When it comes to business goals and website design, you need a solid system to make sure that your work is on-brand and accomplishes the goals you set for it. This is especially true when you’re preparing to hire a website design firm to build or rework your business website. Your web design requirements are the key.
Working from a clear set of web design requirements is important both for the business as well as the designer. The business needs to have a clear line of sight toward how the website will support business metrics and the designer must be able to design the look, feel, and function of the website around clear deliverables.
With all the necessary website development processes, clients often save on a user experience strategy, as this part of the process (as well as everything that falls under “some design”) is difficult to measure and is somewhat unclear. How to align business ideas and goals with customer needs? The following steps will help you consider how business goals should be translated into a set of requirements you can discuss with your prospective website design firms.
1. Clear idea = Clear goal
Most sites have multiple goals and several strategies are used to achieve them. They are unique and work in different ways, yet all of them have some main goal(s) they want to accomplish. An important point when joining any project is a clear idea of the final product. The first obstacle to understanding the user experience is the inability to define a clear idea and goal a website should meet. Generic goals like, “we want to make as much money as possible,” “we want to be first on the search engine,” or “we want to overtake the competition” are implied, but often create an unnecessary amount of noise.
The goal of the website should be clear, for example:
- to gain the interest of visitors to use the site
- to increase the number of sales
- to increase customer loyalty
- to provide information on prices and services to save staff time
Moreover, SMART goals or OKR goals can help you to write effective and intuitive goals that will easily translate into a product roadmap. Instead of saying “We want to increase the number of sales” you can say “We want to increase monthly sales by 10%” or “We want to improve product awareness by 20% in the next 30 days”. There should be clarity in your vision about your goals for your website design.
2. Clear goal = Clear product roadmap
Just like designers use sketches before moving towards a finished product, you should start with your goals and prioritize them into an effective plan called a product roadmap. A product roadmap is your guide to selling your products or services. It is a document that transforms your vision into a concrete list of objectives.
The way you end up with the optimal product roadmap for your business is to start by compiling all the ideas you have for your website. These can be insights you gained from the customer feedback, your research of your competitors, or analyzing the industry trends. At first, you should free your mind and write everything you can think of that you consider a must-have for your future website.
Next, you should place these insights against your business strategy – how you were “generous” in the previous stage with brainstorming, now you need to be “merciless”; if the insight doesn’t support your business strategy, it doesn’t belong on the product roadmap.
The final step is to estimate the value for each idea on your list that supports your business strategy. If you are familiar with the website design prices, you can also include a rough cost estimate as much will depend on your budget. For easier communication, your can also group the ideas under corresponding themes like design, performance, usability, etc.
3. Clear product roadmap = Clear purpose
Purpose answers the questions of why you are building it. It should outline what problems you want to solve, and why your solution is important to your customers. Remember that purpose is behind all your activities while doing business, and it has to show in all of your ideas or initiatives for your website. Once built, a website is a communication tool between you and your customer, where you want to reach out and find a welcoming hand. If you have a hard time visualizing the final result, you can try a technique called storyboarding that additionally conveys the flow process of your business story.
If the customer recognizes the purpose you set for your business, it is more likely he will engage with your site, and continue his search for solutions to his problems on your site. Think of it as a value proposition that ensures your product will fill the gap on the market, the need that exists and bothers your potential customers.
4. Clear purpose = Clear web design requirements
Writing web design requirements is a significant effort, considering the above-listed steps. There is a lot of thinking involved, and it requires you to go to the core of your vision for the product or service you sell. You could also forget about them, and just list want you to think your website needs. But in the long run, these steps pay off because it is more likely you will end up targeting the audience that wants to purchase your products or services. At first, you will invest more time in researching and analyzing but you will end up with a successful website and no additional costs.
Clear web design requirements address:
- the purpose of the website
- the target audience
- the overall goals
If you are not sure how to translate your goals and purpose into requirements, you can always contact the website design company of your choice and ask for help. At B. McGuire Designs we specialized in transforming your vision into reality, and we believe in cooperation between the client and the service provider when it comes to such an important decision as designing the website. Contact us with trust!