10 Things to consider before having your website re-designed 1. What is the goal of the redesign? What do you hope to accomplish? It’s always important to have a clear understanding of your reasons and motivations as they should impact the decisions that you make along the way. Without knowing these goals the project will lack direction and you will likely wind up with a website that still doesn’t meet your needs. 2. Is this going to be just a minor upgrade or a complete overhaul? A redesign could be anything from a minor facelift to an entirely new site. Obviously the time, effort, and cost involved will vary, but first you should determine what types of changes are required for you to meet your goals with the design. If a complete redesign is done you will also want to consider to what extent the new design should resemble the old design. If visitors are coming back to the site, chances are you will want them to notice the new design without feeling like they’ve never been to your site before. 3. What aspects of the current design are most effective? Most likely there are some things about the current design that work very well, and these may be aspects that you would like to keep or incorporate into the new design. It’s a good idea to make a simple list of your likes and dislikes to help with decisions on the new design. 4. What aspects of the current design are not effective? Building on point #3, if you are redesigning the site you are bound to want to get rid of some specific aspects of the website or the design. Are there some characteristics of the design that do not accurately portray your business to new visitors? 5. Who are your target users? During any design process you never want to lose focus on the visitors. By knowing who you are targeting and how you can meet their needs, you will be on your way to building an effective website. What style of design are your users going to like? 6. How can the website be more user-friendly? Improving the functionality and usability of a website is always a good thing. It’s pointless to spend time and money on a redesign that looks great but simply isn’t user-friendly. 7. Does the logo/branding need to be changed or updated? Most likely the website will include some form of a logo or branding. Are these items still up-todate and will they function effectively with a new design? If your logo is out-of-date and not attractive, a new design may not do much good if it is still using the same old logo. 8. Should the color scheme change or remain the same? In point #2 I mentioned that most of the time you will want to keep the website at least looking familiar to repeat visitors. Using a similar color scheme is one of the best ways to accomplish this. A lot of times it can be a good idea to make some minor changes to the color scheme, such as changing shades of colors or adding a few new colors, just to give the site a fresh look. 9. What screen resolutions are visitors using? It’s important to know how your visitors are going to be viewing the site. A program such as Google Analytics can easily give you this information. Obviously, a fixed-width design should take into consideration the typical screen resolutions of visitors. 10. What connection speed are visitors using? Knowing the connection speed will help you to know what types of elements you can include in the design without causing hardships for the average visitor.