Keys to Successfully Redesigning Your Website

By: Sameer Somal |  September 15, 2014

Redesigning a website requires careful attention to user needs and expectations. Take, for example, the furor that was unleashed when Windows 8 was released without the customary start button on the bottom left. Users were accustomed to having the start button positioned on the bottom left side of their screens; instead, it was replaced with a tile-like page with the same purpose. Although functionality did not change, it brought discomfort to many Windows users. As a result, Microsoft reintroduced the start button with its most recent version.

 

Flickr disappointed their users when they modified their website. Consequently, in order to retain their users, the company adjusted the site in an update.

 

Despite many cases of failure, some online brands experience success after making transitions. Pinterest is among those online brands that didn’t experience drawdown when they implemented new updates earlier this year.

 

Another successful case is Facebook, which can manage design and function changes well while maintaining user loyalty.

 

How to Undergo a Successful Design Transition

Although different industries and users may have different reasons for undertaking a redesign, there are some points that can’t be overlooked prior to launching a successful platform.

 

Here are the points that a successful online brand should consider:

 

Pilot Testing

When web designers feel strongly that it is time to improve their users’ website experience, they will start a redesign and consider launching a new version. Once this need emerges, the company brainstorms ideas for design changes and enhancements. When a company determines requirements, the development phase begins.

 

It is impossible to obtain all users’ opinions about the new updates, but the opinions are very critical. This is where pilot, or beta, testing comes into play.

 

Pilot testing introduces the new version only to a small number of users and records their experience about what they like and don’t like. Collecting their responses can help companies make adjustments to their new updates.

 

Pinterest used pilot testing before launching their latest updates and enjoyed a smooth transition.

 

Take the Slow Route

There is a saying that says that “too much of anything is bad,” and this applies to web redesign. What will users feel when they open their favorite website but see a completely strange web page? They may feel uncomfortable with the changes. Therefore, it is important to keep the slow route in mind during the transition.

 

Taking the slow route can help users adapt to the new changes smoothly. In addition, making tiny changes can give the online brand time to collect and analyses users’ responses. The company can receive the users’ experience with a specific revamp.

 

Help Users to Adapt

Facebook may be the most successful case among web brands that have attempted redesigns. When Facebook decides to make changes to their website, the revamp is introduced as smoothly and subtly as possible. It uses methods such as messages, videos, and media to help users get used to the changes. This helps users who have difficulty adjusting to the changes become accustomed to the new design.

 

While a guidebook would be helpful for tech firms that decide to launch new versions of their sites, no such book exists. If we were in the publishing business, we would seriously think about publishing a related guidebook. As a technology company, we can only present our thoughts and ideas through this blog. We welcome your thoughts and ideas.

 

 

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Sameer Somal
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