The first step in building something great requires the proper digital strategy. We need to know where we’re going before we start driving. We always start with Discovery, which leads to digital strategy. The personas, competitive analysis, and moodboarding help us define the strategy.
This first part of the process is understanding the minutiae of your organization. We leverage information from our initial conversations, and create a list of curated, custom questions for you. This Discovery questionnaire is to help clarify and define in detail; your target audience, your organizational processes and challenges, existing tactical and strategic plans/ needs around your organization – and much, much more.
After you’ve completed, we’d review the answers to those questions and have an in-depth intensive meeting (typically, across a large portion of a day or two half-days) with your project stakeholders to continue where those questions left off. By the end of the sessions, we will have a solid grounding on the overall direction of the project and your goals.
To keep your site audiences’ needs at the center of the process, we would begin by leveraging personas. These are real-life narratives of who your people are, both externally and internally, and how they engage with your organization. These help form requirements from the narrative of the user, and puts everything into context from their valued perspective.
There’s a lot to learn from other industry and organizational leaders in your space. Based on what’s uncovered in the Discovery sessions, we’ll identify what else needs to be analyzed. This could include identifying audiences you have in common and user intentions and behaviors. We gain a clearer understanding of what other organizations may be doing well in how they provide information, insights, learning materials. Long story short – we learn what they’re doing well, so we can do it better.
We develop and collaborate with you on elements to help focus and define the aesthetic approach. This is a visual representation of ideas and inspiration for design/functionality, which will evolve and be based on what you want your “look and feel” to be. Once you’d reviewed and discussed, your feedback would be used to inform the design/ development phase. As part of this process, we would really want to focus on leveraging your branding, planned content and organizational goals, using it to inform and drive the setting of your digital direction. We’ve worked with a variety of organizations – from startups to Fortune 100 brands – on helping them communicate and represent their organizations effectively and are excited by the possibilities in helping you with yours.
In building construction, the blueprints serve as a guide to placement of structural elements. In the design world, wireframes serve a similar purpose. They are mockups that show details about what information is presented and how it relates to each other for the layout of the site. The wireframe lacks any design elements, but serves as the blueprint that the designer and technical team assigned to this project will use as a basis for their work.
Once Discovery is complete, we’ll look at the variety of content and functionality required. The wireframes for the home page and some of the other key pages will then be developed and reviewed by your team. This is typically an iterative and collaborative approach.
Many traditional agencies have lengthy, costly design and development phases. Two or three months may be spent looking at static design documents, and after those are finalized, the project goes directly into development. Any changes in design after development commences lead to expensive change order requests. Then, after stakeholders see the development work, there’s zero flexibility to change.
This approach is antiquated. It simply does not work.
We approach design and development with live prototyping, so you’re able to see the design/ development on a live URL. Changes are simple, both from design and/ or development perspective. This fosters a collaborative and iterative approach, and feedback/ changes are inherent in our prototyping process. Also, this project is extremely functional, and simply cannot be emulated through design documents. You need a live, working URL so you can see how everything works. Lastly, you’ll want to see how the platform performs on mobile, desktop, and a tablet.
With our approach – the only surprises are good ones.
While we’re on the progressive side with our prototyping process, our testing process is fairly traditional. We do quality assurance (QA) to ensure everything is working as intended. Our clients tackle the user acceptance testing, and inevitably, changes will come from that. With our prototyping approach – most changes are a breeze and quickly be addressed. Also, due to our prototyping methodology – user acceptance testing starts way earlier than most typical processes.
User adoption is imperative for any project. If it’s not easy, then it won’t be used. Plain and simple. We keep things as simple as possible, and our goal is to make organizations completely self-sufficient. That doesn’t mean we’re not around when questions come up, but one of the biggest fundamentals of what we do is to help transform organizations with their digital.
The key component of that is training and user adoption.
We first conduct a round of training the ‘keeper of the keys’ to ensure those essential team members understand the basics. We then give them access to a sandbox where they can do things, break things, and learn things. *All training sessions are recorded, so you have it for future reference.
After they have a decent grasp on the systems/ processes, we then do follow-up training(s) to review more advanced tasks/ changes.
We conduct an “all in” training, so any other key stakeholders know the overall infrastructure, and also know how to do the things needed for their jobs.
There are always questions. So when we get questions, we make small, digestible training videos, so answered questions become memorialized training assets.