Keeping Design and Development Separate

Website Discovery Services

Almost ALL failed website projects that come in late, over budget, or don’t meet the client’s requirements are the result of a poor planning due to a poorly-conducted Discovery phase.

The only way to avoid this problem is by working with a web design company with a rock-solid discovery process. The issue is, most web design companies develop little more than a superficial understanding of your business and industry before jumping in to begin building, which ALWAYS results in re-work and delayed projects. 

Our Website Discovery Services keep design and development separate for a reason. Click here to find out why and why we are the best choice for this process.

At the end of the Discovery Phase, you end up with a full website specification (Statement of Work) that any website provider can implement. Your development process will go much faster and cost less when everything is already spelled out for the developer, whether you use our team or some other.

Our Discovery Process

We break the job down into 6 steps. Explain the waterfall method and each one is approved by the client.

1. Business Requirements

Many website providers treat websites as if they are solely an artistic endeavor. Of course you want your website to be beautiful but primarily, your website is a marketing tool and should be treated as such.

That’s why the first step is a thorough examination of the BUSINESS requirements of the website. In other words, what is the JOB you want your website to do for you?

Will the website include an online store? Are you capturing leads for a sales funnel? Is your site primarily meant as a brochure site?

All of these questions, and many more, are captured during this first step and used as the basis for the remaining steps of the process.

2. Visual Sitemap

The questions we ask during step 1 allow us to determine the number and types of pages to be created for your site and how they relate to one another. This is your sitemap.

We create a visual representation of this sitemap for your approval before moving on to step 3.

3. Layout Wireframes

For each page type in the sitemap, we create a black and white “skeleton” that includes a placeholder for each piece of content and where it will reside on the page.

This demonstrates where the headings will be placed in relation to other content such as text, videos, and images.

4. Content Specification

Now that we have a “placeholder” for each bit of content, we can specify what content may already exist and what needs to be created, gathered, and organized.

5. Functional/Technical Requirements

While the business requirements define WHAT the website will do in business terms, the Functional and Technical requirements detail HOW those business requirements will be met.

In other words, how should the website functionally operate and what technical components are needed to make that happen? 

6. Style and Branding Specification

Because all the other requirements gathered up to this point have an impact on the look and feel of the website, style and branding are the final requirements to be defined.

This typically includes your logo along with the color palette and fonts to be used on the site.

The Final Statement of Work

The final Statement of Work (SOW) typically includes the following but may be adjusted based on whether the project is a new website or redesign and whether it includes special features such as ecommerce, memberships, or online courses. Use the button below to see a full sample of a new website SOW.

  1. Project Description
  2. Sitemap
  3. Content Requirements
  4. Legal Assessment and Requirements
  5. Functional Requirements
  6. Technical Requirements
  7. Search Engine Optimization Assessment and Requirements
  8. Design Requirements
  9. Summary and Recommendations

Website Policy Management Enrollment


One-Time Needs Assessment and Setup Fee

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