Website design is incredibly subjective but also incredibly objective. This might seem like an oxymoron in itself, however, the subjectivity of design is what makes it unique and the objectivity is what allows us to analyze and critique it. Websites redesigns are a necessary evil. It is important to keep up with the latest trends and technologies, but it can be difficult to approach a redesign from a design perspective. From a designer’s perspective, there are many things to consider when redesigning a website. This article will explore some of those considerations from my own perspective as a web designer.

Subjectivity and objectivity in a web design

Subjectivity is abundantly evident in the early stages of the design process when designers are exploring various concepts and options. Once a concept is chosen and the objectives are set, the subjectivity starts to dissipate and objectivity begins to take over. This is where a more scientific and methodical approach to design comes into play.

Objectivity in the form of guidelines, principles, and best practices are what help designers turn their concepts into reality. By adhering to these objective standards, designers can create designs that are not only aesthetically pleasing but also functional and user-friendly.

While subjectivity and objectivity might seem like two opposing forces, they actually go hand-in-hand in the design process. Without subjectivity, creativity and innovation would be stifled. But without objectivity, design would be nothing more than a whimsical exercise with no real purpose or meaning. The key is to strike a balance between the two, using subjectivity to come up with creative ideas and solutions and then using objectivity to turn those ideas into reality.

When it comes to a website redesign, this balance is especially important. Since there is already an existing website that either needs to be improved or completely replaced, the designer must first take an objective look at what’s not working and what needs to be changed. This could be anything from the overall user experience to specific design elements like the color scheme or typography.

Design Process

Before we get to the actual design process, we should first address one important question : Why does the website need a redesign?

Purpose of a website redesign 

There are many different reasons why a website might need a redesign. Maybe the existing design is outdated and doesn’t reflect the current branding of the company. Or maybe the website wasn’t designed with conversions in mind, so the new goal is to focus on generating leads and sales. It could also be that the website is functional but not aesthetically pleasing, so a redesign will be focused on making the site more visually appealing.

No matter what the reason is for redesigning a website, it’s important to have a clear understanding of the goals and objectives before starting the project. This will help ensure that the final product aligns with the company ’s goals and is successful in achieving the desired results.

Some common goals for redesigning a website include:

Improving the user experience:

A website redesign can be a great opportunity to improve the overall user experience. This could involve making the site easier to navigate, increasing the load speed, or simplifying the design. Some common ways to improve user experience include:

  •  Making the website easier to navigate
  • Improving the website’s load time
  • Making the website more visually appealing
  • Making it easy to find what users are looking for

Increasing leads and sales:

Of course, one of the primary goals of any website is to generate leads and sales. There are a number of ways to improve the conversion rate of a website, such as by providing compelling calls-to-action, offering discounts or coupons, and ensuring that the checkout process is as easy and smooth as possible.

For example, a common tactic employed is A/B testing, which involves showing different versions of a web page to different users and then measuring the results to see which version performs better.

increase traffic

Improving brand awareness or recognition:

Brand awareness is the express level of consumer recognition that a brand receives. Brand recognition is a key goal for many businesses, as it can lead to increased sales and profits. Website optimization can help to improve brand awareness by making sure that all website content is accurate and up-to-date, and by building high-quality inbound links.

A website redesign can help to improve brand awareness by making the website more user-friendly and easier to navigate. Everything from the layout to the color scheme can be updated to reflect the latest trends in web design. This will allow potential customers to find the information they need more easily, and make it more likely that they will remember your brand .

Generating more traffic from organic search:

A website redesign can also provide an opportunity to improve your website’s organic search traffic. By improving your website’s design and user experience, you can make it easier for potential customers to find the information they need on your site. This will help to increase your website’s ranking in search engine results pages (SERPs), and could result in more traffic to your site.

Responsiveness

A responsive website design is essential in today’s mobile-first world. With more and more people using smartphones and tablets to access the internet, it’s important that your website is designed to work well on all devices.

Website redesign Principles

A website redesign can take several different directions depending on the designer.There are, however, some basic principles to keep in mind when redesigning a website. The following tips will help create a successful website redesign:

Keep it Simple

A website redesign should simplify rather than complicate a website. This means getting rid of anything that is unnecessary and making the site easier to navigate.

Pay Attention to Details

The devil is in the details and this is especially true when it comes to website design. Paying attention to small details can make a big difference in the overall look and feel of the site and can help to improve the user experience.

Accessibility

One of the most important aspects of a website redesign is making sure that the site is accessible to as many people as possible. This means taking into account different screen sizes, disabilities, and internationalization.

Update Your Content

In addition to the design, it’s important to update the content to make sure that the subject matter is relevant and up-to-date. This is especially true for sites that are focused on news and current events.

Redesign with the Future in Mind

One of the most important things to keep in mind when redesigning a website is to think about the future. Technology changes quickly, and you don’t want your site to become outdated.

Approaches to redesign

Radical Site Redesign:

A radical site redesign is a complete overhaul of the website. This approach is usually taken when the current website is outdated or not meeting the needs of the users.

