Here at Direct Sites Online, we believe there are three approaches:
- Kapow — where overnight your website design changes;
- Gradual — where small changes are implemented overtime; and
- Evolutionary — in which you focus on improving the existing design.
Each of these approaches have their pros and cons, so let’s have a look at those and how they might effect a large content-rich site.
Consistency within the site: on one day the whole design simply changes.
Visitor-friendly: Whether they like the redesign or not, visitors are used to this approach and, if you have done the right thing and let them know it’s coming, they won’t be surprised. Keep your message simple, and explain the redesign in terms of visitor experience.
Easy to sell to the boss: Like your visitors, your boss is used to this concept and it is easy to convince him or her of its merits, rather than trying to explain an approach that means more than one look and feel at a time will be live.
Analytics: A single crossover date means you will be able to almost immediately analyse the effect the redesign has on visitor numbers and conversions.
Keeps your web analytics clean. Having a single cutover date makes it easy to immediately start measuring the effectiveness of the new design and comparing it to the previous one.
Time-consuming: A lot of stuff needs to happen in the back end before the launch of the new site. It cannot be done overnight. And meanwhile, you still have to maintain the original site, which means you may be managing content in two different places.
It can create a jarring user experience: No matter how well you advertise the change, it will still catch people by surprise, and they may not be thrilled to have to learn new navigation etc.
You old site stays static: This kind of a redesign is a lot of work, and may mean your old (and current) site gets neglected, resulting in a drop in organic traffic.
Easier to implement: for large sites, it much easier to move them piece by piece to the new design that to do it all at once. You can also control the pace to ensure the livfe site continues to be maintained.
Quicker: In a lot of caes, the home page is the first to move over, so a new look and feel can happen a lot more quickly than waiting for the whole redesign to be finished.
Gentler to visitors: People, as a rule, dislike change, so this gradual pace will allo them to get used to the new normal.
Somewhat complex: If the new design means changes to the back-end, it will be difficult to introduce while still maintaining the old. You may need to use a lot of redirects, which can be risky.
Harder to sell internally: Bosses understand a complete change, and they understand the “do nothing” approach, but the fact that this means the look and feel may be inconsistent while the redesign is happening – that they don’t really get (or like)
Painless: Large website redesigns are challenging, cost money and tax resources. Decisions are often more about company politics than good design and can be subject to the whims of the bosses.
Frees up time: If you’re not spending time redesigning, you can spend it on something which gives more immediate returns – such as A/bB testing, inproving the conversion funnel, e-mail marketing and more.
Organic: This option means the design changes organically as the company changes and is less obvious to outsiders.
Keeps visitors happy: People hate change, as this approach means the are unlikely to even notice little tweaks here and there.
Boring, boring boring: Your staff are bored with the site, customers are bored with the site, your web team, in particular, will be bored with the site.
Invisible: This approach tends to attract the “what are you doing all day”? questions from the boss, while a full redesign (or a gradual redesign” show progress when it comes to annual review time.
Whatever approach you might want to take to redesigning your website, Direct Sites Online can help. Call us now on 02 9557 7623 or email firstname.lastname@example.org