The foundation of Risdall’s website design and development efforts is the web strategy. It serves as the starting point for the website and has several key points that, while always subject to evolution, become the grounding to which we refer time and again as the project proceeds. Some of these points carry down from the overall marketing strategy and some have a unique focus to the website.
Developing the goals and vision of how the website will support the business provides a touchstone to which we can later question the value of a particular web design approach or a website feature. For example if the vision is that the site will serve as a product sales platform that will drive related product sales, a recommendation engine or a product configurator could have merit. Business requirements often fall out of the vision statement and allow the team to ascribe value to them.
Sometimes a brand will define users in terms of personas; their demographics, their psychographics and perhaps some element of personality. In the web strategy, Risdall draws from this if they are available but defines users more from a role perspective; that is, who they are, and how, as a group, they will be provided access or will interact with the various site features. This may mean looking at their mobile habits or needs so we understand how to accommodate them.
The user story takes the user profile and applies it in very specific terms to a particular feature of the site. A user story speaks to how, as a particular user, they want to do something so that they will accomplish something and the value they obtain as a result. For example “As a sales rep, I want to look up list prices in a secure place to provide my customer with a competitive bid and increase my sales”. The user story allows the team to brainstorm different approaches to find the best solution to that story.
User feature matrix
Prioritization of features in a website often vary by user. What’s important to a sales rep, may not be as important to a field engineer or a prospective employee. Risdall uses a tool that ranks the user profiles and applies scoring to each feature identified for the site. The tool provides an overall score for the feature so that during the web planning process, we can keep an eye on the business value and make adjustments accordingly.
The technology space in which the website will live is a key ingredient in a successful web strategy. Hosting needs to be considered as well as the CMS needs, database and any integrations with external systems. Security and privacy needs to be addressed where applicable especially where personal data is collected or monetary transactions occur. We want to engage with our client’s internal IT resources being fully aware they need to weigh in on technology choices because they may ultimately be supporting them. We determine the technical architecture of the website based on these inputs.