tools for Your Project
If you work for a large web development company that has plenty of experienced designers, programmers and content creators, then you may have all of the tools that you need for the discovery phase of your project.
Most companies, however, quickly learn that they don’t have the expertise to conduct the discovery process well. Just because your content creator has written successful blog posts and landing pages in the past doesn’t necessarily mean that they know how to start a project from the very beginning. The beginning of the project, after all, requires extensive brainstorming, shaping ideas and creating concepts that fit together in a way that will keep visitors on the site.
You may also discover that you want to add content like infographics, videos, and podcasts. If you don’t have the right people and equipment, then you might not even know what questions you need to ask during the discovery phase.
Consultants that have experience working with a range of companies can give you the direction you need to succeed. When talking to a third-party company, you may discuss topics like:
- Building an adequate information architecture
- Revising parts of your site that don’t work well
- Establishing project deadlines and requirements
- Developing wireframes that will make the creation process easier for designers and content creators
You’ll also have an opportunity to discuss budgetary constraints, accessing the tools that you need to build your site and whether you would benefit from custom applications.
Discovery Is Worth the Effort
Right now, you may feel overwhelmed by the very thought of starting the discovery phase of your next project.
In return, though, you get to establish a clear plan for your project. You’ll avoid unexpected pitfalls that could cost your business money and time.
Most people find that discovery also gives them peace of mind. Devoting yourself to the discovery process now means that you’ll experience less stress over the next several weeks or months.
Of course, you can always get help from professionals who understand the needs of diverse web projects. Hiring a consultant will save money and time by avoiding catastrophes as you plan to roll out your new project.
Contact 3 Media Web today to get more information about your options. With the right support, you can complete your discovery phase and start reaching milestones on the way to finishing your web project.