The word redesign seems to scare a lot of people. Depending on the size of your business, it could mean a seemingly endless amount of reviews and revisions that may have to be cleared through a board of directors. Even though redesigns can sometimes be a stressful thing to go through, they are a necessary part of any website’s life cycle. Facebook has even just finished remodeling their profile pages to the new Timeline look. If a major website like Facebook redesigns features every so often, don’t you think your business should too? Let’s discuss a few things that are good indications that it’s time to have a website redesign.
Website Metrics are Suffering
The biggest sign that you should redesign your website is when you notice your stats and metrics start to go down. Keep in mind that there could be other reasons for this happening (seasonal items, product being old, etc) but once these reasons are eliminated, a downward trend in visitors, sales, conversions, and engagement in general can definitely mean your websites design has worn off. You can have the best internet marketing plan in the world, but if your website itself is causing problems, it won’t matter.
The best way to solve this problem is to figure out where exactly your design is causing visitors to rethink their decision. This can be down a number of ways, for example you could install click tracking on your website to determine where users click away from the site at. Keep in mind this problem isn’t always solved by a complete redesign, but could be solved by redesign the certain elements throwing your visitors off.
Your Customers Tell You Its Time
While it’s always possible to use your website metrics to determine if there is a problem, one of the best and easiest ways to find a problem is usability testing. Speaking with your customers directly creates trust and gives you a clear idea of exactly what they’re thinking. Ask people what they think of certain elements or a design in general, and if you notice a pattern of people commenting on the same thing, chances are the majority of your users will feel the same way. You may even correlate these thoughts to your metrics to determine exactly what is going on.
Communicating with your customers will let you know exactly what needs to be redesign on your website, and how much to tinker with the design. In some cases a full-fledged redesign may be the best course of action. A customer will usually pickup on one or two certain elements in the design and comment on those. Listen to what they say; it could save you a load of headaches down the road. In most cases, they won’t be critiquing the whole website, but if you notice the feedback is broad and varies, then perhaps redesigning the whole user experience would be the best course of action.
It Just Looks Antique
A company’s website will directly reflect your customer’s reflection on your company as a whole. Design practices and aesthetics constantly evolve, from month to month and from year to year. You website may have had the best design around when it was launched, but since then there have been new patterns that emerged making your website behind the times. How is it possible to tell if this is the case? A great way is to look at what your competitors are doing, and if they have redesigned recently. Pay attention to the latest companies in your industry, and what the websites look like. Pay extra close attention to the companies you know for a fact are performing well. Even if your website is better and the most recently updated out of these, in some cases a redesign still couldn’t hurt. Some industries as a whole are outdated and behind the times, but that doesn’t mean your business has to reflect that.
You can even ask your employees how they feel. Often times visiting your own companies website every day will boost the feeling that it’s old and worn out. If your employees feel the same, then a redesign may be of great help to you. If this is the case, but your conversions and metrics haven’t been decreasing, then considering just doing a ‘facelift’ of your website and changing the way it displays, but not the core elements of the way it works.
An Aging Website Design
If none of the other factors above apply to you, consider this: the shelf life of an aesthetic design in today’s online world lasts between 1-2 years. If it has been longer than 2 years since you last redesigned your website, you should probably consider redesigning it. It will refresh the experience for your loyal visitors and customers, as well as breathe fresh life into your brand. Your employees, customers, and user base will all enjoy the new experience a website redesign brings.