The thought of redesigning and revamping a website can be scary for most web designers. The thought of all the work and effort to design their website all over again can be frightening, more so are the countless review cycles, opinions from numerous stakeholders, comments from site visitors, and other factors to consider and this is enough to drive them crazy.
Revamping your site is a mega-headache, redesign is necessary at one point in the web site’s life cycle. You will need to revamp your site at some point in time, and the sooner, the better. You need to know when it is high time to revamp your site by looking into a few signs.
Sign number 1: The Metrics are Down
Have your metrics gone down over the past few months? Then it may be high time to revamp your site. Metrics are the number one indication that you should redesign your web site. Metrics give you an immediate indication that something needs improvement. To better understand your visitors, you need to speak to them using surveys and usability testing. A face to face conversation with your customers allows you to learn more than simple surveys and questionnaires. Conversations will reveal attitudes towards your website, brand, and overall company image.
Sure, there may be other reasons as to why your metrics are down. Be sure to look into them first and fix any problems you can see. Converse with your users, as only through dynamic conversation will you be able to know if your site needs redesigning, and to what extent. But if the sales, traffic and general user participation of the site are still down, it may be that your web design has ‘disconnected’ with your users.
Image by iamwahid
Sign number 2: Change of Brand Image
Changes in your brand image or company image may require changes to be implemented and reflected on your website. Update your logos as soon as possible, to be in tune with the shift of image or branding. Remember that the website is like the face of the company, where people get their first impressions and make assumptions.
Even if you’re not, establish yourself as the industry leader and adopt new technology and introduce innovative aesthetics to the site. Always provide relevant content to your audience.
Sign number 3: Your web site just looks tired.
Websites are like fashion trends–they can get old. What was really cool a few years ago can now look cliché and old. For example, 3D buttons and interfaces were so cool a while back, then beveled and embossed styles were all the rage. Flash intro pages were popular at one time, and most users enjoyed it. But soon web users got tired of it and wanted to skip and go straight to the content. Flash introductions were great then, but now they look old and pointless.
Thing is, what was new and innovative a few years ago will start to look tired soon enough. Nowadays, the shelf life of the site’s aesthetic is only one year. If it has been more than a year since your last revamping, it’s time to do it now.
So if your website looks old and tired, it’s time for a makeover. Aesthetics eventually evolve, and an old design can destroy a company’s whole image. A fresh and new design will refresh your loyal users’ experience, and at the same time attract new ones. Your focus on revamping the site is to keep your brand image fresh.
Other Questions to Ask
From the perspective of the web user or customer, ask yourself the following questions:
- Does the website give me a favorable user experience?
- Is the website entertaining and interactive?
- Can I navigate through most of the web content within three clicks?
- Can the web users get an idea of the company’s branding and image through the web design aesthetic?
- What are the drawbacks and weaknesses of the site?
- Would you return to the website often–and for what reasons?
Provide relevant content on your website. Be sure that when people come to your website, they get what they’ve come for–information, education, and maybe some entertainment and interaction. Avoid unnecessary elements such as flash intros and annoying banner ads. The web site should be easy to navigate with a user-friendly interface.
Educate and entertain to keep your visitors coming back again and again. Always have new and fresh content on your web site. And, provide information with blogs, articles and pictures. Be sure your web site is searchable by increasing your SEO. Nowadays, content is king, so build on relevant content related to the company’s product and industry.
In the end, the web site you made should be something that you’re proud of. It is the online storefront to the company or business. It is where your current and potential customers go to seek information, and engage in a relationship with your business. For you to survive, you must constantly adapt and go with the flow of the most recent technological and aesthetic trends. Invest in being up-to-date rather than being safe all the time. Ride the wave!