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Exploring The Importance of the Discovery Phase in The Web Development Process

The discovery phase of the web development process is essential in creating an efficient website. Learn the role it plays in creating an entire site and why you should never skip this stage.

Ardee Raranga
Ardee Raranga June 22, 2022

In today’s competitive market, online presence plays a vital role in the success of a business. Recent studies reveal that companies only have 50 milliseconds to make a good impression on their potential customers online. This means that as business owners, you need to develop an eye-catching and effective website to gain the attention of your target audience. 

But building a robust website is no easy feat, and you can only develop an effective site through extensive web development and design process that starts with the discovery phase. 

What is the discovery phase of a website?

The discovery phase of a website is the very first step of the web development process. During this stage, developers and designers meet with clients to discuss the foundations of the website before the development phase. 

They collect and analyze all the critical information they need for the project. Details like the type of website their client needs, their target audience, and the goals they want to achieve help the development team create a project roadmap. 

With a project roadmap, everyone involved in the web development and design team understands the respective roles they play in the project. It also helps the team create a timeline for their client and milestones for their development team. 

Think of it this way: if you want to build a house, you need a strong foundation and a floor plan. You don’t want your bathroom to end up outside your home. During the discovery phase, the development team sets out to create your home’s foundation and floor plan.

Why does discovery matter to the web development process

Aside from our home analogy earlier, there are other reasons why many developers and designers recommend that businesses don’t skip the discovery phase of a website

Discovery leads to better solutions

It’s challenging to create a fool-proof solution when you don’t completely understand what your problem is in the first place. During the discovery phase, our developers sit down with our clients to discuss what they think their business needs and how a website can exactly solve these problems. 

A website is like any other investment you make in your business. A website should be able to provide you with several solutions to critical problems your company is facing. And the only way that a site can solve these problems is by analyzing all the information you’ve provided.

When businesses skip the crucial discovery stage, their websites often fail to deliver what they promised. Instead of generating more leads and converting, their sites only provide clicks and views. These issues usually happen when the project’s main objective isn’t clear to the development team.

Discovery prioritizes user experience (UX)

One of the main objectives of the discovery phase is to get to know the target users of a website. Because at the end of the day, the primary audience websites need to impress are their users. 

During this stage, the development team, alongside their marketing counterparts, looks into the website’s target audience. They research how users interact with your site for a more satisfying user experience. 

Some companies get too caught up in their problems they forget about the end-user. And recent surveys have revealed that 57% of internet users don’t recommend businesses with poorly designed websites. 

For a site to reach its full potential, it must prioritize user experience (UX).

Discovery lessens delays and reduces costs.

There’s no denying that building a website is expensive, and it requires business owners like yourself to dedicate time and other resources. Your costs will likely increase the more delays the web development and design process go through. 

A proper roadmap will help you prevent delays and reduce the overall investments your business makes. When everyone on the team is on the same page, they become more productive. And when you list your expected expenses, you’re less likely to go over the budget. 

The primary purpose of the discovery phase is to ensure that the project goes smoothly and as planned. It helps businesses like yourself experience costly delays. 

Three steps to discovery

There are various ways that development teams conduct discovery sessions. Some use a set of questionnaires to help their clients hone what they want for their website, while some don’t. Other teams have around ten steps in their discovery process, while others have less than five. 

For Growth Rocket, our discovery phase only consists of three stages; specification, targeting, and quality control. 

Specification

During the specification stage of our discovery process, our engineers sit with our project managers to discuss the website’s overall functionality and design. 

Our team starts defining the site’s specs and requirements using the data we’ve gathered from our clients. These specifications might include custom call-to-action (CTA) buttons or photo galleries. 

Around this time, we discuss integrating software that our client needs, like eCommerce shopping carts, inbound marketing, or customer relationship management (CRM) systems. This stage provides you and our team with a list of milestones to look forward to in the future. 

Targeting

Once they figure out the specifics of the website, our project management team meets with their marketing counterparts for the targeting phase. 

Our marketing team analyzes the site requirements to determine its target audience and marketing and sales strategy during this stage. And depending on the main objectives of the project, the website’s marketing and sales strategy could include SEO targeting and paid advertisements. 

This stage of our discovery phase ensures that your website delivers what it promises to your business and its end-user. 

Quality Control

With the foundations of the website already laid out, our engineering team will develop the website until it becomes ready for Beta release or staging. Once the developers have done the website, the quality assurance (QA) team will step in to check all the site’s functionalities. 

Before the website goes live, our QA team will ensure that the entire website works correctly and is bug-free. This stage ensures that users can explore the site without any problem, regardless of whether they’re on their mobile devices or not. 

Discovery is key to efficient web design and development

Websites can make or break your business’ success. If developed properly, this platform can help you achieve your goals and keep your customers satisfied at the same time. 

By actively participating in the discovery phase of the web development process, you can rest easy knowing that your business is investing in a platform tailored for its needs. 

To learn more about the importance of an effective website in today’s competitive market, check out our blog here!

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