Requirements Analysis – a Critical First Step in Web Site Design
Posted by Sandeep Sharma
Whether it’s a brand new website design or an existing website restructuring process, requirement analysis is a critical first step. It implies to website designer, web consultant or a business owner and true for web design as well mobile application design.
Instead of running directly to any creative web design agency or your in-house team of web designers and start designing process immediately, a brief discussion and requirement analysis is evident. If you are going for a website redesigning it is very important that you do some research, take user feedback, analyse google analytics for user behavior note down different findings, it will help you with a search engine optimization friendly web design.
If it’s a new website, then it is important that aim of website, target market and theme of the website is well defined. Competitor websites should be analysed and findings should be categorized and then a requirement sheet should be prepared. Poor planning costs time, money and efforts at later stage. Website design agencies should always have initial set of design questionnaire, when discussing a new website with a client.
Advantages of requirement analysis:
Clear defined picture
With a good requirement analysis, we can have set of business goals, user needs as well SEO needs. After initial requirement analysis, a conceptual wireframe can be presented to decision makers, this helps in initial review of user experience. After brief feedback on conceptual wireframe & discussing wants and needs a designer or web design agency will be in a better position to produce a business web design that improves user experience.
Analysis process less or more can be inherited in these steps:
- Initial discussion with the client and collecting requirement
- Structuring requirement into different categories
- Negotiating priorities, highlights, colour essentials
- Evaluating requirements against established criteria, re-structuring requirement.
- Conceptual design
- Brainstorming conceptual designs with the client/decision makers.
- Making requirement changes in structure and moving ahead with the final design process.
Reduction in Iterations
Last minute change is the biggest nightmare a website designer or web agency can face, it has many times effected scheduling and overall output of this whole design or redesign process. A good requirement analysis with initial conceptual design defines the process clearly and reduces iterations and last minute changes to a good extent.
Less Future Trouble
Nothing is permanent including the team, that’s why website requirement analysis proves to be a great help if there is sudden change in team, as the everything is well documented and analysed, everyone involved in the process has a clear understanding of the requirement, hence if in any case team changes either at agency level or client level, documentation helps a lot and minimizes the trouble in getting the website done.
During the design process you should always trace different elements and client suggestions with initial requirement. It avoids future problem as everything goes as per the requirement.
There is no fixed defined approach to a good requirement analysis and it depends on the product size and client. However the most important part is that in any case there should be a clear understanding of the requirements before a design process is started.
A good requirement process helps in
- Saving cost by reducing the no. of iterations
- Reduction of team conflicts and issues as everything is documented.
- Team productivity gets better.
- Development cycle is smooth and targeted.
- Lesser bugs
Requirement Analysis and Responsive Web Design
Requirement analysis has become more important with responsive designs. Responsive website designing is not only getting a website well fitted with all the screen sizes but more important is providing right information to a user irrespective of what device or screen size is being used. With a good requirement analysis, everyone is clear of core areas of a website, it helps in structuring good responsive website.