When It Is Time For A Website Redesign

By Adelard Gasana

Recently I wrote an article about how the next president of the United States Barack Obama was about to determine whether his website needs a redesign.  In my opinion his website put him over the top.

The hardest part of a redesign is convincing the site owner to “change”. Change is very difficult, and even if you have a site you have a love/hate relationship with, you grow attached.  Sometimes the best thing is to delete everything and start over from scratch.

The good thing about the Internet is that redesigning a website is a lot easier than a complete redo of a brick and mortar operation.

Here are some signs of what I think calls for a redesign, in no particular order:

1.    Several pages of your website no longer look uniform – This can be caused by new technology, scripts, web gadgets, and other various elements of your current site’s layout without taking into consideration if the placement is user friendly or organized.

2.    Your navigation is no longer simple, clean, or organized – many times this is where an existing design starts falling apart. Usually the website owner starts wanting to add new pages, or a cool script that may have nothing to do with increasing traffic or conversion.

3.    The sections are no longer sections but places to dump more and more links into. What I notice when this occurs is a new category is introduced but is still in testing mode or does not have enough “content” to be considered a valid enough section; it is placed within an already developed section and grows from there.

4.    Another sign is when several people start giving their opinions and weighing in on what should be added to the website. People never comment on what should be deleted from a website, which creates a narrow (desired) focus, but always what needs to be added to the site. This scenario goes hand in hand with #1, which results in new stuff being placed on top of or next to old stuff.

5.    There is no focus when a visitor visits the site. There is no immediate call to action, or something telling you what you should do next. There are two types of sites that have this problem … (1)Sites that lack a focus, and / or call to action, and doesn’t steer the “conversation” in a  defined way and (2) too many calls to action. It’s too much for a user when things are flying around the screen and everything is designed to catch the user’s eye. When this happens a user usually hits the back button quickly or exits entirely

A website is like a growing house plant; you have to trim or prune certain branches or leaves every now and then to allow it to grow and prosper correctly.

Antoine De Saint-Exupery said, “Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.”

If your website seems like it is growing but not really improving or enriching the user’s experience or generating conversions in leads or sales, it is time to seriously consider serious editing or a complete redesign.