- Publish a planning and requirements document. This is the most commonly overlooked step by owners of websites. They often search out developers and designers for quick quotes but are not readily able to present a package of information about what the website is, what it is about, why they are building it, what technical and human resources they have for the project and other details. Consultants dont enjoy quoting for jobs before they know what the job entails, and you as a client may not understand the uncertain responses you get when asking how much your project will cost you. Consider getting the consultant to write the plan in advance, and then send it around to a few developers for input. Don’t omit this vital step! Its your business plan. After this process, you can review it with the consultant and adjust your development and budget requirements accordingly.
That is the term used in the consulting business when a Customer representative conducts an initial interview with a prospective client to establish what the project is about and what needs to be done. It is also practice to charge for this initial consultation, but if it hasn’t been done yet, the consultant will prepare documents for you that you can use to present your project to other service bureaus if you wish to shop around. If you aren’t willing as a customer to go through this process, you wont be seen as someone that would be good to work with.
Here are some questions that you should be asked in the discovery process, and they are questions you should have the answer to:
- Who is your target Audience?
- What do you want your visitors to do?
- What are the 3 most important things you want people to do / take away from your website?
- Who are your competitors?
- How will you measure success?
- How do you want your audience to feel when they interact with you?
- In 25 words or less, what is the key message for your users?
- What is the purpose of your website?
- Where does your website fit in your organizational strategy?
You can start your discovery process by going through this questionnaire, which has the above questions and more.