A web redesign refers to the process of changing the appearance and structure of your website so that your audience has an improved experience when they visit you online.
On the surface, this seems like primarily an aesthetic process, and in many ways it is. After all, the look, branding and visual elements of your website are key to its design.
However, good quality web design needs to go much further than this.
When you redesign your website, you also need to keep the practical elements of its functionality and its capabilities in mind. Yes, the website needs to look great, but it also needs to provide everything that your audience members need from you and your business.
If you are considering a new website design for your business, read on to learn more. We are going to be taking a look at how to approach and plan your web redesign project.
Why does a website need a redesign?
There are many reasons why your website might need to be redesigned. These include:
- You have rebranded and you need your website to reflect this.
- You are losing customers at key points during the lead nurturing process.
- You are worried that your audience is not engaging with your brand and identity.
- You think the user experience is not as positive as it could be.
- You want to add new functionality to your website.
- Your data resources have grown, and you want your website to reflect your new understanding of your customer.
All of these factors may necessitate a change in your online presence, leading to a re-design.
How to approach your web redesign project
You need to ensure that the results you receive match your expectations of a high-quality web design. This means you need to approach your project in the right way, taking the right steps to plan and strategise the entire process. With this in mind, what are the key elements you need to consider as you start the process of web redesign?
Make sure your web redesign strategy is complete
While web redesign is certainly an exciting process and one that opens a lot of doors to possibilities in the future, you need to be methodical and careful in how you go about this. The project needs a strategy that covers every possible aspect of the project. Consider:
- How much budget do you want to set aside for this project?
- What is your desired timeframe for the project?
- What is your long-term goal for the project? What incremental milestones will help you reach this?
- Which team members do you need to work on this project, and how will you cover their other tasks while their attention is diverted?
- What is your contingency plan for downtime, or how will you minimise this downtime?
- How does the website redesign fit into your website strategy?
- How are you going to achieve brand consistency with the new design?
- Which metrics are you going to use to measure success?
Assess your current website and its needs
Your current website needs to be your starting point when you approach your redesign. Yes, you are looking to build something completely new and exciting, but you need a base foundation upon which to build. To begin, assess and appraise your current website.
Do this by looking at the following points:
- How is your website supporting conversions? Is your conversion rate currently a good one?
- What qualitative data do you have regarding your website? What are your users saying about your website and its performance?
- How are your users navigating your website? Are there key pieces of content, areas of functionality, or products that they are missing?
- What does the user journey look like after conversion? Are customers connecting with other products that could benefit them, or are they simply making one-off purchases?
- How does your current design reflect your branding? Is your design properly communicating to customers who you are as a company?
- How is your page performing in terms of loading times and responsiveness? Do you need a more streamlined page to accelerate this?
- How are your customers accessing your website? Is your current website structure directing customers to where they need to be after this access?
When examining your website, you may find that it is currently performing better than you had initially thought. On the other hand, you may find that the site’s current design is really below par and not at all suitable for what you need as an organisation. Don’t worry too much about which camp you end up in. If your site is doing well, it doesn’t mean you need to scrap your re-design project; if your site is performing abysmally, it doesn’t mean you need to can it and start over. In fact, both of these situations can be beneficial.
Why? Because assessing your current website is just the first step. Understanding how your website is doing currently helps you to identify changes that can be made in the future as you strive to achieve an industry-leading web presence. Draw upon the data you receive as you assess and appraise your website and feed this back into your redesign. Setting benchmarks like this will also help you to directly measure your progress and your return on investment.
Decide on testing and launch procedures
As you begin to think about your redesign, the phases of testing and launch may seem very far away. However, you need to know how you will conduct these phases when they do come around. Remember, a robust plan is a comprehensive plan, so these elements must be included.
Let’s start with testing. We’ve already discussed how you need to assess your current website performance and set some benchmarks for improvement. These benchmarks will help you understand which metrics you need to use for testing. You’re also going to need software solutions in place to gather the data you will need for testing, so make sure your content management platform and web analytics solutions are capable of handling this.
Qualitative data is also important here. Engage with your customers and ask them to tell you what they think about specific elements of the redesign. The process of redesigning is an ongoing one, and this feedback will help you plan the next phase of development.
You also need to plan your launch carefully. Perhaps you want to promote this launch in advance. So, you need to decide how you will do this — which aspects of the new design do you want to draw attention to? You also need to decide how you will minimise any downtime that may come during the switch over from the old website to the new one, and how you will support users as they navigate the new setup.
Prepare for a great website redesign project
With the right preparations in place, you are well on your way to achieving positive results from your web design project. Working with a leading website design agency can help businesses get more from their redesigns. Reach out to the team to get started.