Website redesigns are significant initiatives that bring heavy changes to how a company presents itself to the world. This type of repositioning, by its very nature, has associated risks. How do the best project managers/teams handle the high stakes and still make a website redesign a successful undertaking? Blend has identified some guiding principles to keep in mind.
- 1. Clearly Define Goals and Scope.
- Whiteboarding sessions outline the general goals and scope of the project. We decide what is and isn’t included in the re-design. For example, a team might decide it’s not going to make any architectural changes. Core pages should have separate goals. Whiteboarding sessions lead to comprehensive user stories that clearly define each different user’s journey and require sign off by all stakeholders. User Stories lead to wireframes which define the structure and flow of each screen experience and also require sign off by all stakeholders.
- 2. Get good baseline data before you start.
- Know exactly how your existing site performs. For a B2B website, metrics can be: engagement, accounts created, and lead form conversion rate. For an ecommerce website, metrics might include: checkout rate, add-to-cart rate, average revenue per visitor, and average order value. Use data to shape conversations and decisions about these design changes.
- 3. Test before, during, and after launch as part of your core strategy.
- People will always respect decisions based on test results. When things get tense during the redesign, and opinions clash, let the tests and the data do the talking. The more data you have, the better decisions your team is going to make. Launch your new site as a test! Refine, learn and think of the site redesign launch as a starting point for a long-term strategy. Continue to make tweaks and updates to the UX design in response to user engagement.
- 4. Spend time on remarkable content.
- Your audience cares more about content than layout design. Spend time on stellar content and new messaging that engages and converts. Take advantage of various media to connect with your target market. Video remains the most effective form of communication. Tell your story with pictures instead of words whenever possible.
- 5. Know how to answer questions on your project’s progress & success.
- You will be asked many time by vested people and departments if the website launch was successful. Be prepared to speak to the website’s performance by knowing the bounce rate, conversions & impressions. Don’t forget about direct customer feedback on your redesign. Interested parties like to hear about tweets from customers who say they like the new homepage. Also, frame some achievements in a language that a non-marketing audience can understand.
A website redesign process comes with its own set of risks, but following the above guiding principles, teams can be assured they are taking the right steps forward.