Jake Intel

Brian Coulombe

The Discovery Phase of the Website Design Process

At Jake Group, we ensure every single website or digital application project is delivered on time, on budget, and exceeds our clients’ needs. A critical element for success is to conduct a “Discovery” meeting at the start of every project. We call this the Discovery Phase of the website design process, and we are eager to share more about that with you here.

This is part one of our four-part series in which we provide a Deep Dive on Discovery. Stay tuned for more. In the coming weeks we’ll cover:

  • How to Conduct an Audience Analysis for your Website
  • Five Tips for a Successful Website Discovery Phase
  • Using Data and Insights to Inform Your Website Redesign

The Discovery Phase and Why It Matters

The discovery phase is about researching and defining the scope of the project. It is not simply identifying the deliverables, such as “I need a shopping cart” or “let’s add a contact form”. The discovery phase provides context for the many decisions that happen daily during the project. It will reduce costly mistakes, misunderstandings, and unnecessary functionality. The digital team will make the right decisions faster and will make a better final solution.

Elements of the Discovery Phase in Web Design

With an understanding of what the Discovery Phase is, here is what is involved and how to approach it. Take a look at the elements of the well-defined process that we follow.

  • Get to know the client’s business and what they believe will define a successful website launch or redesign.
  • Establish goals for the project and for the company to determine how a new website will serve those goals.
  • Discuss the project timeline, milestones, and tasks for both the internal team and the client.
  • Share examples of best-in-class work to gage reactions and subjective preferences.
  • Conduct a detailed interview of the Who, What and Why—who will be visiting the site, what are we building, and why are they there?
  • Identify key metrics for success. How are we going to determine if the site build or redesign is serving the client’s goals? This will also inform what website analytics tracking will need to be in place to provide data on these goals.

To start the process off, we begin with an Audience Analysis to better understand the intended audience group. By understanding your audience, you increase the chances that users will actually convert into customers.

Next Steps

The discovery phase is a critical part of the website design process—just as important as the website design itself or even the engineering. This is the first step in the process and includes research and analysis to investigate how the website can best serve the needs of the business and its customers.

The Jake Group has this process down pat, and we’ve been using it to successfully launch web design projects since 2002. We’d absolutely love to work with you so you can see this process first hand and see the value that it returns for your project.


Interested in learning more? Drop us a line, and get us involved from the start!