Website redesigns – what to think about

Added Monday, April 5th, 2010 at 6:04 pm by

I’ve done a bunch of redesigns lately and It’s been a challenge, to say the least. But I’ve learned a bunch about what not to do when you redesign a website. This is especially important when you are redesigning active and popular websites. If the site has been the same since 1996 and there isn’t much going on, it’s quite easy to redesign, but if it’s a popular site you have to be a little more careful in your redesign. These are some of the things that I have been thinking about during the redesigns, I hope they’ll help you too.

Do not change everything

Hold yourself back, just a little bit. Don’t go crazy right out of the gate. Have you ever heard the cries when facebook changes some really small detail? Now, facebook users say things, that’s kinda the point of facebook, but your users might not be telling you, when they get annoyed by changes you made. They might just leave. So be careful when making changes, be sure that it’s a change for the better and that it will not hurt the user experience.

Keep return visitors in mind

On a similar note, keep your biggest fans happy, that’s your return visitors, your repeat customers. You might even want to let them test your new design out and tell you what they think (put in a gift for participating). They will often give you a better understanding of what you do right and what they don’t use at all.

Find and promote key content better

A big part of redesigning a site is to find the important content and pages and promote them to visitors better than they were before. Find the content that people love and promote that to new visitors. Find the great pieces of content that nobody seems to be finding and promote those better too.

Do shine up elements

Some redesigns is just that, the look needs to be a little more modern and you can do that quite easily be making small changes to the site and making 4 very small changes will give the site a completely new feel without making the site hard to understand.