In IA Practice
Summary: Jim shares three key differentiators he's learned over the last 11 years that will make your next website project a success.

I cannot believe 2015 is almost in the rearview mirror. I also cannot believe I’ve been with The Understanding Group for three months already. It’s true what they say… time flies when you’re having fun! Before we coast into the New Year, I want to share three key differentiators that will make your next website project a success. As someone who’s been selling website design and development services for different agencies for almost 11 years, I hope you’ll find my perspective helpful.

Architect Before You Build

That’s something we say a lot around here. But it’s something not a lot of people do, unfortunately. When I look back over my career before arriving at TUG and think about some of the website projects I’ve sold, I consider how much value a conversation around and an investment in information architecture would have delivered. Not just in the final product, but in the building process as well. Just like with a physical place, a digital place requires time and attention to architecting before you bring in a builder and designer.

Ensure Stakeholder Alignment

WARNING: This. Is. Hard. And, like architecture, is vitally important to the success of a website redesign project. What TUG has taught me over the last few months is that your internal stakeholders don’t need to get their way, they just need to have an opportunity to weigh in. This process, if done well, will actually create all the necessary intentions necessary for your project to be successful. This, then, will ensure you’re creating the right goals and considering the right KPIs (key performance indicators).

Understand Your Buyers

When I say “buyers,” I mean anyone who comes to your website who has a need you can fulfill. If you’re like most organizations, you’ve got a whole lot of “buyers” with a wide range of needs. If you’re not taking these into account when architecting your new digital place, then your “buyers” will be frustrated. You may have a beautiful new place for them to inhabit, however, if the journey to where they need to go once they arrive isn’t clear, you won’t reach your goals and you won’t create advocates. Remember, you are not your buyer. You may need to do some research to discover who they really are and what they really care about.

Creating something new that will live online can be a daunting undertaking. Do you have a new website, Intranet, mobile app, software project in 2016? Consider these three differentiators as places to start the conversation internally.

Would you like our insight into your important project? Fill out the form below or shoot me an email at I look forward to connecting with you.

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