The time has finally come to say goodbye to our baby and bring our old site into the modern age. This is never an easy task as sites usually require to be rebuilt from the ground up but in today’s ever-shifting marketplace – it has become a necessity. Implementing a new design usually requires quite a bit of handiwork before the actual site comes to life, this is the perfect time to consider the dos and don’ts of today and work in accordance with various norms to provide users with the best site possible.
1. Tone it down
First and foremost, tone it down. Gone are the days of bombarding users with images, popups, invasive fonts and so on. The dominating practice of today is the sleek and simple approach, giving users exactly what they asked for while everything else is out of focus in the background. Backlinks, ads, related products; all of these take a backseat to the product which should be the focus of the page and have all necessary information available close by.
2. Let it die
Sometimes it can be hard to let go, this is something we’ve put our hearts and souls into over the last couple of months, years even. While this is natural, it is important to keep an open mind and keep looking forward. Emotional attachment is natural, we’ve developed the same kind of attachment to a piece of pottery we drink coffee from each morning for pity’s sake, there’s no shame in it. However, it is important to cut ties and let the site evolve as we have – as people, as a company.
3. Think from the user’s perspective
A key point to keep in mind is that the users won’t be looking for the same kind of experience as the employees working on the site. Whatever we might think is important, in a vast majority of cases, our user base will put priority on completely different aspects of the site. Get rid of any unnecessary complications and information that could take up screen space, the UI needs to be repeatable to an extent that it is predictable, making navigation a breeze.
4. Big Brother it
Although Mr. Orwell didn’t probably have this in mind, we should take a few pointers from his book. It is important to keep a close eye on our visitors and users and jotting down what they like and do not like, what their time spent on each specific page is and what turned them off. By doing this, we can determine the best course of action to proactively improve the user experience and site design to better suit their needs.
5. Don’t oversaturate your user base
Although dishing out content is the recommended course of action, keep in mind that it is a fine line between making interesting content and swarming the user with flak. There is nothing more off-putting than being overwhelmed with information you never asked for, especially if it’s being presented aggressively on a site. This goes in line with thinking from the user’s perspective, if you’re visiting a page to buy object A, you rarely want to have to go through ads for objects B through Z before getting to the checkout page.
6. Tread carefully
All in all, building a site is like building a wall, you kind of need to know what you’re doing. Most businesses usually look for affordable solutions when building a website or redesigning a new one. The problem with that is that corner-cutting on business websites creation can lead to revenue loss for some of them. If unsure what to expect, be sure to take a look at professional pages done by firms like Nirmal Website Design, they have struck a nice balance between quality and affordability. This blend is exactly what every site redesign should encompass.
7. Figure out what customers want
At the end of the day, we come to the exciting world of analytics. Seriously though, as boring as the concept might seem, analytics are the best way for site owners to see the fruits of their labor and gather intel about everything from what sells to what draws the most attention, even taking into account what took the most time to load and what offers got taken up immediately. This will provide a baseline for future endeavors, and will help keep us fresh and on our toes.
Redesigning a website is essentially the rebranding of a company’s online presence. It is a chance to reinvent the company’s image from the ground up and attempt a different, preferably better, approach to building a presence online. Although the journey may be long and hard, we will always come out for the better. Change rarely comes easily and it rarely presents itself without pain, but it is a crucial part of life – and as such, must be embraced.