PHASE 1: PLAN
Once the project has been formally started, the discovery phase begins. This phase is meant to reveal the state of your website today and your competitive landscape. All team members should participate in this phase of the project.
Assess current website.
If your current website has analytics, pull reports to benchmark for comparison later.
Analyze current content.
Begin inventorying existing website content to determine what content you have on your site, what needs to be updated, what can be removed, and what needs to be created.
Interview the individuals or groups whose work and responsibilities are affected by how the website performs. Their input will help set a strategic direction that will guide the process.
Resource: Stakeholder Interview Questions
Look at competitor websites.
Perform an analysis of competitor and peer website categories to identify best practices, good ideas to emulate, and bad ideas to avoid.
Resource: Competitive Review Template
“I actually draft a sitemap before I do a content audit. It helps me to have a really clear idea of the structure before diving into the content, thereby making it easier to eliminate content that is no longer needed.” Ashlee Gardner, Communicator
Identify the technical and functionality requirements for the new website during the scope portion of the Planning Phase.