Stand Out in the Crowd!
Organizations have a need to communicate to stakeholders their positions on issues and make audiences aware of their products and services. Many times the communication need, such as a Web site, is triggered by a change of strategic direction or a new offering. Identifying the reasons of the site’s existence and what it is supposed to achieve are the first step in the process. The goals and objectives that are established at the outset of the project inform all future decisions, from site structure and naming conventions used in the navigation to the visual design of the site.The first step in the definition process is interviewing the organization’s stakeholders to identify the strategic goals of the site, understand key audience needs and identify key competitors. The goal of the definition step is to identify three measurable key outcomes that are directly related to the strategic goals of the organization. The challenge in this step is limiting the number of goals. Most organizations will have more goals than they know what to do with, and each department believes their individual unit’s goals are the most important. Being able to bring focus to organizational goals will make developing the site easier and make the final product more effective.
Once all the information and assessments gathered from the stakeholder interviews are completed, they should be collected in a well-formatted project brief. (The assignment for Lesson 4 will contain a project brief outline you can refer to.) The brief contains the following elements.
- One design for your desktop, tab and mobile.
- Beautiful and modern design that makes difference.
- Boost your sales with strategically built user experience.
- Project summary: Outlines the general overview of the project, organizational background, the environment the organization exists in, the people the organization serves and the unique value it provides to its audience.
- Goals: What are two or three specific measurable goals that the site should achieve? Clear goals allow the Web team the ability to focus on what will provide the most impact and move the organization forward.
- Target audiences: Who will help the organization achieve its stated goals? Most organizations speak to multiple organizations (such as customers, stakeholders, internal audience, suppliers, partners, shareholders and/or government institutions). Audience profiles include demographics, psychographics, brand perceptions, audience needs, online goals and tasks routinely performed.
- Messages: What are the key messages that attract and motivate key audiences to engage with the organization? What are the key brand messages that help differentiate the organization from its peers?
- Competition: Who are rival organizations that provide similar offerings to your audience? Include an overview of competitive organizations’ Web sites, considering visual branding, messaging, navigation, calls to action and key differentiators.