How to Redesign a Website without Overwhelming Users
January 18, 2013
•IADT General, IADT Detroit, Web Design and Development
• 0 Comments
Redesigning a website is an exciting and delicate process. It’s important that you keep your users as happy as possible during this time of change. Follow these tips to please as much of your audience as possible:
Tip 1: Define Your Reasons
Without obvious reasons for a redesign, your users won’t be able to understand why it’s happening. Clearly state the need for change and how a redesign can meet that need. This step might also help you figure out if a redesign is necessary. If you can’t think of clear reasons you should redesign, you probably shouldn’t.
Tip 2: Maintain Some Familiarity
When you’re redesigning, it’s necessary that you keep some things the same. Use the same type of navigation, color scheme, or basic layout to avoid completely confusing your users. If the new design takes too much work to understand, your users are likely to leave. Most importantly, never forget your foundational Web design principles and techniques.
Tip 3: Involve Your Users
The most important part of a redesign is to include your users at the beginning, during the redesign, and after the new site’s launch. You can start by understanding your users’ needs. Poll them before you decide on a redesign and find out if they think your ideas would be helpful. Your site is for your users, so cater the redesign to their specific desires.
As you continue through the redesign, involve your users at all stages. Ask them to test the new design and give you feedback before you launch. This lets them know you care about their opinion and are doing your best to please them. It also makes the change more gradual for the users.
If you ask your users for feedback, it’s necessary that you actually respond to what they say. Be open to criticism by fixing the problems they find and responding to their feedback. Paying attention to your users’ feedback can also help you create a guide for the new site by showing you the aspects that give them trouble. By seeing value in their opinions and responding, you might retain more users and make them happier throughout the redesign.