Realign Your Website Instead of Redesigning it
Don't Redesign, Realign
Posted by Adam Hayes
Realigning your website to your strategy is more beneficial than redesigning.
It is absolutely essential to understand the concept of realigning your website to your strategy or realigning your strategy to your goals to stay competitive in the online market. I read a post recently on A list apart where they provide rock solid information on the benefits and reasons of realigning your website compared to a full blown redesign that I completely agree with. It focuses on the need to realign our website instead of redesign it.
The desire to redesign is aesthetic-driven, while the desire to realign is purpose-driven. One approach seeks merely to refresh, the other aims to fully reposition and may or may not include a full refresh.
- Market trends have shifted. Should our website be adjusted accordingly?
- Our users’ needs have changed. Do we need to adapt?
- We’ve added 3 new sections and a slew of new content to the site over the last 12 months. Are we presenting content as effectively as we can?
- Our current website does little to convey the strength of our product offering. Does our online presence enhance or devalue our overall brand perception?
Realignment involves two main facets. The first is realigning your website with you current web strategy. Is your website doing everything it can to convince buyers to perform a specific action? If it isn't, what do you need to do to realign your website with your strategy? What changes can you make today to bring your site a little closer to being in line with your strategy? Now do them!
The second is the process of realigning your goals. This should be an ongoing endeavor. As we mentioned in a previous post about tracking customers:
You need to have a plan to update, maintain, and improve your web site on a monthly, if not weekly basis. Make sure you track your progress as you make updates. See what motivates your customers. Constantly examine your definition of your customer. Has it changed? What do you need to do to adapt to the change in needs?
This brings up one point that I didn't like about the quote above from A List Apart: Market trends have shifted. I say that you should know that Market trends ARE shifting and be evaluating "How is my target audience changing, and how can I quickly adapt to their new needs?"
The quicker you notice change and realign your goals accordingly the farther you will stay ahead of the competition.
Here are four easy steps to realign your website:
- What is the reason for this realignment?
- What level of realignment is necessary?
- What are the switching costs?
- How will this impact current projects?
All of this sounds like iterative website design, except with more focus on the reasoning behind the changes. There are few posts that really jump out at me and make me say "Yes. Yes. Yes. Exactly!!!", but the need to realign your website is one that resonates with perfect harmony to our website design process. I hope it will with yours as well.
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