Written By: Chad Heinle
Maybe you read a particular blog post about why your site may be ready for a redesign and it sparked a thought. Maybe you came to the conclusion on your own and it fired you into action. Maybe putting those CDs in the microwave in the 90s was a bad idea in hindsight and only left you with terrible metaphors. Regardless of the process you went through of coming to your conclusion, you’ve decided to jump head first into a project, but then you had to stop and ask “where do I start?
Start by being realistic
How much extra work can you or your company take on right now? Answering this question will help you determine one of the biggest guidelines you’ll need to determine before you do anything: scope. If it hasn’t been too long since your last redesign, then maybe some minor updates will do the trick. If it’s been ten years, maybe it’s time to do something. It should be obvious, but the longer you wait, the more likely it is that you’ll have more work to do. Shorter, incremental updates are a good way to keep the stress levels down and score some quick wins.
Start with the users
No matter the purpose, gathering information from your actual end users will provide the best site usability in the end. Companies often think of their products and services much differently than individual customers, so getting that insight in an important key in success.
Start with data
One of the most powerful things I’ve seen is a usability test on an existing site where certain stakeholders didn’t think anything was wrong. After seeing those tests and how users performed, projects got the green light very quickly. Even the most stubborn stakeholders aren’t immune to actual data from their end users (leaving room for the few exceptions of course).
Just get started
All things considered, you could go down a lot of different paths, but in the end it’s important to at least do something if you know it’s time for a redesign. Small steps, big steps – any step is a step forward, so long as you make it informed and thoughtful of your users needs.
Chad's Bio Coming Soon!
More About Virgil
Virgil Carroll is the owner and president of High Monkey – based in Minneapolis Minnesota. Virgil also wears the multiple ‘hats’ of Principle Human Solutions Architect and SharePoint Architect.
Virgil is one of those rare individuals who can dive deep into technical topics while speaking clearly to the business owners of a project and never forgetting that the end user experience has the highest priority. He calls it using both sides of his brain. Virgil is passionate about leveraging technologies ‘out of the box’ as much as possible with a focus on the strategic use of content to create websites that deliver the right content to the right audience on the right device at the right time. Virgil brings high energy, an ironic wit, and a sense of grounded perspective whenever he speaks to an audience. Virgil regularly speaks at conferences and user groups throughout the United States and occasionally in Europe.