For some, producing a new website is a simple task. Yet others may find it to be a daunting, complex process. Whatever the skill level of the individuals in your department who are involved with the project, it is crucial to the site’s success that team members are on the same page. This means knowing exactly what it is you are trying to achieve through your new website.
By understanding your organization’s needs and core messages, as well as the needs of your users, your website will better serve both your organization and your visitors. The end result will be to realize the outcomes you hope to obtain from your new website.
Maybe your department is looking to produce content that will attract the best and brightest faculty or staff. Perhaps your goal is to show potential staff members the benefits of working for your organization. Maybe you hope to attract new donors, or retain existing contributors.
Whatever the desired result, it’s important to have a focus. The Discovery process of the Digital Communications Transformation project will help you achieve that.
This is where you will employ research to determine the business strategy—or the key needs—for your new website. You’ll want all content on your site to strategically align with your business strategy.
Discovery is achieved by a team of people who possess a range of skills and expertise. This team collaborates to gather the information necessary for creating a framework for decision making.
Your Discovery team should include these key people:
With your Discovery team in place, you now can proceed through the five steps that will help you identify your department’s strategic needs—the whole purpose for your new website. These key points will help you stay focused on what’s important.
Following these steps doesn’t have to be an onerous process. By seeing that everyone within your department is on the same page, you can be sure that your new website will have a sharp focus, one that will make it useful to your visitors, while providing your organization with the outcomes it seeks.
Think of it as mapping out the route to your family vacation destination: You know where you want to end up; all you have to do is perform the research and draw up the best route that will get you there. That’s the process of Discovery.
Learn from the UB groups that have already invested time and resources navigating the Discovery process. Read through their white papers and review their business strategies, looking for ideas that you can borrow for your own website.