Each Safira can be approached pragmatically or very thoroughly. Depending on the targets the following (number of) steps should be taken:
Success of each project is based on or depends on sufficient preparation. That's why we pay so much attention to an excellent understanding of the situation as is. Therefore we like to consult the following sources:
- Benchmarks: comparative studies carried out by similar domestic and foreign organisations.
- Reported behaviour: besides any generally accessible (sector) studies - if available - any studies that have been completed upon client's order.
- Actual behaviour - web analytics: it is also extremely useful to interpret your current analytics. It reveals which content is liked, which tools and applications are used frequently, which paths are taken by the user, which media channels convert…
Having received this information, all stakeholders' targets should be analysed as well. What is the ideal to be situation for all parties? This question should be answered by the internal stakeholders preferably in the form of workshops. Usually the internal targets differ from the investigated target groups' expectation pattern. That's why we strongly advise interviewing the (potential) visitors. Panel conversation is a proven method. It goes without saying that the internal stakeholders have to be very well defined in order to translate this segmentation to personae later on.
We'd like to start by dropping all limits: let's think out of the box! This allows us to escape from our comfort zone. We try to be critical, question the whole current situation and think over ideal situations without practical limitations. Of course, later on, we will have to get everything back down to earth and to work it out in accordance with the values and targets of your company. During this stage we translate the interpretation into concrete models for the different subareas . For example, now we shall pay attention to the issue of how we can optimise the acquisitions, conversation and retention under a multi- and cross-channel approach.
During this stage we also find it crucial to determine the level of ambitions and to confirm this in the form of KPI's. We like to make it as detailed as possible so that everyone in the organisation can get a clear reference of his or her specific targets and expected results. This information will be used later in stage 9: Governance.
3. Data, features & functionalities for different persons
It is never too early to start to create a good inventory, to evaluate and to begin setting priorities for existing content taking into account your users' needs. And that's exactly what we shall be doing at this stage. It is indispensable to carry out a thorough information analysis to finally be able to perform stage 10: migration.
We would like to get a long listing of tools and functionalities for different persons in this stage.
4. Annual planning
And now, when the strategy has been unambiguously determined and we've got excellent knowledge of the desired content and tools, the moment has come to set up the annual planning. This annual planning is aimed at actually reaching the KPI determined at stage 2. Ambitious KPI's can be reached only with an annual planning, which describes a good mixture of different tactics and sets their priorities and timing. Depending on the KPI's that we work on, we make a choice of the tools and mechanics available: social media, custom applications, e-mail-marketing, search engine marketing, making banners…
Setting up the annual planning is also a perfect way to align all of the most relevant stakeholders. For large organisations this is often very important.
In the fifth stage the previous phase is further elaborated. Based on the targets and strategies, which were defined earlier, 'user journeys' are defined for different persons. We literally crawl into the user's skin and this gives us the opportunity to sketch the wire-frames which correspond with each visitor's type. A wire-frame or a wire-model is nothing else but an abstract and conceptual presentation of the site's structure without any graphic content. It forces us to look at the essentials without being distracted by the graphic details. Read more about information architecture.
When the structure of the site has been created, the favourite moment for our designers has finally come: transfer the wire-frames into an attractive graphical interface, respecting your brand's style. Read more about brand identity and graphic design.
After completing all previous stages, we now have a good graphic design with underlying structure at our disposal. The customer journeys were defined for different persons and converted into the mock-up afterwards. It is advisable to now carry out some actual testing of those customer journeys with a limited group of users. Off course, ideally, we would take it another step further and take our testers to a usability lab for quantitative and qualitative research. Eye tracking can provide some additional insights as well.
8. Technological implications
Every good strategy requires a technical base. That's why at this stage with our IT Department we investigate the demands and dependencies. Read more about technology.
During this stage we make sure that the guidance, management and supervision will be done in a consistant way, always considering the efficient and effective realisation of targets. Simultaneously we agree upon the model and the form, which will be used to set up an open way to communicate and to take responsibility.
Nearly every exercise expands or renovates something that already exists. It's important that from the very start this is kept in mind. This is not important for the end user solely, but might also have consequences for your Google search ranking, for instance.