Redesigning a website is always a challenge because it requires a lot of resources and can be very dangerous. The idea of using the latest technologies and design trends is tempting. But as a general rule, it is better to have an old but functional website than a beautiful new web design whose payment operation does not work properly.
Before starting a website redesign process, it is important to clearly define its purpose.
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Why do you need to redesign the website?
Although users often think of redesigning the site as a change, this is not always the case. There are usually three main reasons for redesigning a website:
Better usability and more sales
If your website has not been updated for several years and due to serious problems in using the site; You lose potential customers. Redesigning the website may be a good option.
Organizational structural changes
Your business model has changed significantly and your website no longer reflects your true business. For example, you have a flower shop and a simple website where you put flower information. Now you only need flower delivery services and you need e-commerce or online payment capabilities on your website.
55% of people are generally frustrated with their brand when they have a frustrating experience on their website. Eliminating a bad user experience can strengthen your brand.
Sometimes redesigning a website can be part of the brand repair process that takes place at the organization level. If the visual identity of the brand changes significantly, so should your website.
Identifying a clear goal will guide the UX designer and project manager to make decisions throughout the process.
If you are planning to succeed, you must first define the criteria for success.
When you have a general goal to redesign your website, set measurable goals for the project. For example, if you want to sell more after redesigning, you can set your goals to sell more or the average revenue per customer.
Note that these goals must be very precise because they are the best basis for redesigning the site.
To determine your benchmark, you must answer two main questions:
- What is the current state of your website in terms of the metrics you measure as indicators of success?
- How does your website compare to your competitors?
If you have analyzed your website well, the first question will not be a problem. Base your average metrics for the past 12 months. In most cases of redesigning the website, you should also do a usability test with quantitative criteria as part of your benchmark.
For a competitor benchmark, you can do a competitive usability assessment. This is a great practice that not only shows your competitive strengths and weaknesses, but also confirms some of the ideas you were trying to “steal” from.
Competitive usability assessment can be performed as a specialist review by an experienced UX practitioner or as a user test. This is the second standardized test in which users use predefined tasks on two or more competing websites.
Matching business goals with user intent
Just as your new website design should be user-centric, so should your business goals. Otherwise, the whole process will be meaningless.
But how can work priorities be tailored to the user’s needs?
Start by knowing exactly what the user wants by referring to existing characters. If you are going to target a new group of customers after redesigning, you need to do user research and build the corresponding personality.
This is important because each person may have a specific purpose when visiting the site. Knowing the user’s intentions at each stage of the visit allows you to direct them to the actions you want. Ask these two questions when designing any web page:
- What does the user want at this stage?
- What do we want the user to do at this point?
Here is a simple example. Suppose you have redesigned the booking flow design for a hotel website. After filling in the date and location information, the user enters the landing room selection page.
On this page, users are trying to choose the best room on the date and budget constraints. In fact, people rely more on visual elements when shopping online. So you, as a business manager, can use the combination of UX and careful content to guide the user to choose a more expensive room.
Understand the mind of the content
Website content is your most powerful sales tool. That’s why you have to pay special attention to it when redesigning. There are two aspects to it:
- Visual design and content should be on hand.
- Website copy should be able to sell.
What does that mean?
Website design without accurate content is always challenging. Write a final draft for a web page that does not yet exist; it’s hard. To break this cycle, you need to consider professional website design and content production at the same time.
On the other hand, you need to redesign your copy of your website according to the new design and eventually sell more. Given the emotional aspects of consumer decision making, it is important to communicate with the user using carefully written content. You need to speak their language and show them exactly how your business can solve their problems.
Choose the first decision in the Mobile-First or Desktop-First strategy
Statistics show that the use of mobile phones in visiting Internet sites is very high. In 2017, more than half of website traffic came from mobile devices, as well as in Asia, where 65.7% of web page views came from mobile devices.
But does that mean you should design with a mobile priority approach?
The short answer is no. But let’s go a little deeper.
The idea of increasing the design based on the preference of the mobile mode versus the design based on the desktop mode represents a decline.
When the mobile mode of the website had just started, in addition to designing the site for the desktop, its mobile mode was also designed in a simple way. It means designing a screen with maximum size and full functionality, then it is designed to design smaller pages based on it.
Both can be good, both can be effective. It depends on the goals of your business and your website.
For example, if 80% of your website sales are made through mobile, this trend is likely to continue. So you have to choose the mobile priority approach.
Impact of the website home page
Do you know who enters the front page of the website?
For most websites, these are first time visitors. They know little about your business or your products and services. So you have to take this opportunity to attract them. And the website page is also very small.
A Google study found that users act on their first feeling. For example, a “tired feeling” about your website may occur in less than 50 milliseconds and cause you to leave the website.
The same study shows that website design, which is less visually complex, is more beautiful to users.
How to retain new users?
Convincing design studies in line with website goals show that inspirational design elements have the greatest impact on creating the first positive impression. It reinforces the idea of having great quality images and reminders of your brand, and encourages users to delve deeper into your website.
Focus on pages viewed by the critical user
If we go back to the example of the hotel site, there are a number of routes that users can finally make their reservation. For example, they can be placed on a special offer page and booked. Or they may find their hotel email address and request a reservation.
Whichever route they choose, they can make a reservation at the end. But one of the ways the user moves is where you get paid.
This is called the user critical path.
In a website redesign project, this is where you need to spend most of your time. There will probably be a lot of iterations, so it’s best to start testing the user on the critical stream first.
A redesign of a website can be quite tricky and has not reached the previous design. But with so many parties involved in this project, it can easily turn into a war of ideas as to which design is better. To avoid this, first set clear expectations for the project and make sure the whole team is on board. A research and data approach is adopted to make key site design decisions.
With a healthy combination of careful and flexible planning, redesigning your website will have the best chance of success.