When working in the development of digital marketing platforms, capturing the client’s specific business needs and contexts is vital to reach the optimal solution. However, more often than not the need to clearly define requirements goes overlooked (it’s actually one of the most common problems that cause projects to derail!).
Whether tailored for a leading web content management system (WCMS) like Adobe Experience Manager (AEM) or an open-source platform like Drupal, every website project should start with a specification brief. This should outline its scope and objectives, along with any deadline or budget constraints, but also go as deep as possible into particulars. Below we've outlined 8 key questions you should be prepared to answer next time you're considering a new website.
A deeper understanding of your business will help your digital partner better identify the critical elements that should be integrated into your project.
Detailing what’s your digital strategy, what your digital landscape currently looks like, as well as pain points or missing functionalities are key to match the solution to your needs and vision for the future.
This not only helps determine if it’s a corporate website, a blog, an online shop, something in between or even a mix, but it also positions your brand authentically in the eyes of your audience.
Provide all brand guidelines, manuals and any other materials that the site needs to match with in some way, as well as any websites with designs that you like.
Outline the content structure, number of pages as well as languages or regions you aim to target. Include different types of pages and content, as well as any page wireframes if you have them ready.
Describe the functionalities or options on your current website that you plan to keep, as well as any gaps or frustrations. A good exercise is also looking at what your current competitors’ websites have that you wish to have.
This will help to match your website specifications to a realistic cost projection, as well as determine whether to phase developments, readjust priorities or propose alternative solutions.
Ensure you provide a realistic timeline for the project, with sufficient time for all the website development stages, including content authors training, content creation/migration and translation.
Appoint the person or team who will be the contact point for the project, who will be managing the website upkeep, if there are any other contractors involved, as well as whether your team will need training for making website updates, content publishing guidelines, and so on.
Want to read more on how to set your website project for success and ensure marketing is baked right into the development process? Check our ebook: The foolproof guide for your website brief.
Joris Bekaert is Business Consultant at AMPLEXOR, based in Belgium. Specializing in functional analysis and web development, Joris has been part of the AMPLEXOR Digital Experience team since 2007.