Your Best Project Process (So Far)

December 19, 2014In Usability4 Minutes

Starting a new project can be exciting, approaching a fresh set of goals with renewed vigor and enthusiasm. A project plan analyzes the methods a team will take as they document the decisions necessary to reach objectives; they take into consideration scope, schedule, resources and the required deliverables.

Staying on track is key when beginning a new initiative – the project scope identifies a project’s objectives and what must be completed in order for it to flourish. It is crucial to ask oneself: What product are we going to develop? When doing so, what information needs to be provided so that the intended audience is clear on its uses and benefits? What is the product size?

If the process involves building a website, determine the size of the project early – putting in the essential research before implementing any design strategies will make the overall experience more efficient and smooth. Instead of having to re-plan in stages, the process will follow a logical flow strategized initially. Ensuring that there is enough time built in for that initial research must be a priority.

Take Some Time

Time – is an elusive concept for most. We may find little additions creeping up on our projects, small details that seem quite doable when looked at one by one. As they pile up, however, they suddenly become overwhelming and unmanageable. Keeping a tally of the project details with efficient organizing software will manage the information easily for you while granting peace of mind, enabling full focus on the tasks ahead.

Audience – Ready, Set, Action!

Invest in truly understanding your audience – what do they want to glean from your site? What can you offer them that will benefit them; can you provide services, products or information that coincide with their own goals and motivations? It is vital to understand and characterize the aspirations of your audience, including progression, accomplishment, status, belonging or finding a sense of purpose in their own organization. Once those basic needs (for they are basic needs, as any person needs to feel a sense of accomplishment in completing a challenging goal) are met, they can then be transformed into meaningful responses for users.

Tip: Social media is a fantastic tool. Use it to interact with your audience and observe what they have to say about your brand. Creating an open forum where people are comfortable expressing sincere opinions and questions will create genuine rapport and connection. Meet your audience halfway, and they will assist you in optimizing your ideal strategy.

Aim For the Goal

Setting measurable and attainable goals and objectives will ease the creative process and allow for more efficient work completion. Once each directive is completed, the sense of accomplishment will hone your overall focus and propel you toward the finish line. A complete set of goals takes into consideration the user goals as well as usability goals. While users explore your site, the former goals focus on what they have come to achieve while interacting with your brand. The latter measures those users’ ability to accomplish tasks on your site, indicating whether it is effective and satisfying to your users – the best user experience possible.

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