Upgrading your website: Documenting Site Features

Post by Heather H Picture of Heather H
Ixis Service
Reading time 4 mins clock

We've created a feature list for you as a starting point to which features your website needs. Get it delivered straight to your inbox from our website.

You’re well on our way to upgrading your website. We’ve figured out your SMART website goals, your main user groups and you’ve written your user stories.

So now it’s time to start thinking about what features you want for your new website. At this stage, we’re looking to capture high-level functional requirements you expect from any future web platform.

Sticky notes on a board by Daria Nepriakhina on Unsplash

A Group Effort

Upgrading your website and the features on there will affect your whole team’s goals and the visitors coming to your website. Your site feature list will be formed from the user stories created in the previous step which should have included all areas of your business. 

Once you have your feature list, if you’re not sure on how to prioritise them, it may be helpful to get your colleagues to vote on the most important elements in their respective areas. 

Be mindful of who you’re asking to vote on which area of the list. You wouldn’t have your IT team voting on your customer management. Similarly, you wouldn’t have your marketing team voting on the server or email configuration features.  

Gathering different inputs from different people will give you a broader picture to the scale of change needed. Your team can highlight issues or ways to simplify tasks that are important to their role. 

When someone has had to find a workaround to a problem that affects their day to day tasks, it isn’t something they’ll broadcast every time it happens - you may not even know about it yet. 

They’ll silently grumble at the website not being fit for purpose often muttering words such a ‘stupid’ or ‘piece of junk’ under their breath.

By giving them the opportunity to input into the feature list, you’ll learn more about everyone’s pain points of your current site and what needs improving to make your website easier to maintain, manage and use.

Highlighter and notebook by Estee Janssens on Unsplash

The 5Ws...

Asking who; what; why; when and where is an important element of your site features as this will determine how the feature needs to be adapted.

Keeping the customer or website visitor at the forefront of your mind when you're creating a feature is essential because this is who will be using your website and bringing in the money. 

Having a customer advocate is always useful, someone who knows your customers and their personas. Your advocate will probably have worked closely on identifying the main users and creating user stories from the customer's point of view.

Any new launch would be doomed to fail without research, so you wouldn’t make a website without knowing who the feature will affect. Make sure you know who a feature is for and why it’s made the list.

Post it note and list by Marten Bjork on Unsplash

Creating your list

We’ve created an initial list of common site features we find most websites require. This list is by no means exhaustive and some elements may not be relevant to your business (We’ve included some eCommerce features too!). This is a great starting list that you can tailor to your business from the information you’ve gained from your user stories. 

You can get our feature list delivered straight to your inbox by completing our sign up form

We spoke to some of the development team here at Ixis and they came back with some great alternative ideas that may help you prioritise features. Just be mindful that this type of input will take more time and may not work best if you’re on a tight schedule.

"We tell the clients to take a post-it note each, write down their role, what they would benefit from as a feature on the new site, and what this would enable them to do. If not inhouse, then find people who frequently use the site and would be a reliable source. 

From these, we then sort the notes into categories and see what ideas are coming up time and time again. These are then your most desired features and probably the most important to become an easier website to manage and use."

By sorting through the feedback forms, whether there’s ten or ten thousand, you’ll be able to see what’s the most important thing to your users!

"We’d then present back what we found, the most important or asked for features would be of high priority and we’d put a plan together as to what we think would be best to action first."

post it notes screwed up on desk by Ferenc Horvath on Unsplash

When you start your website upgrade journey, it can seem daunting. The pressure can be a lot and finding where to even start is difficult! Whatever way you procrastinate, there’s no need to fear a website upgrade anymore! 

We’ve covered how to identify user groups and write user stories on our blog page and our new podcast series which you can find on Spotify, Google Podcast and Anchor

Still not so sure where to go next or on a tight schedule to get your website upgraded? Give us a call or send us an email.

Receive our feature list straight to your inbox and speed up the process by signing up below.

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