17 Cues that Tell You It’s Time to Redesign Your Site
Need a new website? Here are 17 cues that tell you it’s time to redesign your site:
- Old News. The “News” section’s latest post was two or more years ago. Rule of thumb: either keep it up to date, or take it down.
- Rotating Little “e”. Using old design icons, such as the rotating lower case “e” to signify e-mail us, or blinking content. That’s just so last century!
- Hit Counter? You have a visible hit counter, and it’s not a high number. Lose it!
- Talking Heads. You’re using the actress that walks onto the screen and starts talking to your viewer unprompted. This was a trend that started in 2004, and lasted about five minutes. Put the viewer in the driver’s seat. Let them decide what content to play and when.
- Background music . . . really bad background music. If I want to listen to tunes, I’ll listen to tunes. If elevator companies stopped the music, you should too.
- 10 – 30 – 60. It’s been 10 seconds; I’m on your site and I still don’t understand what you do, or why your site exists. Think about what the viewer must understand in: 10 seconds, 30 seconds, 1 minute. Prioritize on the home page accordingly.
- Info dump. Last year, we started to see a transfer in thinking, as the methodology of using the website to dump loads of content gave way to more streamlined, prioritized design. If your homepage is jam-packed with content and navigation, and doesn’t easily guide the viewer to a meaningful end, it’s time to redesign.
- Clutter bugs. Adding new cool features and content to a site is what keeps it fresh, and always improving. But have a plan for how new features, content, and links will be introduced and positioned. All too often, we see sites where the home page – once a clean, prioritized, navigate-able design – has been cluttered up with new content (video, social media icons, news highlights, awards, etc.). Don’t let clutter bugs overtake your site. Think about maintaining design integrity before you introduce any new content, especially on the home page.
- Advance apology. “Here’s a link to our site, but . . . it’s not very good, it hasn’t been updated, it doesn’t show our latest solutions . . .” All polite ways to say, “It sucks.”
- Stock art hell. Stock art is supposed to be used effectively to support the creation of a custom design; it shouldn’t become the design. Bring some authenticity and originality to the design.
- Confusing navigation. A byproduct of the days when we absolutely had to get every ounce of nav on the home page and above the fold. Web designers are creative, and can come up with some really cool ways to pack lots of navigation into a small space. But is it clear to a viewer? Usually no. Simple nav = happy viewer.
- No leads, or bad leads. Either your site is not designed to convert a visitor into a prospect, or your site is not positioning your brand correctly to the right audiences.
- Flash Happy. Flash intros have gone the way of eight-track tapes for some time now. Ditch the Flash, or use it very sparingly, realizing that a number of devices bearing a certain fruit emblem aren’t Flash friendly.
- Hard to read. White text on black, or very small text, is hard to read. Air it out. Use clear headlines, subheads and bullet text for lists. Keep it clean. Make it legible. That’s why it’s there, right?
- Internal Breakdown. A common problem. You visit a site, and experience a killer awesome homepage design. You’re expecting more awesomeness as you dive deeper, right? Not so when it looks like content was dropped into the interior like a grenade. If your site design breaks down in the interior pages, your viewer’s interest will break down also.
- We, We, We. Boring. Viewers don’t care about you; they care about themselves. Turn every “we” into a “you.” Make it about them, their needs, not your agenda.
- Mission, Vision. In 17 years, I don’t think I’ve ever freely and willingly read a mission, vision or purpose statement on a site I’ve visited. If they must be on the site, bury them deep.
Website technology has taken a major leap in the last year alone. A new site design will take full advantage of all of the substantial advancements in site design, functionality, content management, search optimization, and the like.
Delia Associates‘ in house professional website design team is here to assist with WEBpath, our six-step process to complete custom website development that will take your brand and business to the next level.