Four Necessary Steps to Take Before A Website Redesign
A website redesign can have a huge impact on your brand and company image. The process can be complex, and it’s usually best to onboard a web design company to ensure everything goes according to plan.
Regardless of how you proceed with a redesign, these four steps can save a lot of time and frustration down the road.
1. Understand the Reason for the Redesign
A brand new website can be a powerful tool for your online presence. A firm grasp of why a redesign is necessary helps create actionable goals that can be shared with your development team.
Here are a few points to consider:
What problems are trying to be solved?
A website redesign can help create a user experience (UX) that optimizes your chief priorities. Determining which problems are a priority to solve gives direction to the design process. Whether it’s slow sales, minimal conversions, or a bad bounce rate, there’s a solution out there once the cause can be identified.
What Needs to be Different?
Without clearly stated goals, it’s possible your website would undergo a refresh, not a redesign. A refresh is the same website structure with updated fonts, images, and minimal UX changes. While that can be a helpful step every few years, it may not solve some of the underlying problems you’ve highlighted.
From tone and color scheme to content strategy and UX modernization, it’s important to be as specific as possible. Selecting potential colors, images and even content goes a long way in communicating your ideas and brand.
2. Create a Realistic Timeline
There’s a lot that goes into a website redesign. From the beginning wireframes to the programming required to make the design possible, it’s not an overnight process. In fact, it’s fairly common for a project to take several months or more, depending on the complexity, size, and security requirements of the site.
It’s important to understand these various requirements and plan accordingly. Managing the expectations of timing on a website redesign project keeps all the necessary stakeholders on the same page.
While creating your timeline, make sure to add in buffer time for various stages of the redesign. Sometimes certain design elements take longer to implement than expected. If everything goes perfectly, there’s nothing wrong with wrapping up a successful project ahead of schedule.
3. Measure Goals and KPIs
A successful website redesign doesn’t stop once the website is launched. Analytics are a key tool in understanding how the new site is performing. These detailed reports can identify if you’re achieving the benchmark goals set out early on in the redesign process.
Here are two actionable ways to use your data metrics:
Strengths and Weaknesses
Top level analysis of the data can determine areas of strength and weakness in your website performance. From bounce rates to uncrawlable pages, these insights help dial in customer profiles, decide what kinds of content to create, and
improve the overall effectiveness of your site.
A/B Test The Important Things
A/B testing is simply creating two versions of the same webpage, showing those to two separate user groups and measuring which page was more effective. This is a huge part of making informed decisions that boost your stats.
So consider trying out a few versions of a homepage, because first impressions are key. What kind of page a user lands on makes a big difference in how they proceed, if they proceed at all.
Then look at how the call to action is a critical part of your website. Whether you’re looking for email signups, donations, or sales, small changes to the copy or even color of the button can make a huge difference in responses.
Finally, images have a powerful effect on the mood they create. Try testing entirely different types of images before narrowing down the most successful pictures and theme.
4. Consider Mobile-First Development
As mobile screens increase their presence worldwide, more and more users are experiencing websites from their handheld devices. While it’s nice to design on wide desktop screens, that’s increasingly no longer the reality of your customers. It’s certainly possible to have both an excellent desktop and mobile website, but not all of the features translate to each other. Here are a few key differences:
Different Information Displayed
What’s visible all at once on a desktop might take a good ten seconds of scrolling to view all of on a mobile. Creating an opportunity to understand navigation while still making all the content available is a different game on mobile, but is necessary to avoid frustrating and losing users.
Totally Unique UX
Hover-over text and responsive images are a great way to highlight interactive portions of a website. On mobile, however, there’s no such way to hover. That’s why it’s important to consider ways to guide a user while integrating modern functionality like short/long taps and hold downs.
Partner With An Agency that Understands You
Taking on a website redesign can seem like a daunting process. While there are a lot of considerations to be made in the process, finding a digital marketing agency can go a long way in making the journey smooth and successful. It’s worth taking the time to find a web design agency that understands your vision, has a track record of success and is excited about helping you achieve your goals.