Whether you’re considering a website redesign for your own site or for your company’s, it’s important to consider all factors involved. This could mean thinking about your mission and consumer market. Or it could also mean considering what’s broken and how you want to fix it. It might seem overwhelming, but here are six steps to help you in the process of redesigning your website.
1. Determine Your Website’s Objective
Your website’s objective is entirely separate from your company’s mission, your brand statement, etc. This objective is the reason why you even have a website. What is the ultimate goal that you want your website to achieve? What do you want users to leave your site thinking/taking/believing? Determining this objective is the first step to redesigning and reframing your website. If you do not carefully consider this step, then your website will fail in having any real direction. No matter how beautiful or in-depth your website design and interaction may be, if the site has no clear purpose, audiences will lose interest, and you will be wasting time and resources on a difficult web venture.
2. Define Your User Market
Knowing who is going to be visiting your site is the key to success. If your site is catered to the traditional, more formal style of web design, and you’re marketing to teens, they’ll be turned off immediately by anything you have to offer, and vice versa. Establish your target market right off the bat. This, along with your website’s objective, will enable you to have a clear direction as you remodel your site.
3. Make Your Site Interactive
The glory days of collages and layout grids from sites like Canva and PicStitch are a thing of the past. Consumers are sick of seeing the same overdone, cheesy layouts on websites. Today, in order to stand out from competitors, a company’s website needs to have something new to offer, either in its design or in its interactive elements. For instance, making your site customizable, so that consumers feel like your brand knows them and wants them to have a personalized experience is going to make them far more likely to return as a loyal consumer base. Or implementing a game—something short that users can do while the site is loading—is a fun and easy design element that will make users enjoy going to your site.
4. Establish Your Design
Website design is everything. It is the first thing people see when they see your brand and the last thing they leave with as they exit your site. A web design can make or break or website’s success. So many companies have lucrative business models with products that are brimming with promise, but their site is dull and unrelieved. In fact, according to a study conducted by Stanford, 75% of users make judgments on a company’s credibility solely based on visual design. Additionally, it only takes users 50 milliseconds to form a first impression of your website. Clearly, web design is nothing to take lightly when it comes to brand perception.
It may seem subjective, what qualifies as good design versus what qualifies as bad design. However, there are a few key elements that are objective in design, website design specifically. The primary one is organization. If your site is unorganized and full of cluttered copy that makes it hard to navigate, good luck retaining any users.
The best websites are the ones with minimal copy and clear, large navigational buttons to guide users. Categories or pages and sub-pages should be outlined very explicitly in dropdown menus or a similar style. This way users don’t have to waste time searching all over your website for one simple page. That was proven many times by the UI & UX experts, among which are a few Seattle designers that even defended a master thesis on the subject. But that’s not even strange since website design in Seattle was considered one of the most wanted job roles among its citizens.
With web design that is curated correctly, you can actually guide your users’ eyes to exactly where you want them to go on your site. You can take them right where you want them to go, without them even knowing it. Utilizing easy design tricks, such as the psychology behind colors or shapes, are easy, inexpensive ways to improve the efficacy of your website.
5. Figure Out What’s Broken
There’s nothing more annoying and irksome to consumers than a website that doesn’t work properly. Making sure a website’s functionality is in perfect shape is even more important than step 4, website design. If your site has glitches or gaps in the way it’s supposed to work, start making note of those now. That way, as you begin your redesign, you can focus on the major areas that need improvement and extra attention. Do the research, take consumer surveys, and run tests to truly understand what is wrong and what consumers want.
6. Make It Cohesive
If you’re redesigning your website, chances are you may want to redesign your other online presences as well. As for your social media accounts, such as Instagram and Facebook? It’s vital that you readjust those sites to match your new website as well. If you have a different look, style, and aesthetic for all your platforms, audiences won’t be able to have good recognition of who you are as a brand. Plus, your online presence will look far less established and professional.
Hopefully, these six steps help you think through your own or your company’s website redesign. Remember to keep your objectives and brand at the forefront and you’re bound to enhance your site.