Many web design agencies present “research” and “discovery” as synonyms, but they are perhaps best regarded as separate tasks that inform each other.
The biggest challenge in web development is not technology: it’s communication.
In the scenario I’ve created for this series, we’ve untangled the net between developer, client, and customers through research, which has gained us a solid concept of what’s required from the site. Now it’s time to make a proposal to the client.
It’s perhaps easiest to define what a proposal is by what it isn’t:
One of the biggest obstacles to creating a great, compelling website experience is that no-one understands what the user wants from a site. Certainly not the business owner, whose primary goal is to sell products and services. Not the designer, who often desires to create something “cool”. Surprisingly, not even the users, whose goals and motivations may be obscure even to themselves.
How do we create a great website for customers without the time and expense of comparing hundreds of closely tracked changes over weeks and months? By observing people’s actions, rather than what they say.