The Discovery Phase – Key to Successful Website Development Projects

Thursday October 27, 2022

What Is The Discovery Phase?

Put simply, the Discovery Phase is carried out at the start of a web development project. Open communication is the key, as developers and clients work together to gather the data needed to build a user-friendly website. This can include:

  • User/buyer personas
  • Journey maps
  • User interviews

At OSKY, we begin every project with a Discovery Phase. It allows us to identify our clients’ needs and that of their customers, while ensuring the rest of the project runs smoothly. With solid foundations, the path to success is clear.

4 Benefits of the Discovery Phase

The Discovery Phase sets an entire web project up for success. It pulls together research, data and key information that will inform the next stages of the project, from web development through to content creation. This ensures a positive outcome for the remainder of the project.

1. Avoid Setbacks

Have you ever heard the saying, “Failing to plan is planning to fail”? Without a proper plan in place that maps out the goals and direction of the project, you’re almost certain to run into many obstacles along the way. The Discovery Phase helps avoid these setbacks with proper planning.

2. Optimise User Experience

The most important aspect of any website development comes down to user experience. If your customers can’t navigate the site successfully and find what they’re looking for, they’ll drop off in seconds.

During the Discovery Phase it’s important to determine:

  1. User’s goals for visiting the website
  2. Business goals for site visits

By anticipating usage patterns of a company’s customers along with a business’s end goal, web developers can determine optimal features, design, and flow of the website.

3. Stick To Budget

It’s much more difficult to build in new features as things come to light during the course of a website development. This will slow down the entire process and come at the expense of time and resources.

The Discovery Phase sets out the scope of the project right from the outset so there’s no unexpected surprises along the way. Milestones are mapped during this initial period, with a clear budget laid out that can be adhered to.

4. Determine The Need For External Help

Creating a website is an in-depth process that requires very specific skill sets along the way, such as design, content creation and technical skills. The Discovery Phase sets out exactly what needs to be done and enables a company to determine whether they have the right skill sets in house, or need external help.

Ready To Get Started? Here’s How…

Many companies make the mistake of skipping the Discovery Phase, as they aren’t willing to waste resources at the outset of a project. As we can see through the benefits listed above, this phase actually forms the basis for successful website development projects.

While it’s a lot of initial work for your company, it will pay itself back ten-fold through the remainder of the project. Here’s what you can expect.

Ask The Right Questions

In order to get all the information you need in this initial stage, it’s important to ask the right questions from the outset. These include:

  • What are our project’s goals? Why are you setting up a new website? What do you hope to achieve? Where do you see it leading the company? Most importantly, how can you meet your customer’s needs with this development?
  • What milestones will help us achieve these goals? With the big goals in place, you can start mapping out the milestones and list all the work needed to meet each one.
  • Do we have the right tools and inhouse skill sets to complete the job? Begin assigning roles based on your employees’ roles and skills, or seek an outside agency or contractor to help.

Equip Yourself With The Right Tools

Many companies will discover they don’t have the right in-house skill sets to thoroughly and extensively carry out this initial stage.

The beginning of the project requires:

  • Extensive brainstorming
  • Thorough research
  • Shaping of ideas
  • Creation of concepts
  • Mapping out of milestones

These will flow through the remainder of your project, which is why it’s so important to get it right from the start. Experienced consultants provide the direction and expertise required for success.

Put The Effort In

It can be tempting to simply get off the ground running and dive right into your next project.

Just remember, with a solid foundation in place and a clear plan mapping out the direction of your project, you’ll save both time and money along the way. It also provides peace of mind, saving stress over the project period.

Get started today

Chat with the friendly team at OSKY today to get started on your next web development project. With the right foundation, success is just around the corner.

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