Redesigning A Website – What To Add And What To Eliminate?
The growing competition in web designing industry often prompts the website owners to modify their websites. When redesigning websites, your job as a web designer becomes complex. There is a basic consensus in the industry over some of the principles which should be followed in the redesign strategy. First the website search engine ranking should not degrade due to modifications. Think about the audience, as always. Consider the reasons behind redesigning move and never forget to have a back up of the previous version. Get it updated with the latest information. To follow is an explanation of implementing such a strategy:
Keep The Brand Intact
Every website has some feature which marks its identity. More often than not a logo plays this role. If your site doesn’t have a logo, then keep the most recognizable part of the website unchanged; so that the old user feels it to be familiar when he revisits your website. To say the least your website’s appearance may change but not its theme.
From Visitors’ View Point
The success of a website largely depends on the visitors and usually their usage habits identify the popularity of different components of a website. There are a few tools available on the internet through which you can judge different parts and their impact on the visitors of your website.
Google Analytics helps you in finding the conversion rates of different pages of the website. Another very useful tool is ClickHeat. It helps you find which areas of the page users are clicking and which is being ignored. In this way, you can get a clear idea of which components are making the user interested.
Clickdensity can be regarded as the best of lot particularly from web designing point of view-point. There are two unique components in it. One is heat map which shows the areas clicked mostly by the user and the other is hover map. Hover map shows where the users scroll over but do not click. This will point out the weaker elements of your page which caught the attention but can’t attract the user interest.
Connect the Website
Social networking links are being embedded in most of the websites these days. Facebook, Twitter, Digg, Delicious and RSS feeds; all of them give leverage to the user of posting comments or updating himself about the website. If the previous website design didn’t have this feature then such buttons are worthy of being considered.
Add Feedback or Testimonials
A very good tool to fill up some of the white space in the website is to add the user feed back or testimonials from popular people about your business or website. It is very likely that it was not the part of the first website design.
Keep It Simple and Be Creative
Even when you are redesigning or re-developing the website, you have to make sure that it doesn’t go off track and lose its basic purpose. If you do so, you will not only lose your previous visitors but also credibility as a designer. Focus on the main purpose or brand you are promoting and base your whole idea on it. Be creative, as creativity is the key to every artist’s success!
Flash gives much pleasure to aesthetic sense but it reduces the ease of navigation. Moreover some of the search engines still have the issue of crawling through the flash content which results in the sites depreciation in rankings.
Minimize Image Space
High resolution images are always recommended but it does not mean that you fill the whole page with images. One large image is enough and that too is not a necessity at times. If you wish to add more, it is better to add them as thumbnails and enlarge them when user places the cursor on it. Rest, it depends on the need.
Website redesigning is a very tricky process. Before you accept any such project ask the client as many questions as you can to get a clear idea of their requirements. Then analyze different aspects through the website tools to make informed decisions.
Key point for me… “From Visitors’ View Point” so important!