Redesign. That one word can make any web designer and developer shudder. The impending danger in the form of constant revisions and improvements to the project, as well as shareholders with their indispensable “opinions”, plunge the site team into abyss of despair (the more, the more redesign options are considered). But despite these realities, it must be admitted that redesign is an integral part of the life cycle of any online resource.
We’ll look at a few of the main indicators that clearly signal that the time for a redesign has come. And if it really came, then how solid should it be. The article is a translation and is based on the article Clear Indications That It’s Time To Redesign.
Site statistics are falling
The main indicator that a site needs improvement is a downward trend in site statistics. Of course, there may be other reasons for this symptom (for example, your product does not meet market requirements). But if these reasons are eliminated (or leveled out), then a steady decline in conversion rates, sales, interactions and overall user activity indicates that the current design has outlived itself.
Many attribute this to the “satiety” of users with the old design. But in reality it is an indicator that you have lost contact with your audience. Unfortunately, this is a natural process, in an article on creating a design for a furniture website or store, we said that about 60% of business owners are thinking about a new project or improving an old one.
If you want a redesign to solve your performance and impact issues, analyze the visitor activity and see where the design is flawed in the flow. And then get to fix those bugs first.
Metrics are the most important indicator
The degree of design changes can be limited: by adjusting the conversion sequence, or by optimizing the activities associated with the product. It is not at all necessary to completely change the image of the product formed for the external audience. Many webmasters emphasize the effect of change and the power of redesign, which translates into increased traffic to the project.
Your users say the time has come
Site statistics indicators are the most obvious indicator that instantly lets you know that something is wrong. But to understand what exactly is wrong, you have to communicate with your customers.
A survey is a good tool for this, but a usability test is far more effective. If you have a blog on wordpress, the wp-polls plugin will help with voting. The gradual development of the dialogue in personal communication allows you to analyze the dynamic process of interaction between the audience and the site. This is not possible with a regular survey. If during the test you come across some persistent opinions that shed light on the reasons for the decrease in site metrics (and you will come across them), it means that the time has come for a redesign.
Usability tests reveal not only problems, but also the dominant attitude towards your product. It can also be used as the basis for a redesign. In some cases, a negative attitude towards a brand can be a good enough reason for a redesign. However, you will never know about all this if you do not communicate with your customers.
The final decision is yours
Feedback from buyers helps to understand what exactly needs to be changed in the site and to what extent. Most often, communication with customers focuses on individual elements of the business process. And it is these elements that should be considered when redesigning. But if the feedback from users was quite extensive and affected many aspects of the site’s operation, then it makes sense to use all this information to conduct a more thorough redesign.
The technical and UX debt sheet is getting too long
Reference: Tech debt and User Experience debt are the kind of work on the project that we decide not to do at the moment, because: the deadline is “burning”, the management is exerting pressure, etc.
In the process of developing a product or website, a company begins to accumulate technical and UX debts. These debts are the work that should have been done at the initial stage of development, but either there was no time for it, or you had to do something simpler and cheaper in order to launch the project on time. With each subsequent iteration, this list of “debts” will inevitably grow until it becomes so long that all these flaws can no longer be corrected.
There are many ways to keep the list of these debts growing at a relatively stable level, but at some point it reaches its limit.
If your car constantly breaks down and its repair becomes more expensive than the cost of the car itself, then it is easier to rent it for scrap. Likewise, the site at some point is easier to rewrite than fix all the errors. This is a great time to redesign.
When the list of debts gets too long, it is very easy to succumb to the urge to do a “partial redesign” by fixing individual flaws. However, all these actions lead to what the Americans call “death by 1000 paper cuts”. Which means: the more minor corrections you make, the more problems you have with other site functions. If in reality the list of debts has reached its limit, you should seriously think about the redesign.
It just looks “old”
The look of your site affects how users perceive your brand and the level of trust they have. Even if the design of the site was the most trending at the time of launch, then today it may no longer be so. Design is constantly changing and evolving. The “old” design will hinder the development of the product, and this will affect the site statistics indicators – they will fall.
How do you know if your site is really outdated? Look at competitors’ sites. Look at new highly advertised projects in other areas of the business. Compare your designs to those that are really well executed. This will allow you to understand if your design is in line with current trends. The difficulty of this approach is to approach the assessment of other sites as open-minded as possible. Seeing your site every day, constantly working with it, you may feel at some point that it is already old and requires updating. Check if your assessment is objective by comparing it with what your employees think about the site.
Decide what to remove and what to add
In this case, the redesign will be superficial and will affect the update of the site’s presentation layer. With this redesign, the scenario of user interaction with the site or the conversion scheme remains the same. Although, there is no doubt that the design upgrade will have an impact on both users and conversions.
Our list includes just a few simple indicators that clearly indicate that it’s time for a redesign. But of course there are more of them. The number of these indicators that appear in your situation will determine the need for a redesign. Although each of these metrics in itself is a good enough reason to update the site.
Keeping the design up-to-date and trendy online pays good dividends in the form of new customer flows, conversions and brand loyalty. It also has an impact on the company’s employees. Seeing the next, upcoming redesign on the horizon, they will try to keep abreast of the latest technological developments and design findings.
PS Sentry. Redesign is certainly a useful thing, but you should also not forget about the promotion and SEO of your site for search engines, this is the only way to increase its audience.
In particular, promotion is needed if you have your own business on the Internet, whether it be photo banks for making money from photography or cooperation with various exchanges of automatic links and articles.
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