If you’re about to start a new website project, and wondering what questions you should ask, then then you might find this guide useful.
1. Define purpose/vision for the site
- What is the purpose of the site?
- What are the goals of the site?
2. Develop goals for the site
- How would you define a successful website for your organisation?
- What does success look like? How will you know when you have been successful?
- How would you describe the site?
- From an organisation’s viewpoint?
- From a user’s viewpoint?
3. Define audiences and goals
- Who are the users of the site? (Primary and secondary users)
- How would you describe the users? (User characteristics, such as age, experience, education, etc.)
- Why will they come to the site? (User needs, interests, and goals)
- When and where will users access the site? (User environment and context)
- How will users access the site? (User computer settings, such as connection speed, resolution, etc.)
4. Conduct task analysis and prioritise tasks
- What will users do on the site? (User tasks, content, features and functionality)
- Which tasks are critical to users’ success on the website? (Criticality)
- Which tasks are most important to users? (Importance)
- Which features of the site will users use the most? (Frequency)
- Which features are prone to usability issues? (Vulnerability)
- Which tasks are critical to the organisation’s success on the website?
- How often will users frequent your website?
- What will compel users to return to your website?
5. Determine measurable usability objectives
- Which tasks should users be able to accomplish easily with few errors? (Efficiency)
- Which tasks should users be able to finish quickly and efficiently? (Effectiveness)
- What level of satisfaction should users have after using the site? (Enjoyability)
6. Discuss expectations, requirements and preferences
- What is your vision of what the site should do?
- How would you describe your initial view of the project? What do you think the project should entail?
- What prompted the redesign?
- Who will be the key point of contact?
- Are there any restraints, mandates, or guidelines for the site?
- Are there any sites you would like to model or a particular style that you prefer?
- What characteristics/attributes/attitude should the site convey to users?
7. Determine accessibility requirements and needs
- Is the site currently accessible?
- What type of accessibility testing has been done?
- What types of accessibility tools are being used?
- Who is the key point of contact on accessibility issues?
8. Identify available resources and training needs
- What level of resources is available for site updating and maintenance?
- Do you have content writers skilled in writing for the Web?
- Are there graphic designers on staff?
- Who will be responsible for programming and maintaining the site?
- Who is in charge of site marketing and promotion?
- Who will be responsible for analysing your site analytics?
- Do you have a budget available for hiring or training staff?
9. Discuss initial technology needs
- What are your hosting needs?
- Do you currently have a domain name or do you need a new one? Do you have the budget to buy a new domain name?
- Are you currently using a content management system? If so, which one? If not, which systems are you currently looking at?
- Are you currently logging Web metrics? If so, what metrics are you currently capturing? If not, do you plan on adding them to your site?
- Do you currently have a search engine? If so, what type of search are you using?
- Do you have a budget for implementing new technology?
10. Timeline and Project Plan
- Are there current mandates or deadlines in place requiring you to complete your project by a specific date?
- Can you think of any issues that may arise that could delay your project completion? If so, do you have a plan for ensuring that the project moves forward?
- When do you want to complete the project?
- Do you have the available resources to complete your project on time?
- Who will be responsible for managing the project plan and timeline?
Original author / source: usability.gov