How to Reverse Engineer your Website Before You Even Design It

How to Reverse Engineer your Website Before You Even Design It

Reverse engineering your website before you start to design

When it’s time to design your website, you may think you need to either start from scratch or use a competitor’s website for inspiration. But you may not realize there’s a third option: reverse engineering your website before you design it. This helpful technique will highlight the questions you need answered, the problem areas you need to address, and the basic functionality you need to hit the ground running. Here are just a few of the important things you can discover through reverse engineering.

Essential functionality. In today’s fast-paced world of development and deployment, it may be in your best interests to get a simple website out the door fast. Reverse engineering will help you do that. Start with an idea of the final version of your website, and then work backwards to see what components are needed. Will customers come to your site to shop for items and make purchases? Then you’ll need a shopping cart implementation with payment processing options. You’ll also need to capture state information to track what items are saved between site visits. Are you storing information about your customers? Then you’ll need a workflow for creating a login and password, along with database integration to keep track of customer account and order information.

Nice-to-have features. Reverse engineering will not only uncover the most necessary functions of your site, but will also highlight some nice-to-have features. For example, you might find that customers absolutely need a “Contact Us” page. But wouldn’t it be nice if there was a live chat option as well? Or maybe your site needs to communicate important dates to users. Rather than a static list of events, you might decide a dynamic calendar is needed.

Reverse engineering can help you design your website more quickly and efficiently because you know exactly how you want your site to finally look and behave. Contact us if you’d like to learn more about using this technique on your next project.

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