Nearly all companies have been trapped in the never ending website redesign loop.
For the slow companies or industries, it’s about every five years.
For faster, often more technology or marketing influenced, it’s every two years.
What happens is a CEO, CMO, or CXO is tired of looking at the site design and feels it’s time to re-think the online presence. Typically overlooking any data or evidence that would indicate a new design would improve the performance or results of the website. They think, “new is better than old”.
Many have fallen prey to the belief that a website redesign is a necessary step to improve conversions and revenue.
This way of thinking is misguided.
Don’t let this “I’m bored with the website” lead you astray.
However, boredom isn’t the riskiest part of a website redesign.
To help you better understand the risk, you’re exposing your business to with a redesign I’ll break down the complexities and compare that to a progressive redesign process.
Website Redesign Risks
Sadly, the creative process that most agencies and marketing departments use typically don’t attempt to reduce the number of risks that come with a website redesign.
Consider all of the individual changes made to a website during a redesign. Take the total of this list and multiply it by the depth of change for each component.
In a creative meeting, you’ll discuss changes to the home page headline, photos, site-wide layout template, menu bar design, fonts, e-commerce, form styling, and much much more.
Do you know the risks of making these changes? Some changes may improve website conversions, and some probably damage the site performance. How do you know which changes will have a positive or negative effect on your website’s goals?
Progressive Website Redesign
A progressive approach to renewing your website gives you many benefits because of the combination of design and analytical analysis into one process.
The primary benefits of progressive redesign include:
- Only changing elements that improve performance
It’s common for complete overhauls to alienate loyal visitors by altering the experience so much that it becomes frustrating. The progressive website redesign approach prevents this from happening by requiring you to focus in on fixing what is broken.
- Aesthetics takes a back seat to analytical data and ROI
I’m often amazed to hear about a long redesign process go on for many months without any reference to analytical data. With no review to determine what warrants change and which areas are working well and should be left alone. The conversations usually list hundreds of small improvements that pile up (for example, a static homepage image vs. a slider) and take hours to make.
Although your website’s front-end design looks beautiful if you didn’t use in-depth analytical data, it’s likely not going to give you an increase in performance.
- Agile release of new features
The progressive website redesign allows for the implementation of small updates. These incremental changes are then tested immediately and rolled out over an extended period.
This results in constant improvement, which is a contrast to the traditional model, where the gaps between improvements are several years between website redesigns.
- Decisions based on science aka A/B testing
Too many companies completely miss the A/B testing opportunities. In a progressive website, redesign design choices are tested against real world interactions with your website’s visitors, which enables you to make easy decisions about what works and what doesn’t. For example, if a red button drives 10% more clicks than the green one, it’s difficult for anyone to argue over the color of the button.
Major brands have used the science of A/B testing in their progressive redesign to increase revenue by modifying obscure details like colors, text, and images.
- User Feedback is critical to success
Sadly, many clients and marketing consultants lead with their ego and their perceived expertise to determine what’s right and what’s wrong. Many agencies tout that they know best. But, what about the ideal buyer, the end-user of the website?
You should always design for the people who use your website. Hopefully, it’s your ideal buyer. Not only will this help you serve them better but it will also positively impact your bottom line.
Considering Progressive Redesign
Are your sales down or your website is out of date?
If so, this doesn’t mean your company is broken. If you’re an established company and the overall brand is healthy, there is no reason to dive into a complete 180-degree redesign.
Here are some of the high-level reasons to consider a progressive redesign approach:
- Maximize ROI
- Reduce Risk
- LTV (Lifetime Value) is important
- Continually improvement over time
- Increased performance, with improved design
The immediate gratification of major redesigns is tempting. But, data and performance analytics show that this method of website redesign doesn’t make the splash we all need it to make.
The only way you’ll get the performance improvements and the attractive aesthetics is to enhance both concurrently over time.
If you want learn more about progressive website redesign, ask us.