We’ve all been there. Some of us more than others – yet still the idea of a redesign initially starts out with great aspirations, then leads to feverish or lackluster enthusiasm weeks later. Let me back up and explain my story.
It’s been probably three or four years since our last redesign of the Design Theory Website. Years ago I can remember when I first tried WordPress and had a blog in a sub-domain while having our main website in HTML on the root. It worked out better than I could have expected and within about nine months I was ready to convert everything into one site on WordPress.
Fast forward to present day, and I can honestly say that I’ve been working on this redesign for about two months. Not consistently, more on-and-off. Reason being is that, well, we’ve been busy. Being busy is a good thing when you’re a creative but only to a certain point. Some of our best ideas get filtered into our client websites and strategy efforts, meanwhile our own website gets the cold shoulder.
Why Are We Taking So Long
To be honest and short, we want a really good and clean experience for you. We want all of our services laid out in a way that is easier to navigate, lead/sales funnels created with purpose, and products easier to identify and purchase. What we’ve learned over the years is that the customer experience is what matters the most in any website. It kind of needs to be catered to them more so than what I think the website should be designed like.
Another reason for the redesign is to make the new website load much faster than the current one does. Realizing that more web traffic is done via mobile browsers than desktops, we have to make sure that our website loads smooth and fast on hand-held devices. Make sure that it’s also Google Mobile Friendly is key too. It’s important to make sure that the almighty Google deems our website acceptable.
Lastly, we believe it’s time for a refresh. There are a lot of ideas that we want to do that include a rebrand, but we’re going to have to hold off on some of those bigger and more time intensive initiatives to be able to focus on tangible goals and a timeline. Good ideas are great but they’re truly a dime a dozen. It’s really about executing and to be able to launch some of our more necessary ideas we have to stay focused. When it comes to our customer redesigns we treat them the same. We come up with a lot of great ideas from improved functionality, new software, and new graphics, but we also stage things out in milestones so that there is always something to look forward to over the next several weeks and months.
As you can see we’ve got a lot to consider with our redesign. It’s more important to us that it’s done right than just putting together a new design and layout without constructive though behind it for usability. Have you been thinking about a redesign of your website? What is holding you back from getting started? Let us know in the comments below or contact us directly if we can help.
When it comes to designing a website, there can be a lot of opinions thrown into the hat from all parties. Opinions from the designer, who usually is considered the authority figure. From a company’s marketing team. My favorite are the opinions from the executive team. Now all of these opinions can be good and valid, yet all could be irrelevant when it comes to what opinion matters most; your potential client’s.
Website redesigns are touchy to me. When a client calls our office and asks about how much it will be to overhaul their entire website for a more modern look, our first thought is “great, let’s do it!” Especially if their existing site hasn’t been touched in over 3 years. We explain the importance of having social plugins, e-commerce, responsive web forms, and more. However it almost always is in the perspective of that site/business owner.
I’ve been doing some reading on effective landing pages and site designs, and I have to admit that I don’t always design or develop in the mindset of the online visitor. They’re the ones that spend the 7 seconds deciding whether or not a website has what they’re looking for before continuing on or bouncing off the website to another search result. This is a really important aspect to put into perspective. We’ve all heard the lines “a brilliant website means nothing if no one sees it,” or “content is king,” and so on. However if a potential customer or client doesn’t understand your website, or doesn’t feel comfortable enough to stay on and contact you or buy something your website is pointless.
Here are some points you should consider about your website; whether current or in development:
Lead Generation: Having a compelling call to action will not only help your sales team, but if tracked on a regular basis it will tell you what content people are hungry for.
Readability: Aside from complex wording, slang, or simplistic; your content needs to hit home with your target audience. It needs to resonate to their exact need for your product or service and they should understand that (hopefully) in the first few words or sentence on whatever page they landed on in your website.
Visual Candy: Not all customers and clients are into a wordy website. Some prefer rich and high quality images, graphics, and logos. Things that make them imagine themselves in or with your product or service. Lets face it, a good TV commercial for a piece of clothing will stay in your head until you visit the mall and feel compelled to buy it, or it will immediately turn you off.
Problem Solving: We’re all in business to solve a need right? If your homepage or landing page can effectively address your reader’s issue, you’ll draw in more leads than your biggest competition. Simply because of how you addressed the problem, you’ll win a clients vote of confidence – at least enough for them to give you a call or email you.
Market Research: This may sound like a big R&D project, but it really isn’t. There are many ways to poll people to get their opinions on things as a consumer. The data is out there, and we all know data doesn’t lie. So take the time to do some questioning and research to put into your website. You’ll not only have a greater confidence in your work, but be backed by hard evidence from doing your homework.
Really think about these things the next time you plan on redesigning your website or before you start a new one. One of the things we are proud of doing is sitting with our clients and really trying to get inside of their minds and really get to know what makes their business strategies so unique.
Have something to add? Please do so in the comments below. Your suggestions are always welcome!