There is a strong correlation between how well a project is planned and how successfully it's executed. By taking the time upfront to thoroughly identify requirements, assumptions and constraints before starting to design or code, we reduce the number of issues we might confront later in the project.
The Planning Phase is divided into three core components:
1. Audience Discovery
You want your users to have an exceptional experience on your website that will lead them to make a purchase. Building that experience requires a rich understanding of those users, their goals and how they might navigate your website. The Audience Discovery step provides us an opportunity to build this understanding by profiling your customers, analyzing their buying journey and reviewing relevant data that may influence our strategy during the project.
2. Experience Prototyping
Once we have an understanding of what makes your users tick, we need to translate that understanding into an experience that will drive sales. This translation requires thinking through your website in four key areas of requirements: Structure, Content, Aesthetics and Functionality. The most efficient way to handle this thinking is by creating a 'working prototype' of your website and use that as a foundation in identifying what changes need to be made during the Delivery Phase of our project.
3. Systems Mapping
While sales increase, you also want to make your e-commerce business as easy to manage as possible. Given the various aspects of managing an e-commerce business, from products to orders and support to marketing, you need to ensure the different systems used to run your business all communicate and share data efficiently. You also want to reduce the amount of time and cost necessary to run your business day-to-day. In an effort to help you manage your e-commerce business more efficiently, we go through an activity called Systems Mapping that helps us understand the people, processes and platforms used to run all aspects of your business, including products, customers, orders, shipping and finances.