  • The advantage with this approach is that it allows you to start from scratch and create a website that is tailored to your specific needs.
  • The disadvantage is that it can be expensive and time-consuming. It’s also important to note that there is a risk associated with this approach, as there is always the possibility that the new website will not be well-received by users.

Evolutionary site redesign:

An evolutionary site redesign is a more gradual approach to redesigning a website. This method involves making small, incremental changes to the website over time. What this does is allow you to test out new design elements on a smaller scale before making any major changes.

There are two major differences between ESR and RSR approaches:

Speed

ESR is a much faster process as you are only making small changes. This means that you are less likely to make any major changes that could have a negative impact on the website.

When it comes to deciding which approach to take, it really depends on the individual project. If you are working on a small website with only a few pages, then ESR may be the best option. However, if you are working on a large website with many pages, then RSR may be a better choice.

Success

ESR has been proven to be more successful than RSR. This is because you are less likely to make any major changes that could have a negative impact on the website.

ESR works by implementing A/B split testing throughout the process. This means that there will be two versions of the website, and each version will be tested to see which one performs better. The winning version will then be used as the final website. This method tests everything in your designs including:

  • Site-wide design styles
  • Product page templates
  • Logo, tagline, and header
  • Landing page designs and content
  • Lead generation forms and service value proposition statements
  • Imagery, ads, and offers
  • Copywriting and calls to actions

 Overall, the advantages of using the ESR approach include:

  • Saving on time and money
  • Maintaining your team’s focus on important business metrics rather than “aesthetic” redesign
  • No lags in between redesigns
  • Continuous validated learning process

The phased approach:

The phased approach is a common way to redesign a website. You can use this approach when you have done some user research, but not enough to make decisions about the entire site. In this case, you would redesign specific pages or sections first, and then use what you learned from that to inform the rest of your redesign.

The advantages of the phased approach include:

  • You can implement changes incrementally, which can be less disruptive to your users.
  • You can test specific changes before rolling them out site-wide.
  • You have the flexibility to change your plans based on what you learn from your users.

The disadvantages of the phased approach include:

  • It can be hard to keep track of which changes have been made where, and what still needs to be done.
  • If users don’t see a consistent design across the site, they may get confused or frustrated.
  • You may end up doing a lot of extra work if you end up changing your plans halfway through.

Stepwise process

making plan

Evaluate current website performance metrics:

Before you begin the actual redesign, it is important to document all the existing performance metrics. This will help you narrow down and determine which areas of the website need improvement and what metrics will be used to measure success.

Analyzing monthly performance on the following areas will give you a broad understanding of how your website is currently faring:

  • Overall traffic (sessions, unique visitors)
  • Traffic sources (organic, direct, referral, social, paid)
  • Engagement (pages per session, average session duration)
  • Conversion rate (leads, sales, newsletter signups)
  • Revenue
  • Goal completions

To get more detailed insights, you can also track the following metrics:

  • Landing page performance
  • Conversions by device type, traffic source, country and city
  • Social media engagement
  • Email signups
  • Number of inbound linking domains

Make a plan:

Decide which changes will be made and in what order.

Test changes on a small scale:

Implement changes on a small section of the site first to see how they affect performance.

Measure results:

Track the metrics listed above to see how the changes have impacted the site. Be sure to measure results over a period of time to account for any seasonal fluctuations.

Make additional changes:

Based on the results of the first round of changes, make additional changes and continue measuring results.

The process of making changes to a website to improve performance is known as optimization. Through optimization, a site can be made faster, easier to use, and more conversion friendly. By following the steps outlined above, you can make continual improvements to your site that will result in better performance.

Content Audit and take inventory of high-performing content:

A content audit will help you take inventory of your existing content and identify which pieces are performing well and which could be improved.

It is vital to become familiar with the existing content on your site because it can provide insight into what your audience is looking for. You should also take a look at your analytics to see which pages are getting the most traffic and have the highest conversion rates. Knowing this information can help you understand what type of content is most successful so that you can replicate that success with other pieces of content.

When you are examining your content, ask yourself the following questions:

  • What is the purpose of this page?
  • Who is the target audience for this page?
  • What type of content is most successful on this page?
  • What can I do to make this page more successful?

Additional questions might include:

  • Does it represent the corporate culture, values, and commitments you now have?
  • Does it appeal to consumers on many levels, such as through appealing graphics, social media share buttons, and general usability?
  • Does it use submission forms and calls to action to encourage website visitors to become customers?

Answering these questions can help you understand what makes certain types of content successful on your website and how you can improve your overall website strategy.

Investigate your competition

Investigating your competition is a critical step in understanding what is working for your industry with regards to website design. You can learn a lot from what other businesses are doing right and adapt those practices to your own website. Additionally, you can avoid making the same mistakes that your competition is making on their websites.

