In recent years User Experience (UX) has become a buzzword. According to Wikipedia, it is the process of enhancing user satisfaction with a product or experience by improving the usability, accessibility and pleasure provided in the interaction. So how do you know if your existing website needs a website redesign?
Look at the experience your users have on your website.
Thomas Bertram (T. Bert) Lance, is famously quoted as saying “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it”. Unfortunately T. Bert Lance couldn’t predict the future. He didn’t know that over 72% of Americans would be on the internet. If your website doesn’t periodically change users become bored with a website frozen in time. Or if your website doesn’t meet customer expectations they will look somewhere else for the necessary content.
What factors determine if a redesign is necessary?
1. You aren’t getting the results you want.
You should be tracking your customers via Google Analytics; Here is a three part series we recently blogged about this topic: part 1, part 2 and part 3. To get a comprehensive view of what is happening, use Google Analytics (or a comparable tool). Review the visitor numbers, stay time and other key traffic indicators. Questions to ask include, do these metrics show:
- A website that is meeting the organization’s objectives?
- Noteworthy trends, for example, disappointing social media interest.
- Major differences in SEO keyword performance.
Also, take a look at competitor sites whose success you would like to imitate. Jessica Meher suggests you run both sites through Marketing Grader for comparison purposes. Without resorting to plagiary, what can you learn that would improve your own website? Think of new ways to apply some of their good ideas.
2. The purpose of your site changed
A successful website must have a clear purpose. If at one point the prime aim was to boost sales of a certain product but now you are focusing on increase the numbers who sign up for your newsletter, or attend fundraising events. It is important for you to give your user the ability to register for the newsletter or your event online. If your website’s focus still promotes sales your goals won’t be achieved to your satisfaction.
3. Respond to changing user habits
Website owners ought to be aware of changing user habits. Today websites need to adjust to different viewing media, and be viewable on a variety of devices. They need to load quickly and provide the user with an easy navigation to use.
The growing number of website visitors from mobiles is a classic example of a trend to take into account. “The Telegraph” comments: “more websites are now loaded on smartphones and tablets than on desktop computers.”
A good website redesign should also reduce page loading times for those on mobile devices. It should keep the navigation simple to use whether you can use a mouse or trackpad, your finger on a screen, or other assistive technology.
4. You third-party tools and plugins are out of date
Third-party tools and plugins are typically installed to make life easier. It is common to instal new plugins periodically, but much less common to uninstall the older ones when they are replaced.
After a while the obsolete plugins are just clutter on your site. They don’t provide any benefit but can actually slow it down or cause major disaster if vulnerabilities are exploited by those with malicious intent.
Every once in awhile things go awry and the simplest option may be scrap the existing backend and restart.
- The tools may no longer work as intended or may no longer support updates
- They may be, substantially, slowing down your site speed
- You may have found better solutions but still kept the original, ‘just-in-case’.
Even the most successful websites may need a redesign.
In some cases this helps maintain their popularity or promote a new campaign. Or changes in web technology and browsing habits make a redesign essential. Whatever the reason, before you begin any website redesign it’s important to know why it is necessary, what you hope to accomplish with the new site and ways to master the redesign.
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