To redesign or not to redesign that is the question!
No it’s not! The most important question to ask is why you think you need to have a redesign in the first place.
I’m not saying that websites shouldn’t be the subject of a full redesign, if really necessary, but sometimes when the question is answered it turns out that what might be required is less drastic.
Full website redesign not always the best approach
I’m currently working on two projects, one of which is a complete redesign whilst the other is more of an update and a refocusing of existing content and processes to maximise conversions which turned out to be the answer to the above initial question.
The main problem is that some see a new design as a panacea for some other ill that could be addressed with the current design through identifying the areas that are not performing as well or as intended.
This assumes, of course, that proper goals and objectives were properly set before the first design. And, you have the analytics data to hand as the basis for any future development and comparison.
You only have to look at the development of Amazon since its launch.
It looks entirely different but the changes have been made in an evolutionary way with small incremental changes made along the way and tested for effectiveness at each stage/change see Amazon – Progessive and incremental changes for higher conversion.
There is some evidence to suggest that visitors don’t always appreciate their existing experience and expectations to be completely turned upside down. It might not always be the best option for a full and radical design change to achieve the outcomes required.
But if a redesign is necessary…
The reason for the redesign is that the existing site is dated in terms of look, feel and functionality. Nothing had been really done since it first launched almost 10 years ago to the day, on 14 June 2001.
Had a similar approach been taken, as with Amazon, with continuous, small and incremental changes and updates made along the way things might be a lot different but they weren’t.
However, most of the content can be repurposed with the necessary updates and additions made to the product information and specifications together with new content added to complement what existing search visibility it has built up.
It does have the benefit of being in a relatively specialist product niche so has some search visibility and the benefit of 10 years domain age.
The main benefit of the redesign and conversion to a CMS platform will be the ease of maintenance, addition of new and relevant content and the ability to focus on the main and primary function of attracting better qualified leads and converting them into long-term users, clients and customers.
Design, form or function
You might have noticed I’ve specifically played down the aethetic considerations in favour of the more functional but that is not to dismiss how it looks from a design perspective.
But, during a website design webinar, Hubspot found that, 76% of consumers say the most important factor in a website’s design is “it makes it easy for me to find what I want” with only 10% saying that what was important was “the website had a beautiful appearance“.
Any new or redesign needs to create that all important first impression but the most important thing is not to let the aethetics get in the way of both the purpose of the site and its useability from the visitors point-of-view.
Find out if you need a redesign or just a pointer in the right direction! Get a Free Web Site Analysis and find out!
In the end it is the visitors you attract and the experience they get that makes for its success or failure.