Redesigns are a fun way to new ways of designing web projects to go. With these 14 questions you bring your next redesign better on the stage.
If a redesign is pending, you want as designers often like to start from scratch and often practically nothing to take from the original page. But why reinvent the wheel?Often, this kind of activism to more negative than positive results, as useful elements of the original page discarded in the course of the redesign and users are faced with a completely new experience.
The best way to tackle a redesign, in my eyes is to analyze the existing project to maintain good approaches and to replace bad with new ones. Without a thorough analysis, you risk missing important factors and so to donate with your redesign more harm than good. For this reason, we put ourselves at our agency, these 14 questions before we begin to design a redesign for an existing project.
Do we really need a redesign?
The question sounds funny in this context, but it is entirely justified. The longer one is engaged in a project – whether on client or agency side – eventually enters a unwiederruflich a certain wear-out effect. What was even more exciting and new in the beginning, is the everyday standard and creates ever-increasing doubt. You can not protect against this phenomenon itself. More than an attempt at distancing can help in the decision-making objective here.
Are the design choices from today’s perspective still comprehensible? How users see? What is the (actual) reason for the desire for a redesign? Do we need a redesign of the entire project, or are improvements in the individual components may be a better solution?
Are there any brand guidelines and specifications?
Stand firm the basic need of the redesign, it can go down to the nitty-gritty. Whether global players or local small business owners: Any specifications, there is always.Even wen the customer should not be aware of and you’ve “free hand” is – what many large companies is surprisingly still the case – there is always a set of expectations that it is before the redesign to find out and observe.
What input I get from customers?
Often, your customers can give you a perfect insight into the expectations of the redesign and do a lot of preparatory work before they pick up the phone in your hand and ask you for your help. Nevertheless, you should input from the customer question in principle and to have the knowledge from your experiences fall under the table.
Not always are the insights that you get from your customers correctly. It may be that you will work together with million companies whose insights are based empathize on survey of 10 people in the office with the task into their customers.Blindness is a very common phenomenon that presuppose the corporate point of view as an absolute constant and make difficult external input.
A personal and critical look at the project content and a bit of tact in conversation with the customer, can tease out a lot of potential for the upcoming redesign here.
Are there any ingredients that should be saved?
Well designed sites can often still look boring and need revision. And yet often hidden well established and workable concepts behind the “boring” acting facade. It always pays to check the structure of a page to come across good ingredients that should be incorporated into the new page. Adopting such positive components minimizes the risk to challenge established user of a completely unknown concept and scaring away if necessary.
Can you work with the existing components?
During the last years pages are usually designed with contemporary markup, bring older specimens sometimes even a table-based layout with it. You have to decide whether you want to work with the existing components further, or have to develop a completely new structure. While the decision quickly falls for smaller, outdated pages in favor of a rebuild, it could lead to an enormous increase of expenses on big sites. Here it is budget, working hours and benefits to reconcile.
What changes to the user interface are necessary?
Best practices for building a website change with time. For this, not least the victorious march of the new device classes such as smartphones and tablet responsible. It is important to consider the technology of the users of the site into account. If the page nfrom of modern browsers? What about mobile devices? Could Responsive Web Design be important, or is the clientele actually still mainly with Internet Explorer 7 on the road and the side anyway is to serve rather as an intranet?
Analysis tools help you to find ways that you can go to the redesign and what not.
If the server what you need?
Often you need to in the course of the redesign also with the technical resources en your customer to deal with. Not infrequently, you hit it on webhosting contracts with deep roots in the past and may appropriately configured to do. However, more recent offerings you will not always be happy.
If the scripting language that you want to use, supports? Might be important functions of the server locked and your freedom of action? There are actually companies that offer business packages with strict database query limits and without. Htaccess or mod_rewrite.
Here it is a more suitable offer for your customers to find, or resign yourself with the technical conditions or to you out in the way stones to work around it.
Of course it is always easier to develop a known environment. Not always but it will be possible to you to get the appropriate resources. Especially when an IT department or external service providers are in the game, a conversion can become a problem.
Do you have access to the source data of the website?
Work t you go with a (possibly for performance or security reasons) compiled system? If so, you have access to the uncompiled version or can you with the person who has access to ever reach yet? Even if you would like wishes: Customers do not only be equipped with the necessary resources for further processing of the website upon delivery of the finished project. This helps in the worst case, only a remake.
If the customer wants a CMS and if so, he wants to keep his old?
It is difficult at the customer to replace established solutions with new ones. No matter how outdated or inefficient solutions are. Once a company has learned how it gets the desired results with these solutions, it is very difficult to establish new solutions. In the worst case, the site is running on a home-made system that is basically just a patchwork of workarounds and bug fixes.
If you can show your customers that a new CMS not only you but also facilitate his life would, thus saving both time and money, but that should not be a major problem.
Is it worth the use of new technologies?
The use of new technologies actually worth for the redesign of your website or the redesign consists mainly of a shift to new technologies? Of course, it is to show the heart’s desire of every Webworkers what is in it and develop the full range of his technical skills. And yet this is worth not always.
On the one hand brings the conversion usually always higher costs than the use of existing resources. On the other hand, it is not always necessary to perform this conversion, because the current solutions can be sufficiently complete. Here it is important to find a balance between ambition and benefits.
Can you take over the old data?
A page can contain a lot of data that need to migrate it. To get even with inconspicuous projects quickly an unmanageable number of pages to light. Here it is a balance between new structures and acquisition of old data to find. Also, the old data must somehow fit into the concept of your information redesigns.
An automatic porting is in many cases not possible and also the willingness to cooperate in this case is not always the case, so you either work with the old data structure or need to find an adequate and appropriate in the budget solution for a data migration.
Could changes have a negative impact on the search engine ranking of the page?
During the transfer of data search engine optimization plays an important role. It is important to incorporate information from the existing website to cause no deterioration in the ranking. This factor complicates the decision on the acquisition of inventory data and additional structures. The site may eventually look terrible and be difficult to use and still shine through good SEO results.
What content is actually relevant?
Often it is helpful if an outsider – like the agency – takes a look at the site’s content.With the aid of the websites statistics could often prove to pages that the customer deems relevant as totally uninteresting or vice versa. This helps in building a new information architecture and weights of existing content.
What are the benefits you can achieve with the redesign?
If you have a job redesign are on the table, it is only secondary to the appearance of the project. As a rule, their merchants sitting opposite, the positive impact of your work on numbers – it’s visitor numbers or sales figures – expect.
You have not or definitely should not make promises success for developments that you can not ignore. However, you should ask these questions: Is your work contribute to the success of the project? What benefits does my solution over the old? Is my approach ready for the future – he provides, for example, in addition to a better usability some future security for a further development, scalability and performance?
If you see no benefit in a revision or you do not see in a position to bring about an improvement, it is your duty to say it. Should insist on the revision of the customer nevertheless, you have at least a clear conscience.
There is no magic formula
As always, there is no magical formula for every decision and this checklist is certainly not the ultimate set of rules on how to approach a redesign. You should Much more to consider on the basis of these questions to develop your own checklist to be able to answer for yourself important questions in connection with redesign.