One of the key steps we take in the discovery phase of our analysis is to review and evaluate any piece of data we can get our hands on. Usually the data supports our already festering viewpoints on the prospect or client issue, but sometimes it guides us toward a more refined viewpoint of an issue.

Design data and content data are big components of our discovery phase. How the content is displayed—whether it is a more modern aesthetic, responsive to smaller and larger device screens, supportive of the brand’s key messaging—and what makes up the actual content are typically major factors in uncovering the issue.

Data will also tell us if functionality is operating properly. Items such as site search, shopping carts and product features must act quickly and efficiently to keep users engaged. Functionality failures frustrate users and give them reason to try a different brand.

Be wary of a web company that sells you online products or services without explaining why you need them. A client should be able to ask questions around real data and facts and the web solutions provider should be able to intelligently explain the recommended solution.