The Right Way to Redesign A Website

The Problems With Big Changes

People rarely welcome drastic changes with open arms, preferring to stick with comfort and familiarity. When your company excitedly unveils it’s brand-new, revamped website it is usually going to be met with negative reactions. After all, isn’t it frustrating when a trusted site you’ve been used to navigating and looking certain way suddenly changes radically to the point where you have to relearn how to navigate and use the website?

Website redesigns are common for companies who want a fresh new image or want to improve a severely dated website, replacing it with something they know is going to be better for the client. The problem is, companies think they’re making the changes for the client but they are really just making them for themselves. Making the assumption that you know what is best for your customers is a bad idea.

So are we not supposed to change?

Just because complete makeovers are a bad move, doesn’t mean your company shouldn’t adapt and change for the better. How does one go about doing that? Subtle evolution is the best practice; the best websites have left big relaunches in the past and instead use a process of continuous small improvements. Your aim is to make improvements that are so fluid, easing your clients into the change, that they won’t even really notice the difference. Take for example.

Ask yourself, what is different about today than from a couple of years ago. The answer: a lot, but I bet you can’t really name too many differences. Amazon used the tactic of subtle improvement so well that most long-term Amazon frequenters believe that the website is almost the same as it was years ago even though, in reality, Amazon is implementing new changes every month. New features to the site are added all the time but it’s done with such fluidity that the change feels almost familiar.

The flaw in the thought process of “let’s fix this once and for all” when revamping a website is that you can’t anticipate everything and you can’t answer all the questions. You don’t know what will be in style in the design world, what new technology awaits us, or anything else the future may hold. You can’t solve everything once and for all because new problems will always arrive. So why not tackle the small ones, little by little, instead of taking down a monster?

Things to Consider When Making Changes:

  1. Think about the client. Ask yourself if you’re fulfilling your clients’ needs in the most direct way possible.

  2. Make sure the changes you make aren’t too noticeable to ensure that they don’t interrupt the users experience.

  3. Is your website easy to navigate/understand? If it takes more than a several seconds for a person to figure out a feature of your website, then it’s several seconds too many.

  4. Make sure to gather insight from your customer’s reactions to the new changes in order to plan your next tweaks.

  5. Listen to the wise words of Paul Scrivens in his article: “Don’t redesign just to do something new, redesign because you have a better answer to the question.”







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