At Selesti, we kick off every website design/build project with a discovery session.
You read that right: every project, whether it’s a website redesign or a brand new build from scratch. There's a good reason for this: We want to ensure that you get the very best results from your new site.
But what exactly does it involve? Is it just theory, or guesswork? Is the discovery process even needed? These are all great questions we know you’re asking!
Web design agencies will likely have their own processes, so in this blog post, we’re going to set the record straight and tell you all about the website discovery phase, including what it is, and why we include it.
What is a website discovery, and why do we include it?
The website discovery phase is a full deep-dive between you and our team of Digital Marketers, Developers and Designers. In most cases, this takes the form of a discovery session, delivered virtually. In some cases, this can be more than one online session.
The purpose is to work together and with you to understand exactly what you want to achieve and the best way to deliver it, based on how you work and how your team, participants and audiences work in real life.
In our view, the Discovery is the most important phase, because it allows you to define your requirements, features, business goals and more, before your website build begins. It’s also an opportunity for us to understand the business in greater detail. It’s not enough to simply build you a website; without the strategy behind it, your new site will not perform and you’ll be left disappointed, and more crucially, out of pocket.
What does the discovery phase entail?
The aim is to create a great user experience (UX). To achieve this we must first fully understand what has gone before (your current site, analytics, architecture and current UX), what you and your users need from the improved site, and what is happening elsewhere both within your business and the wider marketplace.
User Groups and Objectives
Understanding who is using your site and why they are using it is fundamental to the success of any website. We will work with you to identify your different user groups and their goals when visiting your site. This will then be cross-referenced with your own business objectives to ensure the site contains the correct content, and users can access what they want easily and effectively.
4 advantages to the website discovery
Now that we’ve established the “what” and “why” behind the website discovery phase, here are a few advantages to going through the process:
1. No more extra costs
We’ve all heard the horror stories of hidden costs arising during the build process. The discovery phase eradicates any extra costs of additional features or changing the scope of a project once it is underway.
This can also reduce costs as clarity over what features your site needs are agreed before work begins. Without this process, it is possible that you will overlook a necessary function or feature of your website.
Before our designers and developers start work on your new site, we must first fully understand what has gone before.
This means taking a holistic look at your current site, including analytics (such as bounce rate), architecture, current user experience and search engine optimisation. It’s also the opportunity to look at your target audience in greater detail, and specifically what you and your users need from the improved site.
As mentioned earlier, we also take a look at your business objectives, and what is happening elsewhere within your business and the wider marketplace.
3. Collaboration and alignment
Collaboration is a big part of our website design projects. We bring together as many people as possible as part of the discovery process, to ensure that you and our team are all aligned and united towards a common goal.
This also helps to prevent any silos forming, so that our team is all on the same page and working collaboratively to deliver the very best website for you and your business.
4. Foundations for future work
As we look at the data, it’s common for elements to be highlighted as areas to improve once your site launches. This might be problems such as your keyword rankings are low, or your search engine optimisation needs to be improved.
By identifying these areas for improvement, you’re able to begin planning your post-launch marketing strategy. This means you can lay the foundations for any future work, whether that’s done by yourself or by working with a marketing agency like us on a monthly basis.
Would you benefit from a website discovery session?
Does your website need some work? A discovery session might be exactly what you need. It’s not theory, or guesswork, but instead it’s about using factual data and discussion to uncover what your website is lacking and what your new website desperately needs going forward.
Through bold thinking and innovative use of technology, we’ll scale up your development and help you achieve your goals online. Head over to our Design & Build page for more information about how we work with you, or get in touch to discuss building your new website.