Trends change, the internet advances and mature, and visitors to a website eventually grow bored when a competitor with a glossy new look emerges.
For a website to stay relevant and thrive in an online business environment, an occasional redesign is a necessity. The problem many web designers have is that the process can often drag out for much longer than anyone would like. There are always minor issues that need to be addressed, but when creating a new design, there are some main points that should be emphasized and approaches that should be taken.
Getting The Right Approach
Design, although visual in nature, shares more with writing than most people realize. Writers will often research the demographic they write for, and then will develop an outline that guides the writing.
Designers should follow a similar approach. For instance, a site in the technology niche will probably appear out of place if their site is heavy on pastel colors and looks more like what most would expect a blog about knitting to look like. Colors and layout are determined by researching the market and observing successful competitors.
Once proper color schemes and successful site layouts have been identified, sketching the design on paper or using wireframing tools completes the outline process.
These are both necessary to ensure that the actual design phase runs smoothly. Instead of “shooting from the hip” and making adjustments to fit a vision, put that vision into a static form first. It is easier to collaborate and get feedback on design ideas if a rough draft is readily available to share with others who have input.
Depending on the type of website, some redesigns will have more issues than others. Sites that sell products and services are more prone to broken links than informational sites that may keep the content management system in place but only need a new look.
To address these issues, there is really only one solution: put up a development server. This lets web designers put up a mirror of the live site and test everything that needs to be tested before uploading the new site and making it live to the world.
Deciding to redesign a website may seem like a simple decision, but quite a lot goes into the process. The good news is that it’s possible to make the process a smooth one with just a little planning.