1. Assess the market
Conduct research into whether or not a similar service already exists. There’s no need to oversaturate the market and someone may already be providing a very similar service and doing it well. This research can also help you to identify key unique points within your work.
Conduct conversations with your users to find out what your audience wants from the service. Work around these needs and see what is feasible to deliver.
Make sure that any plans for your website are built from these conversations so that services are designed around user needs.
2. Find and collaborate with a digital partner
Once you have mapped out what you want the website to look like, present your brief to a digital partner.
Maintain frequent collaboration with your partner through platforms such as Zoom, Miro, and Slack to continuously keep up to date on the project.
Work iteratively and suggest further features or functions as you continue your research.
Take on board the opinions and suggestions of your digital partner.
3. Practice using the website
Make sure your team is trained on how to use the website and how to fix things that might get broken.
Get your digital partner to provide an educational resource in the form of a document or video that you can easily refer to when getting to grips with the website or when attempting to resolve issues.
Before you go live, perhaps practice breaking something within the site and working on how to fix it. This way, if it happens once the site is live, you will have an understanding of how to resolve the issue.
4. Conduct user testing throughout
Test regularly with a small cadre of users. It’s much better to do this than with a larger group at the end of the process. Users are at the centre of your project, so you’re more likely to create a platform that will cater to them successfully if you involve them in the process.
When getting feedback, pay as much attention to observing reactions as to collecting answers from a structured list of questions.
Many thanks to YMCA England & Wales for contributing this recipe.
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