  • Start by looking at the overall design of your competitor’s websites. Are they using an effective layout that is easy to navigate? Do they have engaging visuals that capture your attention? Is their content well-written and relevant to their industry? Take note of what you like and don’t like about their website design.
  • Then, take a look at how well their website is performing. Use tools like Google Analytics to see how much traffic they are getting and where that traffic is coming from. Are they getting a lot of organic traffic from search engines? Are people staying on their website and engaging with their content? Or are they quickly leaving?
  • Finally, take a look at how well their website is converting visitors into leads or customers. Are people filling out forms or taking other actions that indicate they are interested in what your competitor has to offer?

By taking all of these factors into account, you can get a good idea of how well your competitor’s website is performing and where there might be opportunities for you to improve upon their design.

Get input from your team and stakeholders

Before you start your redesign, it’s important to get input from your team and other stakeholders. This will help ensure that everyone is on the same page about the goals of the redesign and what needs to be included in the new website.

Some potential questions include:

  • What do you think is working well with our current website?
  • What do you think is not working well with our current website?
  • What are some goals you would like to see achieved with the redesign?
  • What content or functionality do you think should be included in the new website?
  • Do you have any specific design ideas or preferences?

Once you’ve gathered feedback, you can start putting together a general plan for the website redesign. This should include an outline of what content will be included on each page, what functionality will be included, and what the overall look and feel of the site will be.

Branding and messaging

Branding and messaging are two of the most important aspects of any website. Your branding should be consistent with the rest of your marketing materials, and your messaging should be clear and concise.

Some things to consider when revamping your branding and messaging:=

  • What colors, fonts, and imagery will you use?
  • What tone will you use? (formal, casual, etc.)
  • What kind of messaging will resonate best with your target audience?
  • What kind of call to action will you use?

Settling on a branding and messaging strategy can be tricky, but it’s important to get it right. Once you’ve decided on a direction, be sure to test it out with your target audience to ensure that it resonates with them.

Create visual and content structure

visual and content structure

Creating a visual and content strategy helps to ensure that your site is consistent, cohesive, and easy to navigate.

Some aspects to consider while creating your strategy include:

  • What kind of imagery will you use?
  • How will you organize your content?
  • What kind of calls to action will you use?
  • What kind of user experience do you want to create?

Once you have a clear vision for your site, be sure to design it in a way that will appeal to your target audience. Remember to keep things clean and organized, and use calls to action that are clear and concise. Most importantly, make sure your site is easy to navigate so that users can find what they’re looking for with ease.

Setting deadline and milestones

To ensure that your site launch goes off without a hitch, it’s important to set deadlines and milestones for yourself and your team. This will help you stay on track and make sure that everyone is on the same page.

Some things to consider when setting deadlines:

  • When do you want your site to be live ?
  • What needs to be done before the site launch?
  • Who is responsible for each task?
  • What is the budget for the project?

Answering these questions will give you a good starting point for setting your deadlines. Once you have a timeline in mind, start breaking down each task into smaller milestones. This will help you stay on track and make sure that each task is completed on time.

Some things to consider when setting milestones:

  • What needs to be done in order for the task to be considered complete?
  • Who is responsible for each milestone?
  • When do you want each milestone to be completed?
  • What is the budget for each milestone?

Breaking down your tasks into smaller milestones will help you stay on track and ensure that each task is completed on time.

Tips for designers

designing tips

Be methodical:

When starting a design project, it’s important to be methodical in your approach. Begin by clearly defining the goals of the project and who the target audience is. This will help you create a focused design that meets the needs of your users.

A mood board is a great way to visually communicate the overall tone and feel of your project. This can be a digital or physical board that includes images, colors, and fonts that you plan to use in your design.

Creating a style guide will help you maintain consistency throughout your design. This document should include your color palette, typography, and other elements that make up your brand’s visual identity.

Form a reasoning for any and all changes:

As your project progresses, you may find that some of your original design choices no longer make sense. For example, you may decide to change the color scheme based on feedback from users. Whenever you make a change to your design, be sure to document why you made the change. This will help you keep track of your design decisions and ensure that your design is always evolving in an intentional way.

Strategy first, Planning second

Before you start designing, it’s important to have a clear idea of what your goal is. What are you trying to achieve with your design? Once you have a goal in mind, you can start planning out your design. This may involve creating sketches or wireframes of your proposed design.

Your goal should always be the driving force behind your design. Whenever you make a change to your design, be sure to ask yourself if the change is helping you achieve your goal. If not, then it’s probably not a good idea to make the change.

Creating a plan for your design will help you stay on track and make sure that your design is going in the right direction. Without a plan, it’s easy to get sidetracked and end up with a design that doesn’t meet your original goal.

When you’re planning out your design, be sure to keep the user in mind. Your design should always be created with the user in mind. How will they interact with your design? What do they need

Conclusion

Website redesigns are a necessary evil. They can be a lot of work, but if done correctly, they can really improve your website and help you achieve your goals. As you can see, there’s a lot to consider when designing a website. But if you keep these things in mind, you’ll be well on your way to creating a successful design.

So what are you waiting for? Start planning your design today!

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Khurshid Alam
Founder

Khurshid Alam is the founder of Pixel Street, a web design company. He aspires to solve business problems by communicating effectively digitally. In his leisure, he reads, writes, and occasionally plays a game of table tennis.