Re-design the Website without Pitfalls

“What separates design from art is that design is meant to be… functional.” ― Cameron Moll

There is no doubt in anyone’s mind that a website is probably the single most important ‘display’ of the company’s prowess, products, services and other aspects that can entice and ‘convert’ visitors into customers.  It is also a known fact that extreme care must be taken to design the website but equally important is when you decide to re-design the website. The process must be without flaws and pitfalls. When you re-design the website it must be remembered that the essence must not be lost and yet your company must be able to incorporate all the elements of a compelling website design – great content, graphics and layout. During the phase where your company decides to re-design the website, is the right time to also think about the pitfalls and the stumbling blocks that could be a hindrance in the successful re-launch. There are many reasons for your company to want to re-design the website – prime reasons being the website not performing as it should and second is not up to date. The re-design phase of the website is the perfect time to weed out these inadequacies and also incorporate some changes that could significantly improve the chances of leads and conversions for your business.

Have you recently had to re-design the website of your company? Was it successful or did you ignore pitfalls and thus are still unhappy with it? There seem to be some common mistakes that companies make while re-designing their websites.

– When you re-design the website it is crucial to take into account the time that would be required to enhance the efficacy. Re-designing is not about changing graphics, fonts or the other decorative enhancers. When you re-design the website it needs to focus on the content – the written content that must improve readability, must fit into the new layout, be crisp and lucid, re-written in order to create greater impact and attraction. The written content must never just be ‘transferred’ from the old format of your website. The written matter is what takes the most time and effort and proper attention must be given to this critical aspect of your website. Most companies either do not have the in-house capability or hire an outside professional too late and expect them to create content that will match the website design. Writing great content is extremely tedious and hard work and must be given due importance and focus. Irrespective of how great the graphics and other aspects of a website may be, unless the content ‘packs a punch’, everything else will be wasted. Ignoring or trying to hurry the written content could prove costly. Re-design the website with effective content even if it takes more time than you anticipate.

– The ‘job’ of the company’s website is the ability to convey your company’s vision, corporate strategy and its brands and offerings. If your website was initially unable to reflect these important aspects, you could rectify it when you re-design the website. However, close attention must be given at this stage such that your company’s message is loud and clear and the website is able to position your brand successfully. Whatever your company would like to convey through the website must be neatly hashed out before you decide to re-design the website – this proves to a more time saving and cost effective strategy.  You cannot expect to have an effective design, content or website layout unless your company is clear about what they expect from the website.

– Aligned with the overall goals and vision of the company and how these must be incorporated into the website, it is important to also know and understand the strategy and process to be followed when you re-design the website. Each step and process of the re-designing phase must have a goal and a clear vision with some flexibility such that implementation is a smooth process and you are able to assess that the re-designing is in the right direction as the goal for each step is met. Without such clarity your company could end up wasting a lot of precious time, money and effort and also not have the website in ‘good shape’ for a while – which would most certainly erode a lot of business that happens via the website.

– As with any aspect of business when you re-design the website, it would be prudent to keep in mind the financial implications. Each part of the website would need personnel with special skills to ensure that each part is outstanding and yet blends and works as a whole. The company’s website is the hub – the powerhouse of business and unless each portion is done exceptionally well, the whole website could prove inadequate. For example – the graphics designer would need a certain amount of money, time and resources while the content person would need their fair share of each too. Without the seamless working of all the ‘experts’ of all the facets of the website, it would be impossible to do justice to the re-design of the website. Those companies that ignore the financial implications when they re-design the website can end up being caught unawares and lead to a badly done website.

– Great content is great only if it gets picked up by the popular search engines allowing them to divert more ‘traffic’ to your website. Hence, before putting in place the content it is vital that the search engine optimization (SEO) is properly determined. The keywords and main points must be provided to the content writer well before such that they are incorporated into the content and ‘pushed’ in after the main content has been written. This will ensure that your website content is ranked high by the search engines and more readers are veered towards your website. Ensure that this critical goal is met when you re-design the website to get maximum benefit from all the effort and resources you put into this process.

– The end user of your website should find the website useful and adding value. They should be able to find what they are looking for soon enough. Customers and other readers do not have time or are not inclined to search for information for too long. They would rather leave midway and move on to a site that is more effective and has better readability and would help them to reach a decision quicker and while on the move. While in the process to re-design the website, ensure that the website ‘speaks to and reaches out’ to the audience and is able to captivate their interest for a longer period of time. The website must be engaging and interesting and provide all the key details precisely and concisely on one single page – the landing page. This page must not be overcrowded or overwhelming but have just enough information as would be required for ‘interaction’ and nudging the reader to stay on the website.

When you re-design the website don’t be in a hurry to get it over with. Treat it as a critical and strategic business process and be open to suggestions and criticisms. It would be good to get ideas and feedback from some key customer groups and other stakeholders – employees included. Gaining such insights will enhance the credibility and usability of your company and its brand and lead to more business through lead conversions and word of mouth. Setting a realistic timeline helps to start with. Put together groups of people within the company and assign each group with a set of tasks that would need to be completed. Before the actual launch, ensure that you have a test or a few tests in order to iron out any hitches and inadequacies. The investment made for the re-design of the website must not go in vain – it must work for your company and for the users.

Consider the re-designing of your website as sprucing up and giving a facelift to the ‘face’ of your company. When you are aware of what could possibly go wrong and what you need to do in order to create ‘magic’ – you would save your company a lot of costs and would prevent the wastage of valuable resources. Give your website a fresh start – a new lease of life – re-design the website without pitfalls.

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