Below are five key areas that you can be organized on going into your project that will help you have a successful redesign.
1 – Goals & Objectives
Every site should have clearly defined goals and objectives. This is your foundation for all decision making. Think about how you would define your redesign as successful. Not only at launch but a year later. Here are a few common goals.
- Generate more leads (form fills, phone calls, etc.)
- Sales. Help aid in the sales process by supporting the process a prospect goes through during this process via the website.
- Make the site easy to maintain
- Produce more traffic from organic searches (SEO)
Spend some time talking through your success metrics with your team. This will help guide your thinking throughout the entire project.
2 – Calls To Action
Every website must have at least one primary Call To Action. Think through what these may look like and how they may differ on the various sections of your site. Also consider different levels of aggression with your CTA’s. Here are a few CTA’s that will help get your CTA juices flowing.
- Phone number/contact information- make it easy for the user to get in contact with you. Remember not everyone will fill out a form, some people prefer to call you on a phone.
- Lead Form- make your lead forms prominent, keep the amount of fields short (3-5 is ideal) and think of different ways to say “submit” that may draw more attention.
- E-newsletter signups- make it easy for a prospect to stay informed about what your company is all doing. This is a great indicator of the user showing great intent towards a future sale.
- Whitepaper downloads- what kind of super informative content could you create that someone would be willing to give you their contact information for? Infographics, industry statistics and trends? This is a great “soft” lead that feels less intrusive to the end user.
3 – Photography
A great site, from a design perspective, is often the result of beautiful, well thought out photography. Make every attempt to not use stock photography. Authentic photos of your business, people, community and so on will help build trust and confidence with your site. Here are some additional things to consider in planning your redesign and the photography needed.
- Make a list of what you will want photos taken of. Think about seasonality for any shots that will be outside and make sure you plan around that.
- Consider how a photo will be used on a site. Most of the time you will need horizontal pictures for your site.
- Make sure that the primary focus of the photo isn’t centered. Remember that you will often overlay text, CTA’s or other elements on top of a photo. For that reason we like the focus to not be centered.
- Do you want people in your photos? If so, can it be your own employees or will you need models?
4 – Content
Content can also be a huge timeline killer if you don’t plan properly for it. We always say to start thinking about and working on your content even before the project has started. Here are a few tips to help get you organized with your content.
- Assess your site outline. Are there areas of your site that are no longer needed or areas that need a higher prominence? Starting with a review of your outline will help create a priority for your content needs.
- Make sure you have a consistent voice throughout the site
- While details are great, think about how you can make the content easier to consume. Consider creating bulleted lists so users can easily skim your content.
- Think through what images or graphics could help make this content even better.
5 – What Sites Do You Like?
Think about other sites that stand out to you. What is it about them that makes them stand out for you? Thinking through this you don’t have to limit this to only your industry. If there are elements you like make notes on why you like them. Giving examples will help a designer get into your “mind’s eye” and gain a better understanding from a design perspective. Remember, design is subjective, so this is an important process to help paint the proper picture with your designer. Here a few other things to consider when picking out sites you like.
- What specifically do you like about the site? The more specific you can be the better. Defining this makes you really think about what “good” design means to you.
- Look for sites that have similar features to what you have. For example, if you have a calendar, look for examples of calendars that you like.
- Sometimes it is also a good idea to point out sites or elements on sites that you don’t like.
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