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If from the discovery phase you have decided to proceed, then fantastic. That means we are very much on the same path with our shared timelines, goals and success metrics. Now the real work now begins.
Research can make or break the success of a project. What kind of research are we talking about here, you may ask?
We need to understand your market and your customers. Is the sector on the up or on the decline? What opportunities could there be going forward? What has worked in the past for you? What hasn't worked for you?
Your ideal customers and your best current customer are also areas to explore to get a better understanding of their needs and problems. Creating a user persona helps in the design stage when we design for a single person rather than dozens of different people. Many personas can go too far and even spell out their dog's name. This isn't of use and it's far too verbose to be helpful in the design process. We don't believe in long personas, but short ones that can fit on a sheet of A4.
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In this stage we are very wary of looking into your competition and trying to imitate them. It may well be that they have copied from another business. You may have heard the term “the blind leading the blind” and it certainly can be applied here in some situations. You to stand out from your competition and definitely not copy them! It is lazy and it's too crucial to a business not to differentiate in your market. It can make or break a business and there have been far too many failures not to take this very seriously.
How do you stand against your competition? What is the difference between you and them? It's likely that your clients or customers will be weighing up different factors between you and your competition. What is the one thing that you want to be known for? That single clear outstanding differentiator should be known right throughout your employees and of course, it should be on your website. The many businesses that we will work either have no clear differentiators or they have too many. One is the magic number here. In today's competitive business world it's hard enough to get one message to stick never mind 2 or 3 varying loose ones.
What is it you are known for? That's a great question and can reveal your USP. Again, 1 clear and tangible thing, not many. I can't stress that enough. Most businesses have no clear identifier or have too many. People don't have the time or the patience to read between the lines, you must state clearly why you are different your website.
From real research though and understanding the target market, we will understand your prospects with confidence and define you. It's not just your website.