Website architecture - what information


#1

Hi everyone!

I need to design the architecture of a marketing website for a copmpany that sells Software as a Service. How do I know what information should be included? Where do I look for the information? I know who the potential users are but I don’t know how to find them.


#2

it looks like you need to discuss it with stakeholder or a product manager who is created this task.
You need to detect which information is mainful for their busines and try to define the customers needs. It should helps you to understand the context for existence.

  • Simply you could to find the answer in references of competitors websites
  • Create a personas, try to imagine you as a customer, what is preferences
  • Inerview a friend or colegue or a stranger, who could be a potentional user of their service
  • Create an Experience Map with Users, Goals, Scenarios

#3

I would first of all probably sit with all the stakeholders and ask as many questions as possible. Most probably focusing on the value: which information/services bring the most value to their customers and what is important to them as a business. It would be great to also understand their business model. If you do, the question of what information to include and what information is more/less important will be much easier to answer. It is also important to understand their expectations and purpose of the website. Why are you building it in the first place. Since you are saying “potential users” I am making the assumption that the service they are are selling they are not yet selling, so what you can do is find product that is similar and find your friends/friends of friends, who are using it and question the hell out of them. Hope that helps :slight_smile:


#4

vstarush, thanks for the good hints. I sat with the stakeholders and asked as many questions as I could. The product they are going to sell is still (kind of) beyond my understanding even though I am getting there. So we talked, I learned many things. First of all, my boss does not know where to focus first. And since he is the most informed person, I feel even more lost. Anyways, he asked me to put the content together… as in… write it. Write marketing material for the website. Me… I feel a bit… hmm… not in place to do that. What do you think?


#5

I’d be honest and tell him that. Say that you’re happy to learn (if you are) but that at the moment you don’t feel like you’re the best person for the job and it’s an important one. Ask for support to learn, or ask him to find someone else better qualified to do that.


#6

And you are absolutely right to feel that way.

First of all, in my opinion, it is your job to say “No. The marketing content will come later, now we will focus on…” whatever you feel like focusing. Because you are hired to get the website together and it is your job to pave the way.

Secondly, honestly, it doesn’t sound like this will be a “satisfied customer, great job” kind of story in the end. But it sounds like an opportunity to learn to make your customer think through what he/she did not plan to think through :wink: In this situation I would probably continue with even more questions. Cause I need that information to do my job, and they are the only source I can get that information from. So I would probably most of the time start just answering with questions to make them think and tell me everything I need to know.

For example:
Boss: "Put the marketing material together."
You: "So what do we market?"
Boss: "Well, product A"
You: "What do you want people to know about it?"
Boss: "Well that it is good?"
You: “In what way? What is the competitor advantage? Do you have patents? Why should people choose you?”

Once you start getting key information flowing in, you’ll be able to at least plan out the architecture of the website and go from that.

Another option is to spend an hour, gather different websites as references, come to your boss, offer these options, analyze the feedback and maybe come not from the side of “what he needs”, but rather from “what he doesn’t need”.

Hope it helps :slight_smile:


#7

That helps a lot! A ton even! Thank you!

As I said in some other thread when I was told to quit the job… this IS a great learning opportunity, starting from a difficult stakeholder to a complicated design process. For whatever reason, each clash with my boss leaves me… even though it’s a road through hell… better informed, stronger and more confident.


#8

Make sure that you keep getting that end result. It can be hard for passionate people to let go of things if they need to. Your passion shines through. Be good and kind to yourself.


#9

Thank you <3


#10

Blockquote First of all, my boss does not know where to focus first. And since he is the most informed person, I feel even more lost. Anyways, he asked me to put the content together… as in… write it. Write marketing material for the website.

It really depends on who the audience is. One way to look at your lack of product knowledge is as an opportunity.

If your audience is people who know nothing about your company’s products then the content on the site needs to be written in a way that will help them understand what your company offers.

It’s always a bit dangerous to substitute yourself for your users (yes, always), but if you’re careful about it doing so can be a tool to help move your subject matter experts who know the product with their eyes closed.

Or, as I sometimes like to say: “That’s very nice, now explain this to my 75 year-old mother.” :wink:

One resource that might help you with organizing the content as a whole, which is what you asked about in your original post, is Abby Covert’s “How to Make Sense of Any Mess” (ISBN: 978-1500615-994). It’s a quick read but packed with useful, practical tips.

Cheers,
Anne


#11

Or, as I sometimes like to say: “That’s very nice, now explain this to my 75 year-old mother.” :wink:

Haha this is a good one!

Abby Covert’s “How to Make Sense of Any Mess”

Thank you for the recommendation. I will definitely read it. The book’s title sounds like it should be my bible :wink: