Exploring Website Audits & Website Strategy Presentations

Ways of Working

In March, I wrote this post about how we could better align our standalone website audit process with the audits done for our website redesign projects. Since then, our Strategy team has taken over website audits and become more involved in the early stages of website redesigns. As a result, we've evolved the process quite a bit on both sides.

Last week, we invited our Design Director, Christine, to our weekly Strategy team meeting to dig into the first key milestone of our website redesign projects: the Website Strategy presentation. This milestone acts as a guide for the project, capturing everything from our suggested sitemap to features and integrations. The goal of our discussion was to examine the current website audit process on redesigns and revisit the Website Strategy presentation template.

The topic ended up being a bigger discussion than we could fit in one hour, but there were a few takeaways I'm anxious to pick up again when we meet next week:

  1. Show your work! We currently do a lot of research at the start of projects that clients don't see. We should share the insights of this work (even if in the appendix) with the client to give them a more comprehensive understanding of how we arrived at our suggested approach. If we're unsure whether the insights are worth sharing, there are three questions worth asking: What value is this adding? Why isn't it worth sharing? What would we lose by not doing it at all?
  2. Start with the template. As we look to improve our website audit process for redesign projects, an effective way to evoke change is by looking at the output of our work: the end deliverable. Rather than asking the team to work together or "come up with insights," we can design the template to focus them on the right areas. For instance, a slide that requires the team to fill in specific metrics will ensure the correct KPIs are reviewed and inspire a conversation during team review.
  3. Think about repeatability and consistency. Earlier Website Strategy (formally Website Approach) presentations often required the team to spend more time structuring the deck or writing the perfect language than doing the actual work. As we evolve the Website Strategy presentation template, our aim is to create a format that is repeatable and easy for clients to follow with enough flexibility to capture the unique needs of the project at hand.

I'm looking forward to continuing this discussion next week. The deeper we go, the more I wonder if we can get to a place where all website audits are completed the same way, whether we're redesigning a website or making optimizations. The only difference would be how we communicate and act on the insights.

Related: Integrating URL Crawls Pre-SOW

This post originally appeared in Edition No. 104 of my newsletter. Subscribe here.

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