When I brought up the topic of requirements gathering and documentation during a talk at SMX East last year, I was stunned at the positive response that followed.
Clearly, not enough attention on web site planning is discussed or taught. Segments are, such as the navigation or content. User interface is debated. Goals are tossed about but sometimes not written down or adhered to. A serious chunk of preparation is ignored because managers, from any size business, don’t know what to include. They need someone who does. Because I was trained to be the worry wart on behalf of a web design or online software application, I bring that to my SEO and Usability work for clients.
Mike McDonald, from Webpronews, grabbed me for a video chat called Developing Requirements Documentation after I told him how surprised and excited I was after I gave my presentation. I’m not the best speaker with Power Point. I do far better in relaxed question and answer, in the moment, sessions. I also have so much information that it comes out in a terrible tumble. Thank goodness I write! Knowing this, I worried if what I said in my talk got through to anyone. The video below, made even better with some fancy visual additions by Webpronews, shows me on a bad hair day and we were both tired, but even at that, the gist of my message is not hard to understand.
The Goal Is To Avoid A Crisis, Create What You REALLY Want and Not Forget Anything
Gathering your business and functional requirements is only the tip of the iceberg. There are other areas to consider if you want a web site to succeed and be around for years to come. Search engine optimization and user experience, traditionally after thoughts by site owners, create a conversions crisis when ignored. I wish I could be at every planning meeting to whisper “user habits” into a manager’s ear. Performance issues are an IT person’s paradise and a site owner’s costly nightmare.
I was approached and emailed by many folks grateful that SOMEBODY recognized this area of concern. Unfortunately, site planning and requirements documentation aren’t topics you’ll find often at SEO conferences. Based on the reaction it’s information people want or can relate to.
Click here to watch Developing Requirements Documentation for your Web Site – Interview: Mike McDonald of Webpronews and Kim Krause Berg of Cre8pc.com and UsabilityEffect.com
Here are the slides from that session: Getting Your Ducks in a Row With Documented Web Site Requirements