For long established companies with a minimal digital presence, web-site redesign is a word that comes fully loaded with a lot of anxiety.Their old site has probably served them fine until now, and is fairly functional, although largely dated.These companies likely know a redesign is necessary for continued survival and growth in this increasingly technical world, but have a hard time understanding the full scope of it all.
We at Mojo Media Labs have redesigned sites for similar clients before, and it has been a combination of excitement and at times, downright terror for everyone involved.Why are redesigns so stressful? It’s likely a combined problem of not wanting to lose any visibility that already exists, fear of users not liking the design, and not fully understanding the aspects that go into building and using a great website.
At Inbound ’15 our team sat in on Gabe Wahhab’s sessions on Web Redesigns, and here’s what we learned, and how we intend to use it to make our redesign efforts more efficient and stronger in their conversions.
Your website is not about you!
This is the number one mistake that is made for companies building a site, and it’s easy to get mixed up.A company should be well represented on a site, but the site is built for the USER.User experience should always be the first thing in mind when building a site, and if it doesn’t work for the user, then it sure won’t work for you. Strategy is key for a site redesign, but this doesn’t just mean your buyer personas and remarkables. You also need to have strategic structure, user flow and SEO built in before you even begin to design. If you focus on design first, you’re going to have a bad time.At Mojo, we do audits of a site that comprehensively look at current design and functionality, SEO, and where the site may improve. Then we go into the design phase of things!
Make better content!
Most websites are, again, all about the company. But if we follow rule 1 of redesign, we find this shouldn’t be the case. Users aren’t there to hear about you; they’re there to find what they need. It’s okay to have a small about page, but otherwise, the language and information in your content should really be targeted entirely to the users wants and needs.If the content of your site is not what the user is looking for, does not target their needs, or is not easy to find, good luck on having people use it.
Conversion may not be about design, but pages
If you’re website looks all right, but you’re not getting conversions, reconsider that redesign.Instead, look at your pages and your content. Do an evaluation and consider: Does your page focus on your strategy? Is it scannable? Does it guide the reader? Are their calls to action? Does it work with your use flow? Is it relatable? All of these are components that may be hindering the effectiveness on your pages.
Rethinking Audits and Redesigns
Knowing what we know now about the redesign process, the audit process is completely changed. Mojo Media Labs does web audits before every redesign, but now, before auditing, we intend have a strategy drawn up by our web specialist and content developer. We intend to know what the client is looking for in the redesign and evaluate the pages to make the optimal recommendation. It may be they really just need a content redesign, which save both client and agency time, money, and resources. We’ll also consider content as a part of redesign rather than a separate aspect. And above all, we’ll continue to tackle the experience as a user, which is the end all be all goal of site redesign.
This is the third post in a series about what Mojo learned at Inbound ’15, and how we intend to implement it.Click here for Part 1 and Part 2 or the series, and keep an eye out for a continuation on the discussion of website redesigns soon!