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Writing an RFP Based On Real Site Strategy

When Minnesota West needed to submit an RFP for a new website, they turned to Blend to help them determine what that site might look like.


  • Minnesota West Community and Technical College

There are two paths toward finding a team to build you a new website. On the simple side of things, you ask a handful of firms to give you a bid. On the more complex side of things, you find yourself in the Request for Proposal (RFP) process.

The only issue is: how do you know what to ask for?

This is the overall gist of The Web Project Guide, and it surfaced in work we did for Minnesota West Community and Technical College, a group of technical schools within the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system: we were asked to help Minnesota West get a grasp on what they needed for their website, and develop an RFP from which they could solicit a vendor.

For this, Blend worked with Minnesota West through our full strategic design process, including student and faculty interviews, site map testing and recommendations, and a full content model that included detailed and annotated wireframes. From here, we were able to create a detailed RFP that was rooted in actual needs, instead of just a big wishlist of functionality.

The result was a clarified site purpose — and a clarified RFP — that made it easy to navigate a usually difficult process.

Project Results

  • Full research and discovery, including consumer and faculty research to best understand site goals and purpose
  • Site map and content modeling to help the chosen vendor understand site content architecture.
  • An RFP written to satisfy design and functionality within project wireframes, rather than focused on a laundry list of CMS features.

What does strategy include?

The strategy phase of any project is focused on planning for design and development through iterative user-focused consultation. These are the steps we take to save time, energy, and money later on.


  • Discovery and user research
  • Content strategy and design
  • Site message architecture
  • Web style guides and writing guidance


  • Site mapping
  • Content and template modeling
  • Taxonomies and ontologies
  • Wireframes and visual models
  • Technical scoping


  • Annual and quarterly roadmapping
  • Accessibility audits
  • Governance and operations analysis
  • Performance audits
  • Workshops

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