Starting construction without a proper blueprint is never a good idea, whether you are constructing a building or setting up a new website. One of our oldest clients, the province of Antwerp, is making plans for a new website. Perfect timing to do the groundwork for a blueprint: a thorough needs analysis to find out what is expected from this new provincial site.
The best way to prepare the set-up of a website that meets the expectations of its future owners and users is to conduct a needs analysis. In practice, this means that we do extensive desk research by collecting and summarizing all existing material on the current website. We do a benchmark and evaluate other provincial and governmental sites for best practices. We organize interviews with all stakeholders: provincial delegates, heads of marketing and public relations, heads of departments and the provincial registrar. Finally, we host several workshops with the web team and the future content owners.
This gives us ample inspiration to write an analysis report in which we provide answers to these questions: Which lessons were learned from the previous website? What does the province aim to accomplish with the new site? Which types of information should the new site offer its users? Which functionalities should be developed? Which ‘provincial brands’ will have their own website? Etc.
The answers to those questions, and more, are formulated in a coherent vision on the future website for the province. This vision document can now serve as a starting point to define the new website, both in form and content.