When clients decide to move forward with upgrading or creating a new site, their enthusiasm is unbounded. They want to get started right away, and begin talking about arranging buttons, shooting videos and upgrading content for their site. Our response to them is to take a deep breath; before we start talking about visual design features or begin hard-coding the site, we ask them to think about the overall objective of their site: how they will attract and engage followers.
Taking this approach means looking at the project from a broader view. A website is not an electronic brochure, but an interactive means to connect with existing followers (and future fans, as well). To help our clients be successful, we walk them through our proven methodology of designing, developing and optimizing their site.
Our first activity in Framework Design is to engage in process mapping. This is an exercise where together we create a visual diagram of how you engage with your clients. We examine the variables in how individuals enter the website and how they can be directed to different areas of the site.
The mapping process can reveal gaps and expose assumptions on how people will navigate and search for information. The use of visual maps, rather than only words, simplifies the understanding of the process, and can lead to modifications that make things simpler. In the end, this exercise helps bring about a better user experience, one that is more transparent and usable.
Once the client engagement process is understood, we then plot out the information content and map the overall site architecture. This involves structuring contact forms, registrations, calls to action and how visitors can receive information. At the end of this step there is a clear understanding how users are engaged, and illustrates keys steps in the process.