You may think that a quick redesign will fix all of your website woes, but things aren’t that simple. At Connect, we’ve build hundreds of websites, and learned a lot along the way.
Source the issue, then redesign
A redesign will undoubtedly look good, but you need to get your priorities straight first. Every design should have a clear goal or a problem to solve. If your website was built 10 years ago, then wear and tear could be a valid problem. If your conversion rate has taken a serious tumble, that’s a valid problem too.
Here’s a handful of examples that should lead you to seriously consider building a new website:
1. A lack of flexibility
This is a big one and it’s often misinterpreted. It’s important that design moves things forward, rather than getting in the way. Strong design speeds up decision making, allows you to experiment, and is easy to maintain and update. It should be flexible, but also have set rules and limitations in place. Technology and visuals should work together, not against one another.
Avoid thinking about features, instead spend time thinking about systems.
2. The tech train left without you
So, responsive design has passed you by up to now, you may even think it’s just a buzzword that will fade away soon enough.
We have to be honest with you: change happens, sometimes really, really quickly. We all make mistakes and a redesign is a great opportunity to improve much more than just the visual side of things.
Why should you consider a responsive redesign?
By improving load speeds and making your page accessible to every possible user and device, you’ll not only improve conversions, but also rank higher on search engine results pages. Google’s algorithms reward mobile-friendly pages, and soon speed will influence your position as well, so there’s really no time like the present to board the responsive design train.
3. Your product or service has changed
A major update, a new headline product – both of these ask for a new design. It’s possible that your biggest change is simply your message. Make sure the tone and look of your website send the same message as your product and marketing does. Otherwise you can end up attracting the wrong audience to the right product.
4. It’s been a while
We hear this one a lot, and it does happen: you’re busy building a name for yourself and by the time you turn around, a few years have passed. It’s good to let your audience know that you’re still out there. Following or even setting trends in this case is a great way of sending a message to your audience so they know that you care about them and the quality of your service.
5. Push past your competitors
There are times when you can benefit from standing out from the crowd, and there are times when you’re better off blending in. If you’re just starting out, following the market leaders can send a message that you are serious about your business. Users cling to patterns, so there’s nothing wrong with emulating competitor design. But then again, standing out sends a message that you are different.
There is no formula here. Instead, look at what’s been set and build upon it.
Design can set you apart from your competition, but don’t be afraid to use patterns users are comfortable with. We’re creatures of comfort, and sometimes it’s not worth rocking the boat.
When a redesign isn’t the solution
- “My website performs great, I’m going to change things up!” NO. If it’s not broke, don’t try and fix it.
- “One of our biggest competitors has just launched a new website, we need to get in on the action!” Instead of blindly following competitors, look deeper – what are the reasons behind their redesign? What problem are they solving? Do you even have the same problem?
- “A sparkly new design will make people talk about us!” Yes, on the surface this could work. You only have to take a look at Airbnb or Instagram – people love to talk about their redesigns. But they have millions of users who are invested in the service they offer. Start with baby steps: nail the visuals, get the message in place and build a solid user base, only then should you worry about provocative updates.
Wrapping things up
Whatever the reason for redesigning your website, keep in mind that the process can take time. You need to define any problems, find a solution, make assured decisions, measure results, and fix any mistakes. That may sound like a lot, but it’s worth it in the end.