Your corporate website is your brand’s face on the internet. It must not only offer a bright and likeable first impression but also engage and address the unique needs of each of your user groups. The current digital landscape, characterised by fast-changing technologies, user preferences, and design aesthetics, means that even websites that were the best of the best a few years ago can quickly fall out of favour. So no matter how pretty it looks right now, your website will need an upgrade eventually.
Even then, a website redesign is a significant project – one that requires thoughtfulness and careful strategy. In this article, we’ll be addressing the when, why, and how of a business website redesign.
When should you redesign your website?
First off, the most critical question you should consider before getting started on a website redesign project is; why am I doing this? To help you answer this question, here are the most obvious signs your website needs to be redone;
The site isn’t generating sales or leads
There can be a variety of reasons for a decline in website performance – these may range from poor marketing to changing trends in your industry. However, if the volume of traffic your site receives isn’t declining, but conversion rates are falling, then a new website design may be the only solution.
Clients complain the website isn’t user-friendly
No matter how much work goes into your initial design, likely, there will always be a small group of users who complain it’s hard to use. A sharp increase in user complaints, however, would indicate usability problems with your website. Keep user feedback in mind as you go through the website redesign process
The site looks outdated compared to your competitors
It can be difficult to find flaws in a website that you created or interact with on a day-to-day basis. What this means is that company employees are often the last to realise a website’s visual aesthetics have fallen behind
To check whether your site is current, try comparing its performance and visual appeal to others in your industry. Also, compare it to one of your favourite sites, even if it’s totally unrelated to your industry. What is it about the website that you find most enjoyable? How can you add those elements to your own website to make it more efficient and visually appealing?
The best approach to web design
To achieve the best results with your redesign project, you should invest in a formal strategy and discovery phase. To be as thorough as possible while you do it;
- Identify the biggest problems with your outstanding site; Start by looking for the aspects of your current website that do not satisfy your target user groups, and use them as the foundation for your new website. After all, these are the issues it needs to solve.
- Familiarise yourself with consumer intent; do you understand which types of people visit your website, and what they do once they’re there? Different kinds of people will approach your site with varying objectives in mind. You need to gain a firm understanding of these objectives before you implement any changes.
- Create a set of objectives and targets for the redesigned site; to measure the success of your redesign, start the project with a list of goals that the key stakeholders agree to. These deliverables should guide the design of the new site.
- Assess your competition: Although it’s not wise to build your efforts entirely on what other people are doing, competitor analysis is vital to a successful redesign. It may reveal insights that you missed in your own strategy
Tackle the project in phases. As opposed to taking the whole redesign process as a single event from idea to project launch, handle it a step at a time. Step one should be discovery, study, and strategy. Step two should involve user experience design and wireframing, based on the findings from phase one.
This way, step 2 will build on step one, step 3 on step 2, and so on. This approach will enable you to make adjustments throughout the redesign process.
Measure, test, and improve. Do not let the hard work that went into redesign go to waste – track and measure the results of your project. Improve your site’s performance by running continuous conversion rate optimisation tests after the redesigned website has been launched.
Inspiring website redesign examples
Rev.com, an online captions and transcriptions service, went for a complete redesign to achieve a more modern, professional look. The old appearance was behind the times. The primary user interface element was a three-card carousel that showed the company’s value propositions; service and quality. Carousels are problematic. Users ignore them because they often don’t know they are navigable elements. The site’s redesign abandoned the carousel and retro-style graphics for a clean, modern look with subtle animations and organic shapes. These elements reinforce the site’s call to action.
In one of the most successful redesign projects of 2018, mail chimp, a marketing platform, redesigned their website with a beautiful, new serif typeface and a redesigned logo. Mail chimp’s new look is fresh and exciting. Another thing that’s great about it is that it retains some similarity to the old website, so it remained instantly recognizable.
Remember, since the internet is in a state of constant change, periodic redesigns are crucial for brand visibility. Yes, like a work of art, websites are never truly complete – they need continuous improvement. However, such projects should not be underestimated because they need lots of planning, time, and patience to succeed. Always handle website redesign with a clear project plan and clearly defined objectives. This way, you’ll keep the entire team focused.