We will often revisit the basics when we first start to work with a client. Inevitably, even foundational facts such as ‘who is on our site’ wind up being different from the prevailing internal assumptions.
Of course, when you have the most foundational assumptions wrong, everything built on top winds up being suboptimal. For example, if you think that your site is mostly made up of trade/business visitors but it’s actually mostly consumers, then you will inevitably be creating a suboptimal experience for the bulk of your users.
Because we now have the benefit of learning and validating quickly, we’ll often suggest that clients initially take a step back to get a lay of the land:
— Who is using your site/app/email? In what proportions?
— What are they trying to do? In what proportions?
— Were they able to do so? If not, why not?
This lays the reality-based foundation for which to continue building upon.