Julia is a very experienced product manager who has managed products for private sector companies such as Sony Music and Expedia as well as public sector organisations such as Surrey Police and small startups too. Deciding to adopt a more rural lifestyle away from the City, Julia joined Real Life Digital to work more closely with a diverse range of clients and projects, and to minimise her previous 2 hour (both ways!) commute into the smoke! When Julia's not defining, refining, pretotyping, and keeping us tightly focussed on our deadlines, you might find her touring the world in one of the many bands she sings and plays with, or at home in her recording studio bashing out some choons.
So let's start at the beginning. No... I mean RIGHT at the beginning...
You know you need a new website but don’t know where to begin. After all, you're not a website designer. You know your own core business well (or you should!) but you don't know the technical jargon to ask for what you need, and come to think of it, what DO you really need?
The first step is - requirements. And we don't mean a weighty old epistle with tonnes of pages. Getting requirements right isn't about websites, how they are designed or built, or any of that shebang. Not just yet anyway. The first thing is to get right back to basics. The right website needs to address the needs of the person using it. Of course - that's the golden question (and the golden answer!). Before doing anything else, you need to know what the 'job to be done' is for your website (and indeed your business). You need to focus on your overall business goals and be crystal clear on how your website fits into that overall business strategy. What could it do for you? Here are some questions you might want to ask yourself (and answer honestly!):
- Do you have a product or service offering to communicate to a specific audience?
- Do you have either virtual or physical inventory to sell, either business-to-business or direct-to-consumer?
- Do you have any weighty business processes that could be made more efficient if they were put online?
- Do you work with partners or suppliers and need to share information securely, or keep one another's information updated?
- Do you have a brand you need to communicate, or a re-brand to communicate?
- Do you need potential clients to be able to reach out to you to talk further, or to schedule your time?
- Do you need potential clients to be able to book or schedule a resource themselves?
- Do you need adequate reporting on the performance of your website? (clue: the answer to this one should always be YES!)
The risks you face if your requirements aren't clear is that your website isn't going to do what it needs to and you'll be burning your money