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Website Magazine Interview Exclusive - Managing Redesign

Posted on 3.22.2010

We spoke with Pinckney Hugo Group’s Executive Vice President Aaron Hugo and Senior Interactive Designer Adam Jwaskiewics to get their opinions on website redesign — the criteria, processes and objectives. Pinckney Hugo Group is a full-service marketing firm that offers traditional services such as print, radio and television, as well as interactive services.

WM: How long, typically, is it until a redesign is needed?

AH: If something has changed in the brand, if there's new positioning or a new message; that usually forces a Web redesign. But in a lot of cases it's every three years, depending on the industry.

AJ: If you’re not doing a little each day or each month, you’re falling behind quickly.

WM:What are the most-needed redesign elements of a website?

AH: Right now, over the past year-plus, it’s complete redesigns. What we're really seeing is clients asking us to help lead them through a navigation planning process. It's about really understanding the way a customer would logically go through their site. What are the most important functions and features of their site?

AJ: The nature in which people use websites has changed in the last 10 years, such as social media aspects, sharing, and posting. With most clients that we're seeing, they realize design is more than a pretty picture on a home page. People are really using the Web differently. So, clients understand a lot of planning has to happen before developing.

WM:What are some common redesign mistakes?

AH:Everybody reads just enough to be dangerous. They're reading about FLASH, color theory, whatever. They don't truly do the planning in the beginning. We've never walked into a meeting where a client showed us analytics and gave us direction to a redesign. It's one of the first things we want to ask them — what’s most needed?

AJ: A lot of times clients are too close to their products or services. They overcomplicate things. A client needs to take a step back, and that's a good reason to hire an agency.

WM:When contracting a redesign, what questions should a client ask?

AH: A lot has to do with how flexible a company is. How well will you hold my hand through this process? If we need to make changes in the end, if we need to relearn something, will you be there to help us? Halfway through the process, if we need to change, how well can that be accommodated, and is there an upcharge?

AJ: I believe a client should be able to ask their partner to lead them through the process. Garbage-in-garbage-out needs to be eliminated.

WM:Is design more important than ever?

AH: It’s your window to the world. There are so many ways now to get in front of your audience. It’s mission critical.

AJ: It’s important to note that advertising has moved online, too. As more budget and advertising becomes interactive, you need your pages to look as professional as possible.

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