Whether you’re launching a new website or redesigning an existing one, you’re going to need your thinking cap. Or a hard hat. You shouldn’t build a house without a blueprint for the same reason you shouldn’t try to redesign a website without a clear vision and marketing strategy: It will crumble. For a smooth and effective website design or redesign, you have to pour the foundation first.
A Strong Foundation
Website design and redesign is much like building or remodeling a house, beginning with your company’s business objectives and marketing strategy as the foundation and each stage of design. Each design stage is dependent upon the previous stage. Not taking the time to complete each step will result in a mishap when the site launches. A website, like a house, needs a blueprint telling the builders where to put the kitchen, the bedrooms, the plumbing for the bathroom, etc.
Websites are powered by databases that store the content that will populate the website. Without the content, there is no way for the programmers to tell the databases how and where to distribute the content. So you might end up with your bathroom in the kitchen, so to speak.
Decisions about the target audience and the desired functionality must be made before the building begins and then mapped out in a way that communicates to the builders what is needed. Unfortunately, it’s the content strategy and business marketing decisions that often get lost in the process of website redesign. Either they’re not communicated to, or fully understood, by individuals responsible for sourcing and working with the agency that will do the website design or redesign.
A Unique Structure
While most websites appear fairly straightforward and share general characteristics – a home page with a navigation structure linking different pages with different types of information – no two websites are exactly the same, just as no two businesses are ever the same. But your website can’t just look different to be different. Its difference must be that it communicates with your company’s audience and meets their needs while accomplishing your specific business goals in the process.
Your Company’s Expertise
The agency you choose should specialize in designing websites to accomplish the client’s business objectives. Don’t assume that an agency will automatically understand your objectives and how they resonate with your audience any more than a home contractor would automatically understand a homeowners’s requirements and needs. You and your employees are the experts at knowing your objectives and your audience. Plan to provide detailed information – a strong foundation – to the agency you choose to help create your winning website redesign.