Research & Information Architecture
Before a contract is ever signed, the guys at OnWired start doing their homework. First off, potential clients are asked to complete a short survey outlining the project. Once we have that, we schedule a needs analysis meeting. We come to your office — or you come to ours — and we listen to you talk. Seriously, we don’t send sales reps who are trying to push “value–added solutions” or anything like that. The guys who will actually be doing the work sit down and talk with you firsthand about your project. We will ask a few questions and we’ll probably toss out a few ideas, but our main goal is just to sit and listen. As you can imagine, it’s pretty difficult to give you an accurate cost estimate if we aren’t really sure what you want to do, so we do our best to get all the details from you. Then we go brainstorm. We take a long, hard look at what will be required to make your vision a reality, and we come back to you with a proposal.
Once the contract is signed, there is still a lot of homework to do. The team at OnWired compiles a list of all of the content and functionality that you want the site to have, because we can’t really design a site when we don’t know what it will contain.
Then, we do a good bit of competitive analysis. We look at the sites of other companies you identify as your competitors, and we look at others that you probably didn’t think of, just to make sure we aren’t missing anything important. Sometimes that analysis confirms what we’re already thinking, and sometimes we start to see a few trends that you may not have considered. If we need to rethink anything, this is the perfect time to do that.
Once we’ve developed a list of specifications, we create a simple site map showing the overall site hierarchy. If the site has any complex functionality, and especially if we’re building a custom application, we will also create charts that show how users flow through various paths on the site — things like registering for accounts, updating profiles, checking out, etc. We have to know what the site will do before we even think about how it will look.