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A Primer on Website Redesign

Posted on 6.04.2006
The catalyst behind most website redesigns is often the need to increase "add-to-cart" conversions, average order value and the spiderability of  sites. If you're redesigning just because you can, because your competitor did or just because you want to, you are probably setting yourself up for a poor result. So, why are you redesigning?

If you're falling behind in emerging standards, if your architecture or technology is outdated or if your site is not compelling enough to influence behavior (make a sale - as determined by your bottom line) - you know who you are - then your site needs a redesign. Sure, these are sweeping statements but with the right mindset (and insights into what's missing from your site and what needs to be done) you'll be well on your way to a more successful online presence.

What to focus on specifically?
Redesigns work when site designers, in tandem with marketing execs and seo specialists, focus on guiding, overarching principles (like seo friendliness or landing pages with more refined architecture) in order to commit to reworking critical paths to purchase pages.

What's missing in most site redesign?
What most web design (or redesign) specialists realize after years of practical implimentation is that without a full-working prototype, redesigns often cause more problems than currently exist. What is needed for a successful redesign even before the design process begins is emprical data from focus group research or eye-tracking surveys (often related to usability or findability) and full on A/B or multivariate testing of landing pages.

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