How to Conduct UX Redesign For Your Project

UI/UX Design
Web design
13 Dec
Eugenia Nemkova
Background

In the modern world, technologies, user interaction formats, and design patterns are rapidly changing. A design once made is no longer relevant. This slows down the development of the product – the number of visitors decreases, sales growth slows down. A redesign helps improve a product in terms of market perception and usability.

Benefits of UX Redesign

There are many reasons why it is worth redesigning the site, but the main ones are the following.

  • Improving the appearance of the website

When even a business owner himself understands that the appearance of the company’s website is clearly outdated against the background of competitors, then something definitely needs to be changed. It is unlikely that customers will believe that you are a present-day and reputable company if the design of your site echoes the 2000s.

A stylish and modern website inspires more trust, has a positive effect on sales, brand loyalty and the perception of the business as a whole.

  • Increase in sales and other performance indicators

Website appearance affects many of its performance indicators. One of them is the conversion rate, which in turn affects sales and profits. A website that looks good and works fast is more trustworthy, which means more people will be ready to place an order on it.

In addition to direct salling, these can be various micro-conversions or KPIs:

  • number of page views;
  • time spent on a website;
  • interaction with CTA elements;
  • downloading files or filling out forms, etc.

In addition, the quality of layout (the absence of errors), the quality of site adaptation for mobile devices, page loading speed – all this in combination affects behavioral factors and site ranking in organic search.

  • Compliance with marketing strategy and business goals

The appearance of a website should not be created by itself. It is an integral element of the overall marketing strategy and must be consistent with the goals of the business as such. Even the color scheme matters, and different colors can be used to emphasize certain features of the company.

But when a website is just starting up, such things are not always thought of. To bring everything to the desired form, you will need a redesign. It will allow you to highlight some pages against the background of others, correctly place accents, draw users’ attention to the right things and reduce everything to a single stylistic concept.

  • Fixing bugs and implementing new features

Changing the design of the site is a great opportunity, along with updating the appearance, to eliminate old problems that have accumulated over all this time. For example, implement SEO audit recommendations, make adaptive layout for mobile devices, and solve various technical problems.

The second important point is the implementation of new functionality. For example, a calculator for calculating the cost of services, an advanced user’s personal account, a fundamentally new navigation system, etc.

The UX Redesign Challenges

While there are many benefits that redesigning a website can bring, there are also a few well-founded concerns that come with it.

Regular Users may not be Ready for Changes

People rarely like sudden changes; instead, they prefer what they are used to. If a web resource has a strong “backbone” of regular users, then sudden changes in its design can lead to the website losing the loyalty of such users. Website traffic and conversion will drop, and this will negatively affect the efficiency of its work, and hence the profitability of the site for the company. Yet the percentage of dissatisfied users will be negligible if the design and usability of the website undergoes noticeable improvements.

Some Website Components may Not Work Correctly

When making any changes to a website, it is always important to check whether they have broken the operation of any website components. And when it comes to a thorough redesign, it is not always possible to follow the correct operation of all forms, buttons, etc. As a result, after a redesign, it may turn out that the site does not work as it should, and this leads to the loss of potential customers. That is why it is very important to thoroughly check all the components of the website and test it with a group of users before launching.

Redesign can Take Too Much Time

Deep website redesign takes time, a lot of time. That’s just even the most loyal users, seeing the inscription “Under reconstruction” on it, will not wait too long for the site to return to work again, but will go to competitors.

If you entrust the work to an experienced dev team, which consists of not only UX designers, but also experts such as SEO specialists, strategists and marketers, the redesign time will be significantly reduced.

Decline in Rankings and Traffic Loss

A redesign always comes with SEO risks. Therefore, it must be carried out carefully so as not to lose search positions and traffic. 

It is possible to redesign a site with a minimal reduction in traffic if an SEO specialist controls technical changes. He will be able to draw up a competent technical specification for programmers, describe what needs to be transferred and saved. But still there will be consequences. All pages of the site will change and the crawlers, finding the new structure of the HTML page, will index it in a new way, regardless of how similar it is to the old one. The same URLs will help crawlers find pages faster and lose positions less. When releasing a new site, you need to make sure that all SEO attributes, such as title, description, keywords, content, and linking, are transferred.

