User research and web strategic planning

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If we're gonna make something good (and we are), we need to plan. First we'll get to know your organization, your business goals, and your audience's needs. Then we'll dig deep into your existing content and technology to find the gaps and make a plan for the future.

Our user research and stakeholder research principles

Getting to know you, getting to know all about you

We don't jump right into design and build – we have to know the lay of the land before we can create the right solution. We'll spend as much time with your team as possible, getting to know the ins and outs of how you work and what you need to be successful.

Users first

The best solution will balance the needs of both your team and your customers. You need a sustainable system that your team can maintain. But when it comes right down to it, your website won't accomplish anything for you if it doesn't meet your customers' needs. That's why we'll act as advocates for your customers throughout our work together.

Our approach to web strategic planning and discovery

We'll tailor our approach to meet the needs of your project. Here are just some of the things we might recommend:

Stakeholder and user research

Before we plan for the future, we need to understand the present. We'll sit down with all your internal stakeholders, and talk to your customers. We'll find out what's working well (and not so well), and where you want to go in the future. This research will be the basis of all our work to come.


Research is essential to the success of your project. Here are some of the many benefits:

  • Uncover your content, functional, and governance needs
  • Build relationships with your team and customers
  • Prioritize your requirements – what's most important to your success?

User profiles or personas

Generalizing your customers into a large, vague group can lead to an "everything for everybody" solution that doesn't accomplish anything of real value. That's why we build user profiles or personas to help keep everyone on track. They describe your customers' background and needs, and guide our decisions throughout the project.


  • Define your users' needs and tasks
  • Help us stay on track throughout the project
  • Clarify our assumptions (yours and ours)

Competitive audit

We also want to understand your competitive landscape. We'll audit other organizations in your industry, talk about what's working and what isn't, and define the functionality your customers will expect from you.


  • Find out where you stand in the industry
  • Get new ideas for your project
  • Figure out what customers might expect from you

Governance audit

Hey, wanna know a secret? Your website is only as good as the processes that you use to maintain it. That's why we'll meet with you to find out how you're creating and maintaining your website today, and how you make decisions and set priorities for your online communications. We'll highlight any missing pieces we need to address.


  • Learn more about your team
  • Highlight any gaps and inefficiencies
  • Help us design a sustainable solution

Strategic planning

Maybe you're not ready for a website redesign just yet, but you want to know how to start. Maybe you're thinking long-term, and need an online communications plan for the next two, three, or five years. We'll build you a web strategic plan that outlines the resources, budgets, and tasks you need to be successful on the web.


  • Plan long-term resourcing and budgetary needs
  • Get alignment before starting a redesign project
  • Provide clear focus for your organizational planning

Other things we might do:

  • Brand audit
  • Analytics audit
  • Use cases and user stories
  • Project brief
  • Project vision
  • Business requirements
  • Technical infrastructure inventory
  • Interface inventory
  • Usability testing (read about our process)