5 Terrible Reasons for a Website Redesign
Have you ever heard leadership, marketing and sales teams complaining about the design of a website? Me too. Your website is not about what your team needs right now, it's about what your customers need. What are some of the most ridiculous reasons you've seen to prompt the redesign of a website? What are some things you can do before redesigning?
This is one of the most common reasons someone starts the web site redesign consideration process. So many times people look at how long it's been since they last redesigned their site and think the site design is too old. Don't get caught in the trap of believing that you need a new site design every time the latest greatest framework is released. Let the numbers do the talking. If you're getting leads and you have solid content you probably don't need a new web site design.
However, if you're web site isn't responsive than you need get a redesign asap. Google is now ranking web sites based on their friendliness to mobile users. For more info about this topic check out this post.
"...It Doesn't Pop"
"Our web site needs to pop." "It needs a little more dazzle." "It needs to look richer." These are just of a few of the powerful descriptive phrases I hear all the time when chatting with clients considering a web site redesign. The problem with these types of questions is that the overall design of your web site has little to do with the effectiveness of the site. Every good web site should have a quantifiable ROI (Return on Investment). Unless you’re a graphic designer chances are the design of your website isn’t what brings home the bacon. Keep your eye on the prize and make your content pop more than the background color.
"...The CEO Wants a Redesign"
Most CEO’s have a touch of ADD that keeps them constantly changing and moving. This is often the case when it comes to the companies website design. 6 months after the web site is live and you’re seeing increased visits, leads, and positive feedback. Then the CEO comes to your office and tells you that he think the web site needs a fresh redesign. What would your response be?
You should have some numbers to help verify your belief that a redesign isn’t needed. If your numbers are climbing upwards I wouldn’t recommend a redesign. Remember that change for the sake of change isn’t a good thing.
"...Our Competitor Redesigned Theirs"
I’m sure you have read the Art of War and keep a close eye on your enemy competitor. Nothing is worse than hearing good news from your competitor. So you start your Monday the same way you normally do by checking your competitor’s home page and BAM. You see a whole new web site that has fireworks adorable kittens sleeping next to a baby. Oh no….you start to sweat and get your whole team together so you collaborate on a new web site redesign. Before you start copying and pasting cuddly kittens all over your web site take a deep breath. Ask yourself a few questions….”Do I have a superior product/service than my competitor?” “Is my web site relevant to my business?” “Am I seeing repeatable results from my current web site?” If the answer is yes to these questions you don’t have to start building a new website just your competitor revamped theirs.
"...We Need a Parallax Site"
Here is the final terrible reason to redesign your website. I have had this request before…”I want my site to be parallax”. What the person making this request doesn’t understand is that parallax is an effect not an over all design style. I’m using parallax scrolling as an example but this can hold true for many “design effects”. Often times you can apply and new fancy effect to your web site without completely redesigning the entire look and feel. Many times in the design world you will hear buzzwords like “parallax”, “flat design”, and “minimal design”. Don’t get stuck on having to implement the latest greatest effect that adds no value for the end user.
With all that said I’m not coming against modern web design. I’m love seeing modern web sites that push the envelope with unconventional coding techniques. However...if the design obstructs the ease of use for the end user all the fanciness is marked up as annoyance. If you’re in the process of redesigning your website I hope you’ll read this and make sure you’re redesigning with the end user in mind and put aside your personal preference.