Development Process for Building a Website
The Novicell approach to scoping a digital project
When making digital solutions for our clients, we go through a well-planned, standard process from research, planning and scoping all the way through to designing, developing and launching.
In this article series, we will take you through the entire process of scoping a digital project by describing each phase and including examples from one of our recent website development projects with the investment management company and our client, 7IM.
The series consists of five articles:
- The First Meeting
- The Scoping Workshop
- From Workshop to Development
- Website Ready for Content
- Website Ready for Launch
Step 1: The first meeting with the agency
Article one is about the first meeting. Here, we get together with you as the potential new client for the initial discussion about the project to better understand your needs and give the first rough estimate.
Getting to know you and your needs
You need a new website and you have made contact with a potential web agency. You will want to meet the people who will be designing your new website, and the agency will need to have information about your company to get a feel for how they should start those designs. That is the purpose of this initial meeting.
If the web agency you have reached out to is Novicell, prior to the meeting we will ask for permission to access your website traffic data, among other things, to get as much information as possible, such as how your website is currently performing. Some companies prefer to send us a brief stating their needs – it depends on which stage you are at when reaching out to us.
During the first meeting, we will ask some questions to identify challenges, wishes, must-haves and nice-to-haves. Typical questions include:
- What is the most important thing a user can do on your site?
- What is the most important thing the site can do for your company or organisation?
- What is the primary purpose of the site?
- What types of content should be on the page?
- Are there any other systems that the website should be integrated with?
The first meeting is often seen as a meet and greet where we not only discuss the project, but also get to know each other and establish a good relationship. This is important, as we like to see ourselves as a partner who can help you grow your business rather than someone who can simply build a great website.
First meeting with 7IM: Demo and ballpark estimate
7IM, an investment management business that helps financial advisers and individuals to manage their capital to meet their financial needs, had recently been working with a new customer experience focus across the whole organisation. They were looking for a new website that could raise awareness of their new products and services, and align these initiatives with a refreshed look and feel that is coherent across the key offerings and distribution channels.
7IM were running on a Sitecore solution that they wanted to upgrade for the new website. However, based on their brief and the information we gathered, we were able to demo a new Umbraco CMS solution at a following meeting. A solution they later decided to go with.
We have come a long way since the first meetings, and seeing a realistic demo already at this stage was very beneficial and convincing. We decided to change platform and, because of Novicell’s comprehensive and transparent scoping process, we have been able to see very clearly the direction we were heading right from the beginning.
- Zoe Baird, Head of Digital, 7IM.
Presentation of the ballpark estimate
An important outcome of the first meeting(s) is gathering enough information to be able to present a ballpark estimate. This estimate is a rough idea of how much it would cost to build the new website, based on the information that we have at the time. As such, the estimate is only an indication of what it might cost.
Even though we spent the first meeting talking, asking questions and, on some occasions, demoing the potential new website, there is still a lot of information that we don’t have at this stage. We are only at the very beginning of knowing the client and what the project requires. The more details, the more precise the estimate will be. Therefore, the first meeting will also include a proposal for a scoping workshop.
Next step – scoping workshop
The scoping workshop is a must in our website development process. The aim is to define the scope of the project and to capture the requirements. This will be your guarantee that what you see is also what you are going to get. This very thorough approach enables us to scope the project in great detail and identify the most significant risks and any needed mitigating actions that will help us deliver a successful project.
After the first meeting with 7IM, we presented a ballpark estimate that was approved, and we agreed on doing a scoping workshop. In the next article, we will cover the scoping workshop – what it is, the outcomes, and why it is a crucial part of a development project with Novicell.
The scoping workshop we did with 7IM was an online workshop. You can read more about that experience and online workshops here.