When gathering requirements from a client for a new website, it is essential to take the right steps in order to save yourself time and frustration later on in the project. The step I am covering in this article is creating an agenda before your meeting. There are many ways to create your agenda, so I highly recommend fine-tuning yours to your own style of requirements gathering, and to the project that you are undertaking.
Once you've set the agenda for your meeting, check out our requirements gathering form to bring to the meeting!
Your agenda can actually be a document to expand upon to become a project outline, and even a base for your functional, business, or design documents. When setting up a meeting for your requirements gathering session, I highly recommend sending your client a calendar appointment as a reminder and an indication of how much time they should expect to be in the meeting. Also send the agenda in the invitation (or in a separate e-mail), so that your client can prepare for the meeting as well; hopefully this will make for a much more efficient process.
Here is an example agenda for a website re-design project, which is broken up into 3 different sessions. Depending on the size of your client and the project, this outline can be expanded upon or consolidated.
Session 1 – Kickoff/Overview (1 Hour)
- Requirements / Goal
- Explanation of Technologies
Session 2 – Design (3 Hours)
- Review template examples
- Color Schemes
- Design mock-ups
- Font styles
- Website Dimensions / Size
- Navigation style
- Additional pages requested
- Layout consistency
- Content feeds
- Content/image sliders and rotators
- Animation type
- Layout – which pages, location
- Mobile site
- Mobile Menu
- Image & content scaling
Session 3 – Content and SEO (2 Hours)
- Reuse content or new?
- Explanation of SEO
- .Company profile
- Targeted keywords
Note: This agenda was tailored to the client’s need based on previous conversations, and was after I had already established who the decision makers would be, and who would be my point of contact for each subject matter.
I typically perform some preparation before the requirements gathering sessions. In preparation for this project, I setup three different templates and imported content and images from their existing website's home page. I also setup different modules to showcase different types of image/content sliders. It is recommended to bring some materials to your meeting, such as font samples, keyword analysis based on their industry, and a color palette.
During the meeting, make sure you take notes on everything discussed. After the meeting, you can then send a document containing an overview of the requirements decided upon, so that the client may review and approve them. You can then utilize the overview to create a functional, system, or business requirements document based on the information gathered.