Monday, April 27, 2009

What about online: 10 answers to question

You might be at a restaurant with the client...or an office gathered 'round a speaker phone. Sometimes it will be part of the meeting agenda...maybe even the whole agenda...other times, it strikes out of nowhere, an ad hoc query or a thoughtful question to stimulate action...'it' is the question..."what about online?"

What about it?

"Oh", you might think, they must mean social media...or they mean a corporate website, or an email campaign...or a rich media Twitooglespacebook widget. 

But what does a client or colleague really mean with a question like that (or one of its various, um, varieties)? Regardless of the time or place, the ambiguity or clarity of the conversation's context (or that of the inquisitor), here's 10 simple questions that can help get us from "What" to "Why" to "How"...they shouldn't be the last questions you'll ask, but they are a reasonable place to start the conversation...

  1. Who are the people you have in mind to use this? (i.e., numbers, occupation, education, location/region, other demographics, behavior and their attitudes as possible). 
  2. What specific actions do you want the people in Q1 to accomplish (e.g., find information, complete a transaction, etc.)? 
  3. Why do you believe the people in Q1 will take the action in Q2 (i.e., why will they find it useful and what will make it desirable)?
  4. What are key obstacles to people successfully completing the action now or in the future? (e.g., what makes the experience usable/unusable).
  5. What expectations are there for the amount of time a person will spend taking the actions in Q2? (i.e., the frequency of their visits, the duration of visits)?
  6. What measurable business goals does the project support (e.g., gain subscribers, solicit feedback/contacts, #leads generated, $ sold)?
  7. What are the expectations for content and what are the anticipated sources of content (e.g., visitor-generated, in-house, stock)
  8. What are the expectations about end user, development, and production technology environments (i.e., web hosting services, browsers, operating systems, email)? 
  9. Who are key stakeholders and decision makers in your organization (for this project) and what review and approval protocols are anticipated? 
  10. What other assumptions (e.g., Budget, Schedule, Maintenance, Upgrades) exist about the project and what are the risks associated with its failure?
With a little or a lot of detail, the answers to these questions have the benefit of being testable see what those people identified in question 1 say as their actions answer the questions for themselves.  

No comments:

Post a Comment