1. How will the change affect user experience? Small tweaks to your website design can create big impacts in your users’ minds. Over a third (38 percent) of users agree that an unattractive site layout decreases site engagement. A sleek page is essential for a positive user experience. But before you implement massive changes to things like navigation and UI, it's important to realize that regular users fall into habits using your website. Navigating back and forth starts to become an issue of seamless muscle memory. They expect certain features and functions to stay where they remember them. When you completely shift the core user experience, it can be off-putting to your most loyal users. Sometimes, tweaks, adjustments, or completely starting from scratch can really bring your website around, especially when its inception was poorly conceived or rushed. Other times, it's best not to fix what isn’t broken. Whenever you're planning an update or overhaul, be sure to consider how the change will affect user experience. Unless you’re talking about Flash. You really need to stop using Flash.
2. What business objectives will this change accommodate? Are you launching a new sale? Do you have a new subscription plan? Are you producing new types of content or offering new goods and services? Updating a website can potentially pull in new traffic, but ultimately, your website is there to facilitate some aspect of your brand or business. An update or overhaul is going to make the biggest impact when there's actually something new happening with your content and services. For example, research shows that specific color schemes increase web page recognition by 80 percent. If you’re doing an overhaul of your products or services, launching your website with a vibrant new color layout can help it stick in your customers’ minds.
Ask yourself what your update is going to accomplish for your business and try to time aesthetic and functional changes with shifts in your business model.
3. Do I have a clear game plan? At the end of the day, you have to enter the process realizing that a website overhaul isn't a cure-all for every problem your brand or business may be facing along the way. Although 94 percent of people agree that websites with well-designed layouts are more trustworthy, poor marketing metrics, high bounce rates and disappointing sales might have more to do with other aspects of your business. Your website overhaul is one aspect of a larger strategy for improving your business. Make sure that you have a solid plan for moving forward with your brand before you jump straight into an overhaul.