Website Discovery Brief

Website Goals

What are the reasons for considering a website or redesign of your website?


What are your top five objectives for the new website?


State the results you want to achieve through your new website. What are your measures of success (awareness, better access, increased donations or enrollment, other)? Please specify.


What are your immediate and long-term goals for the website?


How does the website fit in with your communication goals? How do you think you can leverage the website to achieve these goals? (For example, how will the site help enroll new students, encourage donors, etc).


What do you feel is the biggest challenge in getting your message across via the Web?



Website Audience

Who are your current primary and secondary Web audiences? Can you rank them in size and importance to you?


Are there any external Web audiences that should be part of this communication channel? (For example, parents, alumni). If so, what information do you want to provide to them on the Web?


Do you want your Web audience to change? In what way(s)?


What are the top three things you want each key audience to do or find on the website? For instance, get informed, find a list services or offerings, process transactions, support operational activities, enable/support community activities, add or view events, sign up for email newsletters.



Branding and Design

Do you have defined branding guidelines for your organization as defined by your college or department? If yes, please provide the details/documents.


How does your audience currently perceive you? What would be the defining attributes from a new student or other audience perspective?


How do you wish your audiences to perceive you in future? Please state the defining attributes (professional, successful, etc.)


What is the single most important message you want to get across to your audience?


List any five peer institution websites you like in terms of visual design and that you would like to use as a benchmark.


Is there any aspect of branding and design we have left out and you would like to state?



Content and Functionality

List any five sites that you like in terms of content and functionality. Which functionality or content do you like, and why?


What content/functionality has been successful in your current website? Why is it considered successful?


What content/functionality has NOT been successful in your current website? Why?


What content do you know you would you like on the website? How frequently do you plan to or want to update your website's content?


What features and functionality would you like to have on the site?



Must Have

Nice to Have

Don't Need

Not Sure






Interactive Calendar










Social Media Buttons or Feeds (Facebook, Twitter, etc.)





Contact Form





Other Form(s)





Photo Gallery










"Latest News" Section





"Events" Section





GT Account Login Section






Are there any other features or functionality you need or would like on the site?


Where are you in the process of gathering content you will feature on the website? In what format is this content stored currently?


What is the current content management process for the website?


Is there any aspect of content or content management that we’ve missed that you would like to state?



Where is your site currently hosted? What type of hosting do you have? Is this the hosting you would like to use in the future?


Does your site connect to a database? Please describe the type of database, stored information, and requirements.


Do you have a Web developer or technical guru who will be involved in maintaining the new site?


Is there any technology (software, content management, site analytics/metrics tools, other) on your current site that must be retained? Please describe in detail.


Does your site require any external sites, systems, or software to operate? For instance, does it connect to a database, interact with an external e-commerce system, pull in content from an external RSS feed? Please describe.


Please state any other requirements for the website.  If you are unsure, we can make the optimal recommendations. For instance,

  • Load time requirements
  • Monitor resolution
  • Accessibility requirements


Is there any other aspect of technology that needs to be addressed? Please provide details.


Ongoing Maintenance

Who is responsible for the site’s strategic direction, producing its content, and updating it after launch?


Who is responsible for applying updates to your website's security and modules on an ongoing basis?



Website Marketing and Analytics

Do you currently have site metrics or analytics detailing how many visitors come to the site, what pages they visit, etc? Please include any available metrics details or documents.


How do you currently market the website? What are your plans to market the site in the future?


What are the 15 keywords for which the website should appear in the top 20 Search Results (Google/Bing)?


How do you currently conduct outreach to your audiences that would drive them to the website?


Do you participate (as an organization) in any social media networks such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, etc.? Do you upload or share content on sites such as FlickR, PicasaWeb, or YouTube? Please list everything you are currently doing. If there are things you aren't doing yet, but would like to explore, please list those separately.


Do you maintain or participate in any other external sites that will drive traffic to or interact with this website?


Is there any aspect of Web marketing and analytics that we’ve missed and you would like to state?


Out-of-Scope Project Requirements

If your marketing dictates a need, do you wish to have Institute Communications recommend a SEO [Search Engine Optimization] specialist?


Do you have any other questions or needs we can help to answer?