The Process of UX Redesign

An experienced development team will tailor the redesign process to the needs and goals of a specific project. However, as a rule, the redesign of a website or application goes through the following stages.

  • Prep work: Understanding Goals, Research and Planning

The initial stage is one of the most labor-intensive and multi-tasking. You need to determine why you need a redesign at all: what you are not satisfied with, what needs to be improved, how you see the result of updating your website and so on. 

To make a quality redesign, do your research. Study the click heatmap, analyze which blocks visitors pay attention to first of all, whether they view pages to the end, how much time they spend on the website. Organize a focus group to evaluate the usability of your website or conduct a user survey.

It will also be useful to compare your site with competitors’ resources. Use the information you collect to create new structures and interfaces. Adopt good solutions, highlight weaknesses and turn them into your advantages. For example, if you need to enter a lot of data for registration on a competitor’s website (which is long and inconvenient), make a quick identification by phone number. 

At the same stage, all tasks are written out, as well as the methods and terms of their implementation. A strategy for transitioning to a new design is also defined to make it as least painful for users.

In a nutshell, the first preparatory phase consists of the following tasks:

  • Align website goals with marketing goals
  • Conduct a website audit
  • Know your target audience
  • Learn from your competitors
  • Designing the terms of reference

A redesign can greatly increase the value of a website for a business, pay for itself, and provide a lot of benefits. But only under the condition of clarity in goals, a clear understanding of what and how will be done by all participants in the process. That is why the prep work is extremely important.

  • Design development

Direct design development consists of several sub-stages, such as creating a site map, wireframing and prototyping. First, a website interface is drawn with the display of all its elements: buttons, menus, contacts, logos, forms, headers, footers, etc. This will allow visualizing a project and effectively working out all the key scenarios of user interaction with a product. Based on feedback, all interface screens are brought to the final level of development one by one, detailing the various states. The result of this stage will be a prototype showing in detail how the product will be functionally arranged.

  • Layout

At this stage, the artists create the interface design, and the developers write the HTML code. It is important to provide programmers with detailed and well-defined terms of reference in order to get a product that will meet your expectations.

  • Website programming and building

Developers choose a CMS, program it and adapt it to the given portal functionality. Frontenders do the layout. If the redesign meets the stated requirements, the website is filled with content: images, videos and texts.

  • Testing

The website is opened in several browsers, as well as on different devices. Mobile optimization is a factor that plays a paramount role in promotion issues, as it is taken into account by search engine algorithms. There are services like the Mobile-Friendly Test that help you determine if your pages are mobile-optimized.

During the testing phase, each section of the site is checked not only for correct operation, but also for usability. It is recommended that you test the redesign with users of a previous version of the product. They will be able to compare the usability of the two versions and provide feedback on what they like about the new design and what might annoy them. In case of bugs or lack of usability, the website is sent for further redesign.

  • Release

After testing, the project is finally launched. On the homepage, you can tell the audience why you decided to redesign, what are the benefits for customers. So users are more loyal to the new version of the website and will be aware of the new features.

But the work doesn’t end there. Firstly, additional testing is carried out after the release. And secondly, developers and the team can help in project growth, finalizing new features as desired.

7 Things to Consider Before And During a Website Redesign

One might think that knowing the redesign process itself is a guarantee of success. But do not rush to remove the old wallpaper. There are still important points that are worth paying attention to if we want to achieve the best result.

Who is Visiting Your Website

When you want to give someone a present, you think of that person so that you don’t end up just buying some useless thing. The website works the same way. Although it’s yours, it’s designed to satisfy the desires of its users, which is impossible without knowing who they are and what they want. 

As a rule, people can come to your resource to learn something, go somewhere, do something or buy something. For example, someone is at the beginning of the marketing funnel and is just interested in learning more about your brand, while another is ready to buy what you have to offer. If you redesign with your customers’ intent in mind, they will feel it and the site won’t be useless or inconvenient for them.

One effective way to understand who and what your customers want is to create a customer persona: an image of your existing and ideal customers based on real demographic and psychographic data. For example: your persona is a middle-aged manager of a credit company with 10 employees who is looking for software to automate the loan process. This is how you will redesign your landing page so that it contains the information your client needs: in our case, this is information about the loan software and a button to contact the developer.

