What Are The Challenges For A Website Redesign?
Before embarking on a website redesign, you need to determine what results you want to see after the redesign, what you want to change, that is, determine the objectives of the redesign.
There may be several:
Improve site navigation
refresh the look;
introduce new interactive features to the site;
fix site structure;
fix the technical components of the site, etc.
Depending on these tasks, the redesign is divided into partial and complete. A partial redesign is like a cosmetic repair; it concerns only certain parts of the site, solves some specific problem on the site. In turn, a complete redesign is a major overhaul, it is comprehensive and covers work on the entire site.
Website Redesign Issues.
Now that the Internet has almost become a mass medium, it is obvious that redesign is an integral part of the website development business. Most sites, going through the redesign process many times, get better, sometimes worse, each time in a different way. Sometimes a redesign is done when the owners of the site grow from “the design of a neighbor’s boy” to “it is time to pay professionals.” More often this desire to keep up with competitors, to be no worse than others. Creating, maintaining and managing a website is always training in practice because the Internet never stands still.
After deciding to redesign an existing site, the action plan becomes like creating a new site from scratch – with the same consideration of the technologies used, design and work planning. However, there are specific problems that can be avoided; for the most part, I had to deal with or observe how others do it. Avoid the errors described below, this will protect you from the desire to redo everything again before the end of the first redesign of the site.
Redesign for the sake of redesign.
Ask yourself why you need a redesign, and on this basis make a reasonable list of improvements. It is well known that site visitors get used to its design and structure over time, even if a particular implementation is very far from perfect. A redesign can be annoying for some regular website visitors, so you may lose them. However, do not let fears stop you, just ask yourself: “will I scare more users due to the redesign than I can attract or retain due to the planned improvements?” If the answer is yes, then you should think carefully about what you want to do.
Inattention to the opinion of site visitors.
When the site was just being created, perhaps you were not exactly sure what exactly would result from who would visit this site, you only roughly represented your audience. Now you should pay attention to the main goal of any project – the audience of the site – that wealth that must be fully used before creating a new version of the site. Do not underestimate the importance of researching visitor opinions before redesigning a project. If you did not collect the opinions of users earlier, it’s time to ask what they would like to see on the site, what they don’t like in the current version, what they like and how exactly they can improve the website. If you have collected user opinions earlier, take the time to analyze the information received in search of directions for the development of the project. Post the innovations for consideration by users in the current version of the site for a month or two to collect opinions on these changes. Website visitors are your customers, they are the countable wealth of your project, listen to their opinion.
Neglect of competitor sites.
If you have competitors, then they may also have a website. The redesign planning phase will be a good time to re-evaluate and explore these sites. Ask your visitors what sites they like and why they find out the opinions of people involved in the redesign of the project. Take the time to carefully examine competitors’ websites to determine what you can implement at an even higher level.
Ignoring site visits statistics.
The traffic accumulated by the site and statistical information about the browsers of visitors is invaluable information for planning a redesign. The first desire when redesigning a site is to realize as many “cool features” as possible to be on the cutting edge of the latest technology attacks. But before that, it is very important to make sure that your audience can appreciate such innovations, benefit from them or even use such a site. Any working resource should have a huge amount of accumulated statistics of visits to analyze the operating systems used by visitors, browsers and their versions. Examine this data and find out what technologies your audience can use before deciding whether to implement the latest functionality on the site.
Inability to look to the future.
You need to understand that the Internet can undergo significant changes in the next six months to a year. Lack of understanding of where you are going, inability to keep your finger on the pulse of the network will force you to go through the complete redesign process much earlier than expected. Prevent this possibility and initially plan a flexible and scalable site. Similarly, try to predict the development of the thematic area to which your project belongs – do you know how this area will develop soon? Consider this, if possible, in a redesign project. Also, remember that there will be time and place to realize some opportunities later if you decide that visitors are not ready for them yet. Achieve a reasonable balance of old and new in terms of work on the project.
Work without careful prior planning.
My experience is that any site, no matter whether it is created from scratch or undergoing a redesign, must go through the planning phase, which takes about 30% of the project’s time. Entire books and much more voluminous articles have been written about how to plan Internet projects, but you should pay attention to some important questions and tips regarding project planning:
What is the purpose of the redesign?
What is your budget? What can you afford now, and what should you expect from the next redesign?
What are the technical limitations – speed, browser compatibility, technology, color palette, page size – based on the analysis of the site’s audience?
Site content? What will change, what will remain, what will be new, what will disappear?
Everyone who will be working on the site should be involved in the planning process. There is nothing worse than a work plan built based on impossible goals, so offer new opportunities and ideas and be sure to ask the developers for their feasibility, cost and time.
The goal of planning is to have a well-designed site layout before you even write the first line of code. Such a layout can significantly speed up the creation of a large project, giving developers a clear outline and purpose. The customer or project manager will have a clear idea of what the money is spent on and what to expect in the final. Designers will see the project as a whole and know why they are creating the design. Programmers, “coders” and database developers will appreciate the fact that they clearly articulated the goals and objectives of the work.
One of the common problems of the redesign is that it never ends, many continue to “dig” into the site after testing and putting the project into operation. Serious flaws need to be fixed as they are discovered, but let visitors get used to the new site. Believe me, if you have done your homework well, carefully planned the project, implemented it by your goals and tested the result well, then you should leave it unchanged for some time. Continue to collect visitor reviews, analyze traffic and visit statistics and plan the next redesign if necessary, but resist the urge to tweak something else. Let the site “settle down.” Otherwise, you can be sure that you will have to do the redesign again and again.
Lack of documentation and code comments. When your site was created for the first time, you can bet that everything was done on the go, without much planning. Now you have a chance to first plan everything, and during the development process to document all the actions. Imagine how much easier it will be to make changes in the future if everything is “laid out on the shelves” if it is documented how the components of the site interact with each other. Think about how much easier it will be if the site has its standards – described and documented. This, for example, will allow you to avoid the unpleasant procedure of finding which font was used for the inscriptions in the graphic elements of the site. If your site is a complex software package, create notes as you work on the project and save them, later they can become the basis of the documentation for the new site. Comment on Comment on your code, then to understand it yourself, to help other members of the development team, to simplify future changes. And one more important rule for a note – keep correspondence, take notes and comments, document the work as it progresses, so as not to fall out of the scope of the current goals of the work and always be able to report on the work done. Do not miss the opportunity to make life easier for all project developers!
From the inception of web design to the current moment, the industry has grown and reached the point where standards begin to play an important role in this business. As the complexity and volume of sites and programs being created grows, the best way to keep your work under control is to plan, predict, learn, and listen. Given the experience of other developers, we can avoid many problems and, hopefully, solve only new issues that the rapidly changing Internet throws on our way!
If you find any problems on your site, if visitors to your site complain about inconvenient navigation, if you want to breathe new life into the site, don’t put it in a hurry, order a website redesign in GCC MARKETING!