10 Tips To Remember on starting a new website
The key to a robust requirements document is finding an enthusiastic team of skilled people to prepare
it. Someone from all the departments that have a stake in the project must be part of all meetings.
These requirement gathering sessions are great for whiteboard brain storming. The following are some
items that may be overlooked but when considered, will add to an incredibly successful launch of your
- Discuss the willingness (or not) of stakeholders on their openness to new things. This is a risk evaluation. Are they willing to try new things and if so, what are some things they may want to try.
- Training. Employees are a great source for word of mouth marketing. Are there ways to include
them in marketing? If there are actual storefronts, train associates in how to ask questions
to get customer feedback that can be used later for social marketing or the actual design and
location for web tasks.
- Don’t neglect local search. The requirements and marketing for local sites is its own niche.
- Conversions. Yes, it’s crazy but everybody thinks their site will magically bring in revenue. The
usability section must include persuasive design techniques.
- Analytics shouldn’t be an afterthought. If your site is going to relying on Google Analytics, the
code can be added during the build in preparation for going live.
- Testing. Never put this at the end. Split A/B testing can be done on test servers for example.
And of course, test cases prepared based on the requirements can be applied once the build
- Target marketing research and demographics should be added to the formal document. You
want everyone to be in agreement, as well as unified in their understanding of who they’re
- Reputation management tracking can be added to the social media marketing section. It won’t
come in until after launch but make sure it’s included in the overall plan.
- Establish a process that allows key stakeholders to know what key decisions are and allow them
to sign off or discuss. Keep them in the loop, even if they say they don’t want to be bothered.
- CYA. This is main reason I promote requirements documentation. Cover your ass. With
everything documented and traceable to top goals, you get a solid foundation to work from. By
communicating every change (called “Change management”), every defect, every fix, and every
breath in writing, no one can come back and claim something was missed or done without their
If you already have a website, it’s not too late to create a requirements document. It may be best to
have someone outside prepare it so it’s objective and something isn’t subconsciously overlooked.
It’s never too late to test what exists now and re-test and track after a repair. I’ve seen even the smallest changes
make a direct and immediate increase in conversions. Requirements gathering are well worth your
investment in time and resources.