Over the past year we have worked with a number of organizations that have chosen to relocate their sites from an existing domain to a new domain. One of the questions that always comes up early in the process is “how much traffic are we going to lose?” It is an excellent question and not an easy one to answer, but in today’s column I am going to explore that exact question.
The typical Web redesign results in a better looking more usable site where your information resources are easier to find. But so what? The typical Content Management System (CMS) implementation results in a more efficient process and better organized information. But so what? What does all that really get you? The sad fact is that very few people who install a CMS or redesign a site look beyond these simple justifications to the real reasons why they should organize information and create publications. It's not that these justifications are not important; it's that they are enablers of the more important justifications for managing and delivering content. The ultimate reason your organization manages information is the same reason your organization does any activity-to advance toward its goals. As obvious as this conclusion is, it amazes me how few CM and Web initiatives really address it. In this article, I'll outline one simple, powerful way you can go beyond the immediate efficiency and usability justifications to tie your CM inextricably to the foundations of your organization.
Users hate change, so it's usually best to stay with a familiar design and evolve it gradually. In the long run, however, incrementalism eventually destroys cohesiveness, calling for a new UI architecture.
When an intranet isn’t working effectively, many organisations attempt to tackle the problem with a full-scale redesign of the site or the implementation of a content management system. But these major projects can create as many issues as they resolve.
Extreme Makeover is an unlikely place to look for useful insights into corporate innovation. Even the fat, awkward, and, let’s face it, hideous bubble-era companies were not going to improve their questionable bottom lines with a nose job, liposuction, and tummy-tuck. In spite of that, the show can offer some useful lessons when trying to understand the dynamics of innovation.
True Web site redesigns focus on much more than visuals. Brink and Regenold's redesign process will help technical communicators rethink a site from the ground up.
One of the most important things to know right from the beginning are the metrics you will be using to judge your redesign over its predecessor. Redesigns need to be measurable in success or failure. Metrics are important as these give a clear indication if what you have now is better than what you had previously. These measures can be the amount of time spent on the site, page hits per visit or even turnover. Although other factors could come into affect (such as increased advertising, new content strategy, new pricing policy, etc), the design itself will be an integral part of this.
When running web accessibility training, we often come across the misperception that an accessible site means an ugly site. In fact, by following standards, designers can create virtually any visual design yet still make it accessible. What's more, these designs work in all modern browsers and on all platforms — and will continue to work in future browsers, including mobile devices.
This webtext for Inventio describes my response to Kairos' invitation for "re-envisioning," which I took as a provocation, a challenge to literally re-see and reimagine the visual and conceptual design of my argument. By highlighting some of the complexities of the design and redesign of one digital project, I hope to demonstrate the complicated relationship between seeing and design in envisioning and enacting argument, to make more visible the rhetorical and intellectual work of scholarship in digital media, and to argue by example for publishing scholarship about new media in new media.