As part of our discovery process for a website redesign project, we seek to meet with diﬀerent groups of university stakeholders. The goal of these discussions is not primarily to solicit opinions and preferences about the website (though they certainly are discussed), but instead to get a sense of your mission, goals, audiences, user needs, brand, community, diﬀerentiators, challenges, and opportunities, both at an organizational and oﬃce/department level. In addition, by surfacing redundancies across website processes, we can identify opportunities to increase eﬃciency. These sessions also help ensure your internal community is informed about the goals and purview of the project and cultivate buy-in.
The more we understand what you are trying to accomplish as an organization and what characterizes that eﬀort, the more accurately we can gauge your digital needs and the best approach for our work together.
Often before stakeholder interviews, we will create and distribute a stakeholder survey. This helps solicit broad input from speciﬁc audiences and individuals whom we may not reach through stakeholder meetings, in order to surface relevant needs and priorities for the project. The results also help us prepare for stakeholder interviews by giving us a preliminary sense of needs, attitudes, and priorities to guide our discussions. We encourage wide distribution of the survey across your community.
With a survey, we can ensure that a broad cross-section of individuals from across the university have an opportunity to provide input on the project, while establishing quantitative baselines for stakeholder attitudes around the website. We can reﬂect a breadth of internal understanding back to the client, with context and synthesis, while rounding out our understanding of the organization and needs for the web project and thus supporting the development of our overall strategy recommendations.