Website redesigns are expensive, time-consuming, and hugely popular. Why? Because unlike website optimization, they’re tangible and exciting. You clearly see the end result. In my observation, companies redesign their website’s quite frequently, typically following a predictable pattern:
The Website Redesign Cycle
1. Company creates website
2. Company grows tired of website, and realizes it doesn’t meet all of their needs
3. Company redesigns website, addresses some of the weaknesses, but damages features that worked perfectly, annoying customers accustomed to the old site
4. Repeat (endlessly)
Website Redesign = Admission of Failure
The sad fact is, when a complete website overhaul is necessary, someone has been asleep at the wheel. Someone hasn’t been extracting actionable information from analytics reports. Someone wasn’t testing pages, headers, and buttons. If someone was, small, gradual changes could have precluded a redesign in the first place.
Who Are You Redesigning For?
If you aren’t designing with your customers in mind, the project is bound to fail. You can’t design for your CEO, because he’s not using your website. But don’t customers get sick of the same website? Not really. Come to think of it, most people don’t like change at all. The truth is, your company cares more about the look of your site than your customer ever will. Customers don’t know that your site hasn’t been redesigned in a year, as long as they can complete their objective.
Evolve, Don’t Re-Invent
Drastic is dangerous. By evolving your site, little by little, based on true customer feedback and testing, you’ll slowly but surely build a truly remarkable website. No, it’s not as exciting as a redesign, but it works.