Want to do a complete website redesign project? This handy guide – complete with useful tips, practical examples, and expert-approved best practices – is a good place to start.
Redesigning a website can be tricky. Knowing how much to redesign, what elements to tweak, and what you want the end product to look like are just some of the questions people struggle with when undertaking the daunting process of a website redesign. In fact, many marketers are unable to justify the costs of redesigning their websites and never go through with the process at all, which can be a big mistake.
Why Do a Website Redesign?
According to research by Stanford, brands should design their website so that it looks professional and purpose-driven. “People quickly evaluate a site by visual design alone. When designing your site, pay attention to layout, typography, images, consistency issues, and more. Furthermore, the visual design should match the site’s purpose.”
The writing is on the wall: your brand’s website design is instrumental for driving user decisions relating to your brand’s credibility. Moreover, it can boost revenues, reduce the churn rate, and improve the overall user experience. Needless to say, ensuring that your website design stays current and ahead of the top UI and UX trends can give your business a competitive edge.
Let’s look at some of the most useful web design tips and best practices you can follow to reboot your website strategically and aesthetically.
Top 5 Web Design Tips to Convince & Convert
1. Do a Complete Audit of Your Existing Website, Not a Hard Reset
- Which are the most-visited/valuable pages on your website? What elements seem to be working well?
- What does your website’s target audience look like, and why are they visiting your website?
- Is there a gap between customer expectations and the website offering?
- What are some of the most useful use cases for the website?
- What metrics will you use to track the success of the website redesign?
Key learning: Instead of blindly going in for a complete website redesign, take a cue from lessons learned in the past and focus on fixing the existing errors – while retaining the elements that actually work – to enhance the user experience and skyrocket the conversion rate. Doing a complete rework without any strategy or purpose will only lead to a design that feels unfamiliar or, worse, out of place.
2. Get Innovative with the Research Process
You can’t hope to have a redesigned website that delivers if you don’t spend extensive time and effort in the ‘research’ phase. Designing the website is important, but it’s the smaller piece of the puzzle.
The real magic lies in building a solid foundation and getting real-time answers to how the website is faring currently. You can send a personalized and explanatory email to customers asking them for their feedback and telling them why it’s important for you to hear them out, as Shopify demonstrates below:
Key learning: Spending time in the research stage will help you to deliver a redesigned website that does not tank and is an actual improvement to the current version. Otherwise, you’ll end up going back to the drawing board–costing you even more time, money, and effort.
3. Think About Your A/B Testing Strategy
Before you begin the redesign process, map out your testing strategy to a ‘t’. You can engage in a variety of experiments to gauge the efficacy of the newly designed web pages, such as:
- Functionality testing: This kind of testing is extremely helpful for understanding whether critical elements such as buttons, colors, text boxes, etc., are in sync with your brand’s positioning and branding guidelines. It will also answer key questions such as whether the website is performing well on slow-loading networks or not.
- Conversion optimization: This testing strategy comes in handy when you don’t have enough data related to conceptualize what the new design should be. So you test new versions of the design each time and use the data results from the split tests to improve upon the redesigning strategies, as PayU did below. This should improve conversions by 5.8% using data-driven A/B testing. PayU found that multiple users were dropping off from the checkout pages:
They tested a variation where the users only needed to fill in their mobile number:
This small change allowed the brand to leverage a 5.8% improvement in conversions as compared to the previous version.
Key learning: A/B testing is an important element of the website redesigning process. It helps you to understand what is working and what your users are not liking. Using the real-time data gathered, you can make a more informed, data-driven decision to enhance the website redesigning process.
4. Keep Your Customers Front of Mind
As obvious as this may sound, brands often forget to keep the redesigning process user-oriented and get lost in a maze of aesthetics that may be pleasing to the eye, but may not really add value to the user’s browsing experience. For any website design to hit the nail on the head, it needs to ace both functionality and form.
For instance, Patagonia’s website design is an excellent example of the right mix of form, function, and substance (in both the literal and figurative senses of the word):
The navigation is clean, minimal, and simple. The imagery is beautiful and the layout is easy to navigate. Furthermore, the brand effectively tugs at the reader’s heartstrings by openly speaking about the brand’s core values and principles that drive it forward.
Key learning: To avoid the customer blind spots while redesigning, it is important that you ensure that every element included within your website redesign strategy is user-oriented, not product-driven. This is where doing ongoing customer surveys and conducting user interviews can lend a helping hand and allow you to design using customer-approved data as the base.
5. Let Your Copywriting Team and Design Team Collaborate
When it comes to website designing, brands often take the design-first approach – a fatal mistake. For your website to be effective, your copywriting and design experts should collaborate and conceptualize the redesigning process together from the very beginning.
Asking the content writer to jump in at the end of the design process is like asking the editor to edit a movie without giving them any context of the movie at all. It’ll never work and inevitably, the overall quality will suffer and the design will feel disjointed.
Here’s a workflow you can follow to ensure your redesign process flows smoothly:
- Get your marketing team, content team, and design team to brainstorm on ideas relating to the website pages they wish to redesign.
- Push the team to run customer interviews as well as surveys, and do competitive analysis and market research to get a good understanding of the key pain points that the users are facing.
- Based on data collected, the content writer or content writing service can create compelling content that addresses the pain points unearthed and that the users will actually want to read.
- Consider using an advanced AI writer to deliver high-quality content if you’re in a hurry. This tool can be useful for writing copy, long pieces of content, writing essays, even stories, and can also audit grammar.
- On the other hand, the UX designers will simultaneously create layouts, wireframes, graphics, illustrations, keeping in mind the content requirements.
- Moreover, you can get your tech team on board and think about ways to further enhance the user experience by integrating intuitive tools such as live chat, chatbots, etc. which bring speed and convenience to the browsing experience as Lululemon demonstrates below:
Key learning: Long story short, the written content and design of your website should complement each other and add value to the user’s experience with the click of a button.
The Bottom Line
Contrary to popular belief, redesigning your website is a structured and logical process that involves more than swapping out a few images here and there. Follow these useful tips outlined above and redesign your website that customers will keep wanting to come back to, without that extra nudge or push. For more inspiration, check out the top website design trends of 2021.
Guest Author: Srushti Shah
Srushti Shah is an ambitious, passionate and out-of-the-box writer with vast experience in Digital Marketing. She works as a Digital Marketer and Content Writer at Acquire. Her key focus is to serve her clients with the latest innovation in her field to help drive fast and effective results. Working beyond expectations and delivering the best possible outcome is her professional motto. Outside of work, she loves traveling, exploring new things and spending quality time with family. Reach out to Srushti Shah on Twitter or LinkedIn.