Redesigning Web Sites – from the eTourism Summit

I was recently invited to present at the 11th annual eTourism Summit on the topic of web site redesign. Unless you’re a brand new company, most companies/brands have had at least one (if not multiple) web sites. But things change… brands change, technology changes, content needs change, business goals change… any and all of these can necessitate a redesign. Tim Schaden from Fluency Media and I put together this presentation on some of the things we do when we approach a redesign project. (I’ve added some commentary below the Slideshare presentation to cover some of the ideas not written out in the slides.) Hope it helps when you’re approaching your own web site redesign. And if you have additional questions, give us a call at 503-445-0482, email us or leave them as a comment.

Some of my notes from this presentation…

  • Usability testing is a great addition to analytics reviews in that you can see why people are doing certain things, not just what they’re doing.
  • Don’t make a focus group a testing ground for what people would like/not like, but why they would like something. Use this information to understand what you should do.
  • What is your why? Your reason for existing? If you can’t answer this question, how can your web site? Why should people care?
  • Content is probably the most underrated deliverable and the single biggest challenge of any redesign.
  • Supplement visitor-submitted content with dynamic, database content. Don’t rely on one source for all the content, combine the sources to create a richer, deeper narrative and experience.
  • Think about content first. If you don’t know what your content is going to be, how can you design layout, hierarchy, or interaction? And how can you determine what kind of content management system will be right?
  • When thinking about a redesign, make sure you’re building your site to be extensible, not just from a data standpoint, but from a platform standpoint.
  • Be appropriate for the platform. This means not everything should work or be structured the same on all platforms.
  • Know that everything won’t be perfect. Continually test what you’ve done through analytics, usability testing, surveys, etc. And then act on this feedback.

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