Many web teams I talk to long for the day they get to redesign their websites. I remember the days when I was the same. I now believe that the word ‘redesign’ should be avoided. I think it’s quicker and easier to improve a website in phases. That includes the look and feel. Avoiding the R word makes it easier to improve your website.
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.
Artorg.co.uk is an online community for artists and designers. At first view, this is a really nice-looking site. It has an appealing, soft colour scheme offset with well-chosen graphics, and the content appears solid and orderly.
www.foruse.com is the web site of Constantine and Lockwood. Have a look at their home page to learn more about them. This case study incorporates a brief critical review of the home page, plus a redesign.
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.
It's not that people resist change whole-scale. They just hate losing control and feeling stupid. When we make critical changes, we risk putting our users in that position. We must take care to ensure that we've considered the process of change as much as we've considered the technology changes themselves. Only then will we end up with changes that our users embrace.
Most of software design is redesign. Redesign in the normal course of design happens when the software becomes difficult to maintain and the problem it is intended to solve has changed. Although software redesign is necessary, frequent, and pervasive, there is a dearth of tools that help programmers do it. Instead, programmers primarily use pen and paper, away from the computer where tools could help the most. To address this shortcoming, I have developed Dr. Jones, a redesign assistant for Java programs.
One lesson we've learned over the past several years here at Cooper is that on the vast majority of our projects, intimate client collaboration is a critical ingredient for success. This is a lesson that we have sometimes learned the hard way; collaboration can be messy, unpredictable and has often forced us to compromise what we thought was a supremely clear and elegant vision.
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.
Why do you redesign a Web site? There are many reasons. A lot of companies want to update their look every year. Others redesign sites to solve specific problems -- they may realize that after a time, that they are not getting any traffic and finally call someone to get their opinion as to why. Sites are redesigned to correct specific problems in navigation, professional image, or ease to use.
After one year of running uidesign.net, I was aware that the original design though functional was looking tired. It was also failing to meet the requirements and expectations of Users and Owner to a sufficient degree. I was also acutely aware that if you are going to preach or teach then you need to lead by example. You have to walk-the-walk as well as talk-the-talk. Actually, the design of the site has remained far from static over the first 12 months. As the quantity of material has grown, the site design has had to grow with it. It became obvious very early that the initial directory structure just wasn't going to cope with the growth of site. The original premise of 'publish a few white papers' had been outgrown. This lack of foresight cost. Many of you still come by the site from Search Engines which have archived those early original links. So the directory structure changed after 3 months. The original navigation space underwent subtle change too, as it became evident where the focus of the site was and the areas that I was able to develop.
This project involved a comprehensive redesign of the Streaming Audio and Video site on EServer.org. The tasks included predesign planning (audience analysis, flowcharting, scoping the project), designing (creating layout, graphics, and information architecture), and implementing the necessary database and HTML code to execute the methods prescribed in the design.
Processes evolve. Over time and several redesigns, a few points screamed to be kept in mind: communicate with the client, be scalable, plan to plan, test your assumptions, analyze your current site, and so on. We ran these mini-philosophies by industry leaders and newbies alike. The result? Our collection of things to think about evolved into—drum roll, please—10 EXPERT TIPS TO A SUCCESSFUL REDESIGN. Redesign is happening. Address the need. And stay on track while you do it.
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 surfing the web these days, you often come across web sites that suffer from stagnation—they look old, obsolete or appear to have been designed by an amateur. Your web site needs continuous improvement to capture and engage your visitor’s attention. If not, he or she can easily click away to your competitor’s site. Here are twelve steps to help prevent stagnation.
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.