Written by Jerry Virgo on .
Download our FREE Requirements Gathering Form PDF, or read on to learn about how to properly gather requirements for a website.
When gathering requirements for a website design project, it is important to cover the right topics in order to gather sufficient information. I’ve previously written about how to set your agenda with a client for the website design requirements gathering session. In this post, I will be covering some of the proper criteria for your project requirements.
Or continue reading about the requirements gathering process below.
Requirements Gathering Form Overview
Smaller projects can typically be assessed and defined in meeting duration of 1-3 hours. Larger projects may take longer and need to be broken up into multiple sessions with different stakeholders. How thorough you want to be may vary depending on your client’s preferences. Your end goal of this session is to define the following criteria of the project:
- Business Objective
- Website Design
- Website Features
- Website Layout
- SEO / Search Engine Optimization Strategy
Keep in mind that many clients, especially on smaller projects, don’t really know what they want and are likely expecting you to make recommendations. When you have the information gathered, you should be ready to make your design mockups and put together a binding agreement/statement of work.
Newcomers to requirements gathering often forget this key component, which is to define what the client’s expectations are of this project. While it can be easy to assume that they want to increase their business growth, that is too vague of a goal and does not allow you to provide a proper strategy to meet their objective. Additionally, some key functionality should be briefly discussed before diving deeper into the other topics. These criteria are:
What is the specific objective of this project, and how will we try to meet this goal?
- Basic Features & Functionality
This should be a brief overview of a few key topics: Is this website going to be responsive or have a mobile version? What are the key features of this site? For example, this may have e-commerce capabilities, support multiple languages, or have a business directory listing.
Discuss expectations and deliverables for project documentation and processes - this includes how wireframes and mockups will be delivered, timeframe/project plan (including project reporting aspects), how communications will be handled, and quality assurance processes and standards. Smaller projects may not need a wireframe or project plan (a projected deployment date will do), and quality assurance may be as simple as discussing browser and device type support.
I typically cover how many design mockups will be expected for the client to review – 2-3 options is usually sufficient. When diving deeper into the design aspects available, I then decide on what to include on the different designs I will provide. For example, one design could have a set of 2-3 chosen colors, be full browser width, have square buttons, and have a menu spanning the top of the site horizontally. A second option could have a set of 2 chosen colors, have a max width of 1200px, have round buttons, and have a menu spanning vertically on the left side.