If you’ve never created a persona before and find it hard to figure out who your customers are, place surveys on your site pages to collect useful data from your customers about what brought them here.

Which Pages of Your Website are the Most Valuable

Let’s compare the website redesign process to remodeling a house. You will not demolish the first walls that come across without checking the building blueprints and making sure that they are not load-bearing. Similarly, with a redesign, before making any changes to the look and structure of a website, it is necessary to examine the map of its ecosystem. This will allow you to understand which pages need to be demolished cleanly, and which ones should be tried to be kept in their original form.

Using any analytics tool like Google Analytics, analyze the traffic and conversion of each page. Pages that have high traffic and conversions are the most valuable for your resource and your business, so you need to be careful about any change during its redesign. If a page has a high conversion rate but low traffic, any changes should also be done with care, as although it doesn’t bring many visitors to your website, it is profitable. Pages that bring in high traffic but have low conversions can be modified as you don’t risk losing customers. Most of all, you can experiment with pages that have low traffic and conversion. Such pages are the least valuable for your business, which means you are not at risk.

The categorization of pages allows you to figure out what works well and what needs to be fixed. This is how you get the most out of your website redesign and don’t mess up what is already converting.

What is a Purpose of Your Redesign

A redesign can significantly increase the value of a website for a business, but only if the goals are SMART: specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-related. Define attainable goals, prioritize them and set a time frame for achieving them.

Answer the question: why do you want to redesign your website and what result do you want to achieve? There are goals such as: increasing conversion, improving the ranking of the resource in search results, or enhancing the quality of a website’s usability, and so on. 

A lot depends on the goal, including the level of complexity of the redesign: whether it will be a cosmetic repair or a complete reconstruction. So if you can’t articulate the goals of the redesign, you risk spending money and not getting positive changes.

What Indicators Measure Your Success

This aspect is closely related to the goals that you pursue with a website redesign. In business, it all comes down to metrics and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). You invest a certain amount in a redesign and want it to pay off. In addition, you expect the exact amount of income that your business should bring you. For example, specifying the goal “increase conversion” is not enough. “A 20% conversion increase in six months” is another matter.

If you don’t track metrics such as conversion rate, customer lifetime value (CLV), or customer satisfaction score (CSAT), you won’t know if a redesign was a success or needs to be improved.

Who Makes Up Your Team

Steve Jobs once said that “great things in business are never done by one person. They’re done by a team of people.” The success of a website redesign also depends on each team member who will be involved, whether it be a SEO specialist, a UX designer, a copywriter, or a tech developer. Make sure that the professionals you hire have the necessary experience and skills, as well as the ability to work in a team. Know each team member and the tasks assigned to them.

What are the Attributes of Your Brand

Brand attributes are what people remember you for, the image they have in their mind when they hear your brand name. Just as you have an image of your ideal client, so customers have a certain image of your brand. Attributes are important because they increase your brand awareness and set you apart from the competition. They can be seen in a logo, an icon, a certain color scheme, and so on. If you’re going to redesign your website, you can’t lose your corporate identity, which reflects the corporate values you’re bringing to life.

How Not to Lose Positions in Search Results When Redesigning

If your website had high rankings before the redesign and you want to keep them, we recommend following these tips:

  • Save the HTML tags. These include elements of headings (H1, H2, H3 and others) and text formatting (b for bold, i for italics, ul for creating a bulleted list). It is important not to remove or change tags when laying out the site.
  • Do not change the structure of the portal. Do not create new sections and pages or delete them. Otherwise, the pages will have new URLs that will be re-indexed. This will affect their position in the search results.
  • Add “noindex” tags for new blocks and “nofollow” attributes for links. This is necessary in order not to lose the position of the site. Gradually add tags and attributes for each new type of content and analyze how they affect the ranking of the resource. In this way, you can easily revert changes if you notice a decrease in positions.

Conclusion

Websites need regular updating. From time to time it is necessary to evaluate it, track conversion and traffic in order to redesign in time. Redesigning on your own is a difficult and risky affair, so it should be entrusted to experienced professionals who are able to introduce innovations quickly and without critical losses in organic traffic and conversions.

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