How to plan a website redesign: Main issues to consider when redesigning your website
Your site needs constant changes and upgrades to keep up with latest trends. Things that used to work some time ago are not likely to bring profit now. That is why the time has come to make a decision: what to do with your current site to make it meet the needs of users? The answer is – website redesign.
Although the phenomenon of redesign is not new, it still leaves a lot of questions and misconceptions. Thus, we decided to highlight the issue of website redesign and dwell on what it is, why you need a redesign, when your site needs it and also some basic approaches and principles.
What is website redesign?
Redesign itself means updating, changing and improving something that already exists. Speaking of website redesign, it encompasses such miscellaneous processes as graphics update, template modernization, organising content taking into account continuously changing web design rules and much more.
Redesign may be about changing the frontend only, dealing purely with UI and appearance. Other kinds of redesign deal with the backend part to boost site functionality without changing what users see, or, alternatively, performing some changes due to migration to a new CMS.
The key point about website redesign is obvious usage of the latest technologies. Also, you should keep in mind your users’ experience and visitors’ needs. One more important issue is keeping your corporate identity. Having made things clear, you may wonder why you may need website redesign. Let’s move on!
Reasons to redesign your website
There are several reasons why you should redesign your website. Let’s look at the most popular ones.
Outdated design trends
The first and the main reason for website redesign is outdated design of your website. If the appearance of your website does not meet the needs of today’s users or the functionality falls behind – that is a good sign for changes.
You changed direction
Your site is a representation of who you are and what you’re doing. If you’ve changed your direction or strategy, your website should display it. It’s not just when the company totally alters its primary services. From time to time, your company may shift its main priorities, which should be reflected on your website.
Get more traffic
The very essence of having a website is attracting an audience. The longer users stay on your website, the more actions they perform and the more traffic you get! In this case, you definitely need a redesign to draw your visitors’ attention. Make your site state-of-the-art and always up-to-date.
Be user friendly
This point connects somewhat with the previous one. It means that exploring users’ needs and taking into account UX must be your priority. This also includes simplifying UI so that your visitors are not overloaded with complications. While investigating current trends, you can find out what works and improve usability with redesign!
Absence of responsive design
The topic of responsive design is as old as the hills. Despite this, many site owners still neglect the issue. Being responsive means you can reach every user on any device. Having your site responsive means you appreciate your audience. Otherwise you need your website redesigned.
Improve site SEO
You should know basic On-Page SEO techniques and follow them. While redesigning, recheck and apply the latest technologies to make your site be easily found. It is also a great chance to correct all mistakes. If your site is still packed with cumbersome graphics without alt text, misused HTML tags and irrelevant keywords, redesign is perfect for you. However, you should consider all possible pitfalls to run your redesign smoothly and without harming your current SEO.
Low site conversion
If your site does not bring the conversion you expect, it is a sign you have to change something. It is high time to make a review and decide what prevents your visitors from becoming your clients. Maybe the CTA is misplaced, or a user gets lost in streams of unstructured content. Alternatively, something people are looking for may be hard to find. You know what I’m talking about? So, you need to have your website redesigned.
High bounce rates
This indicator points out the time the person spends on your site. The higher the bounce rate is, the less time is spent on your site. If you have a high bounce rate, your website may have a low search ranking. If a user shuts your site immediately after opening, something may prevent them from performing other actions. Encourage visitors stay on your site longer – redesign it.
It's mobile unfriendly
Having your website mobile friendly (or at least applying responsive web design) is a key requirement. The number of people that surf the Internet via their mobile devices is rising dramatically. To reach everyone, make your website available on any device. If your website is still not adjusted to popular mobile devices as smartphones and tablets – redesign it!
Steps of the website redesign process
In order to run a website redesign painlessly, it is necessary to follow the sequence of stages and not omit anything. Here are the major steps of website redesign:
Review your current state
First of all, run a website performance audit and discover what is wrong with your site. After you’ve found the weak points, analyze pages that bring traffic and good conversion. Think carefully about whether they do need the full redesign or just a few optimizations.
It is not necessary to change everything. You can leave things you like about your site — something special that stands out among your competitors, or something unique that reflects your business.
Take a glance at your competitors
It’s not about being dishonest. Having a fresh glance at what others do may inspire you with new ideas. Don’t steal, but note things you liked and disliked about others. Make conclusions. Don’t repeat the mistakes of others. Keep abreast of the latest trends.
One more useful piece of advice is to compare your site and the sites of your competitors. Learn similarities and differences. Identify what your competitors do you still don’t. Maybe you should?
Decide on strategy
First of all, define your target audience. Do you know the people visiting your site? What do they expect to see there? How about their needs? What are their opinion on your site?
Answer this questions and then agree on who you want to reach through redesigning. Set clear achievable goals, get acquainted with analytics, and gather basic requirements of how your site should look after redesign.
Website redesign itself
Start with a template. Don’t forget about UX and UI. You may apply various design techniques. One of the popular approaches today for you to consider is Data Driven Design. Based on statistics, you can find out what your users need or like and give it to them. Today, it is a powerful tool to use.
One more point to consider is functionality. Simplify. Clarify. Be closer to users. Be usable. Let customers get pleasure from surfing your website and enjoy its performance.
Testing and launching
Test it by yourself. Ask your current clients for help as well, as new people with fresh view. Ensure and reassure everything runs smoothly like a well-oiled mechanism. Check its appearance on all target devices and don’t forget about usability examination. If there’s no issues to correct and the result coincides with expectations – congrats, you’re awesome!
Only after these checks are done should you launch your redesigned website.
Approaches to redesign
Although there is no set list of approaches to website redesign, we’ve distinguished for ourselves the three most popular ones.
Radical Site Redesign
RSR is a well known approach, it is widely spread today and brings several benefits. The appearance of your website does not satisfy either you or your visitors and that is enough to change everything. “I am fed up with old design – I’ll make it different,” you say. According to this approach, the process is creativity-driven.
On the one hand, it is time-consuming as you literally create everything from scratch. On the other hand – you deliver a brand new website that will amaze your visitors!
Evolutionary Site Redesign
ESR approach presupposes continuous improvement. You don’t break everything to create something brand new, but perform some changes gradually, step-by-step. The advantage is that there’s no time gap between redesign cases and there’s no chance for your site to become outdated.
The approach is based on statistical data, unlike RSR. Being user first, applying ESR means you care about how visitors perceive the information presented. Applying A/B/n testing continually helps to determine the direction to move and investigate what people like.
The phased approach
Neither launching a totally new site nor having constant small updates, the phased approach to website redesign includes changing your website iteratively. After launching one part, get testimonials from users. Release the next phase and get more feedback.
The phased approach, as well as ESR, is based on UX and requires neverending testing and statistics. There is a space for improvement and changes after each launched phase taking into consideration feedback given.
Website redesign principles
- Simplicity. The key is making your website easy to understand. Redesign is to help you with it.
- UX/UI. While redesigning, take into consideration statistics, your users’ experience and the users’ interface.
- In vogue. Keep up with the latest graphic design trends on your website.
- Consolidation. Do not complicate things with a huge variety of colors and cumbersome graphics.
All in all, the issue of redesign is quite complicated. We’ve described the main points of why you should perform a redesign, how to do it, its stages, approaches and principles. We do hope that the information given in this article will help you to make a right choice considering your website redesign.
If you’ve already decided to do so and do not know where to start, entrust this task to professional website design company. Contact us for consultations, send us a task and enjoy your brand new redesigned website!