When someone decides to redesign their website, the first thing is to define the goals of the redesigned site. After that, the approach and developing strategy are crucial in achieving aims and avoiding wasting resources and time. Top web designers in Chicago has provided a comprehensive article on things you need to know before proceeding with a website redesign. The following tips and steps will point out important aspects to consider and will guide you in the successful redesign of your site.
The circumstances that signify that website should be redesigned
Redesigning a website is costly and takes time, therefore, before deciding on a website redesign, you should determine whether you actually need one. Site remodeling considers design, security, a transformation of the website codes, and changes in other elements and features. So consider website redesign in cases when:
- The website is outdated. Although this could be considered subjective, outdated websites don`t only refer to website aesthetics aspects, layout, and design, but to features and elements that can be out-time and effects websites' performances and speed.
- Low user experience. To find out if your website is user-friendly and provides a satisfying user experience, use the help of analytics. Analytical data will provide you an answer on whether your users can easily find what they are looking for in your site, and can effortlessly perform intended actions.
- Website decreases in efficiency. If you have noticed that your website takes more than 2 seconds to load and poorly performs, that is a sign that your site needs a redesign.
Steps in planning website redesign process
- Define the goals of your redesigned website
When determining your future website goals, don`t consider only its visual appearance, functionality, marketing, and user experience, furthermore, keep in mind SEO and conversion rate.
Generally, it's considered that there are two types of goals:
Quantifiable goals which objectivate are measurable and expressed in numbers. These goals, for example, could be increasing the number of site visitors, and correcting some values in analytics and metrics.
Immeasurable goals are specific projects or functions and features that can not be demonstrated in numbers. For instance, to elevate marketing awareness of your products, more CTA, easier forms for users to fill in, more useful navigation or search bar, and others.
- Do analyze your website
Besides your intuition, use the audit to analyze what website features and functions have good performance and which don`t. The analysis allows you to verify the original objectives with data and redefine them. Additionally, they provide insight into which functions are suitable for removing, modifying, or adding.
When analyzing your website keep the following aspects and questions in mind:
- SEO and technical characteristics. Do they properly work, are responsive, and fulfill Google SERP requirements?
- User experience. Are your site enough easy to navigate so the users can easily find what they want, and intuitive enough for visitors?
- Conversion rate. Does it drives new leads, and support your sale strategy?
Generally, you should analyze your website`s performance, usability, accessibility, and responsiveness to find potential issues, problematic areas, and features that need improvement.
Usability testing refers to reviewing if your website is user-friendly. This considers heuristic evaluation - manually reviewing current user experience in high-traffic pages on both computer and mobile devices. This will provide you an insight into whether there are some issues or documents that require improvement. For larger sites, we recommend grouping pages in templates to make testing easier and save time.
Performance testing refers to technical performance considering high-traffic pages (especially those with ads and numerous keywords). This kind of testing will provide you with the opportunity to set up the benchmark for your initial website redesign. Performance testing greatly contributes to improving the website`s indexability, speed, and overall site`s performance.
Accessibility is a website`s feature that refers to providing help for people with handicaps to access your website. For example, a person with vision impairment will use the assistance of text-to-speech functionally or a braille keyboard. We suggest you research on what is the best practice of web accessibility. Finding the right way to optimize accessibility will provide you a chance to improve your website in the redesign process. Some aspects, like font sizing, will be optimized in the design phase, while appropriate navigation style or others, will be done in the development stage.
As websites are loaded from various devices, your website must be optimized to seamlessly function on different screen sizes and operating systems. Responsiveness testing considers adapting a website to various screen resolutions using media queries in cascading style sheets and determining what segments of your website you should improve. Additionally, you can look for analytics data that provide information on the percentage of users visiting your website on a desktop computer, mobile, and tablet devices.
- Content and sitemap
When redesigning don't neglect content strategy which should work together and contribute to one another. In terms of content, you can review and update existing content, create new content, establish a new posting schedule or use prospering content to make a template for additional posts.
The way you are structuring your website will have an impact on indexability, crawlability, and user interface. The website`s structure can be defined by internal links and a hierarchy. The effective practice is grouping content by its similarity within the navigation, creating subfolders, and setting vital content types and categories. After determining content groups, it's recommended to create a sitemap diagram to display the websites' architecture.
Regarding content, every created content should satisfy SEO preferences. This implies well-written meta descriptions and page titles, readability aspect of content with headings and subheadings, determining the right keywords for each page, and others.
- Visual Design
Creating a brand style guide is a visualization of what your brand stands for and what message you want to convey.
Messaging style is the way you want to deliver the intended message. To do so, you must clarify what message you want to send to the audience and find the right keywords to describe your values.
The visual style guide implements typography, color palette, logo usage, images, and iconography. Each of these elements, along with messaging style, should be aligned and coherent with your brand nature.
Mentioned steps are just those essential ones when planning web redesign. There are many additional ones that don`t apply to every project and depend on various factors. Website redesign is a complex project that takes time and money, therefore should be considered seriously. In-depth analysis and planning of the redesign process is the only way to ensure that you will get the best out of it and meet your goals.