What to be ready for in the discovery phase

So if you’re in the market for a new website and have selected a developer to work with, the next phase in the process is the discovery phase.

From your point of view, this is probably the most important part of the process. Here, you’re telling the developer what you want and how you want this website to help your business. Get it right and you’ll be good to go. Get it wrong and it can take a while to get back on the right path.

It can be a bit of an anxious time. It’s going to involve a lot of meetings to make sure everyone’s on the same page. So to help put your mind at ease, here’s what you can be ready for with the discovery phase.

What is discovery in the website process?

So before we get too far along, let’s define what “discovery” actually is in the website building process. To put it simply, discovery is when the developer is learning about you, your business, your goals and what you want in the new website. Essentially, the developer is trying to learn everything they can about you so they can build a website that works for you.

Now, some developers might use a different word for this phase. It all kind of varies between developers. But just know that this is really the definition this beginning phase of the whole process.

As to when does the discovery process take place, that also varies between developers. I know for me, the discovery process technically begins during the free consultation and runs until the design stage begins. During that entire time, I’m learning about your business and what you’re trying to learn. Again, the specifics will likely change from developer to developer.

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Know what you want

So this is where planning ahead is really going to make this process much easier. This process is all about finding out what you really want for this website. So knowing that, or at least have a good idea of what you want, streamlines this process.

What do you need to know? Well, you need to know where your business currently is. You need to know what your goals are for the business in the near and far future. And you probably need to figure out where a new website fits in to how you get from A to B.

Now, even if you come completely prepared during the discovery process, the developer might bring up something you might not have thought of. That’s okay. In fact, that’s great. Sometimes when we’re so close to something, it’s hard to see everything. If that happens, you’ve probably found the right developer for you.

But the biggest thing is to come prepared to every meeting in the discovery process.

Be open minded about the solution

Finally, it’s important that you remain open minded through out this entire process. If you’ve done your homework and come prepared, you probably already have a solution in mind that you want. That’s great. But be prepared to change.

Sometimes the developer and designer will come up with something you didn’t think about before. Or maybe they’ll tell you something’s just not possible (this happens more than you think). Your solution is going to change. And that’s perfectly fine.

You just have to be open and accepting that things are going to change. This doesn’t mean go along with everything single change, but instead consider and think about the suggestions. And figure out if they would improve the website and help you reach your goal. If they do, go with it. If not, don’t.

So, if you’re starting the process of creating a new website and are worried about the first part of the process, I hope this puts your mind at easy. Just come prepared whenever you talk to the developer and be open about what you want.

You’ll find that it will make the process easier and the end result more successful.

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