Redesigning an existing website is no small feat. You have to take into consideration a lot of different factors. For example, you have to be careful about the way in which you make suggestions or give advice to the client while ensuring that the new design stays in line with the brand’s established identity.
However, the good thing about redesigns is that you’re able to look at them in hindsight and pat yourself on the back for having done a great job. When transforming the website from what it was to how it is, you get a unique perspective not attainable with designing a new website.
Tips to approach a website redesign for the best results:
It’s important to first understand why the client wants a website redesign in the first place. It could be that the company wants to re-brand. Or perhaps, they just want to make their website to be more intuitive and responsive.
It could also just be the fact that the old website design is simply out-dated and needs to be updated to the latest trends. Some clients just want to shift the website’s design in order to improve their conversion rates.
Whatever the case is, the key to good website design or redesign is to know your why.
Check the Data
Now that you know why your client is unhappy with their website, it’s time to verify their suspicions. Find out if in fact their website needs an overhaul for the reasons they think it does.
To help along in this process, use these tools:
- Google Analytics
- UI Design
- UX organisation
- Keyword research
- Competitive landscape
Next up, do a complete audit of the website by going through each individual page. This will give you a better idea of what the user experience is like, which can be very telling of the problems being experienced.
As you go through the website, you might find issues like an excess number of pages, a design that’s aligned with the brand’s message, important features that are missing, the use of out-dated fonts and images.
You can then use this information to create a useful design proposal for your client as part of your website design package.
Devise a Plan
Using your standard workflow checklist, check and double-check the milestones that you need to achieve. In order to get the end result that your client wants, create a plan with the right steps.
Depending on the goals of your redesign project, you may need to feature the following steps:
- Homepage content
- Navigation structure
- Customer flow to help improve the client’s conversions
Once you have the final plan on hand with the milestones and steps to help you complete it faster, be sure to keep an open mind and make adjustments as you go along, if necessary.
Implement the Redesign
When implementing the redesign plan, it’s important to ensure that you maintain the previous website design and perhaps even the content. Of course, if both elements were complete disasters to begin with, then your client may very well give you the freedom to completely overhaul everything and create something completely new and fresh.
However, you still want the website to be recognisable to existing customers and visitors while still making it more appealing. At this point, you should be working with prototypes, storyboards and sitemaps to complete your design.