'Web Design Help,Accessibility'

What to think about when redesigning your website

14 APR 2016 0

It's a bit of a cliché to say the web design and online market world moves fast. Of course it does, it's the internet! But even so, the last few years have definitely seen a shift in trends and priorities. What worked for a website in 2010 won't necessarily work in 2016. So how do you identify what you need to accomplish with a website redesign?

Simple, you focus on the creating the best experience possible for user, and the overall goal of your site.

How it looks, and feels, to the user

We've come a long way from the overstuffed pages of the early 2000's. These days, users prefer a simple, clean design that is easy to navigate and light on clutter. They want to feel like they are being welcomed and guided towards the most important and relevant facets of the site. So figure out the most important information a customer may be looking for and put it in plain view. 

Key customer desires like contact info shouldn't just be relegated to it's own page, try to have an email, phone number, or other means of contact visible in the header of every page. If your social media presence is a big part of your online strategy, you should have links and a call to action to follow those feeds in a visible and easily accessible spot. 
While having an attractive homepage is absolutely essential, it's important to realize that the homepage isn't necessarily the first point of contact a customer may have with your site. If they found you by way of a backlink to a news post, blog, or photo you uploaded, they may end up in those pages first. So make sure they are just as clean and easy to navigate as that splashy homepage you love. 

There is also an increasing pressure to make sure you're website is mobile-friendly. While this kind of feature was optional a few years back depending on your business and typical customer demographics, time, and Google, has marched on. Nowadays, mobile device browsing is just as popular as desktop browsing. You don't want to design a site that 50% of your customers can barely use. What's more, Google now heavily factors mobile-friendly design into its page rank assessment. If you're not mobile-friendly, your site will be banished to the back pages of Google's search results. 

What do you want to accomplish?

Best practices and guidelines are a great place to start, but if you follow them too closely, they can also become handcuffs. Despite all the technology involved, making a good website is still about connecting with other people. Eventually, you have to sit down and figure out exactly who you are trying to reach with your site, what you want to say, and what you want it to do for you. 

Every business has different needs and different customers. A manufacturing specialist is going to have a very different website from a bakery, and that's okay! So long as you are keeping your customers needs in mind, you can never go too wrong. If your customer needs the exact specifications of a line of bearings and fitting, then make sure you have that on your site. If your customer is better served with a few appetizing photos and some contact info, then that's great too.

The key is to set relevant, attainable, and measurable goals. You'll want to look for analytic like user traffic, newsletter sign-ups, social media follows, sales and conversions rate, and other ways to know that the right people are getting your message.

A professional web designer can help you identify and meet those goals. When you think it's time to redesign your website for the current market, make sure to consult with someone who understands the business and how to set your website up for success.

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