So you’ve got a website that’s been needing some slight updating lately, and you’re thinking to yourself, “Why should I update?” or, “What’s wrong with my website?” Below is the ever popular “Top” list. This time, it’s the top 5 reasons to redesign your website. You may find this helpful to put you over the edge if you’ve been on the fence about whether or not to redesign, or to help see your website through the lens of a designer. If your website contains some of the things I’ve mentioned on this list, you may want to consider freshening up your website.
Generally, these top 10 lists are numbered in order of importance, but as all of these components are important, this list is has no hierarchy. Let’s get started.
1) Your website looks unprofessional or out-dated.
While this one is pretty self-explanatory, sometimes it’s hard to understand what out-dated can mean for a website without a designer’s eye. Refer back to my previous blog entry, “Understanding Your Website’s First Impression” for insight.
2) Your website doesn’t tell the viewer what to do.
Maybe you sell a product, and you want your website to be the medium in which customers purchase that product. Or maybe you offer a service, and that’s what you want to use your website to promote.
One of the bigger downfalls of a website is the lack of clear intention or purpose. If it’s a product you’re trying to sell, you’ve got to let people know that you’re selling something by having a clear, click-able option to purchase your product. If you’re selling a service, there should be a clear path or form to fill out in order to receive a quote (or whatever makes sense to your service).
3) Your website contains confusing navigation.
Your website’s navigation should be short, concise and clearly visible. It’s easy to think that by cleverly labeling your different web pages you’re standing out or being creative. False. What happens is customers don’t know where to go to get the information they’re looking for. Another pitfall in this category is having navigation in uncommon areas, rather than at the top or top left of the page.
4) Your website contains clearly out-dated or irrelevant information.
Have you ever visited a website and seen a brightly colored, well designed banner for an event that took place 5 months ago? Allowing old information to linger around your website can easily turn off a potential customer to your service.
5) You’ve mashed as much information as you can in each paragraph of your website.
You know the feeling you get when you’re trying to read something a bit small, and your eyes start to ache? It’s even worse coming through the projected light of a computer monitor. The brain will automatically compose “chunks” (or groups) out of individual pieces of information (I’ll touch more on that next week). If there is too much text, this can lead to the customer being overwhelmed by text, and ultimately checking out.
To summarize, there’s really a lot that goes into making a website, and what was done even 2 or 3 years ago could be a taboo today. As your website is one of your most important marketing tools you’ll ever have, it’s extremely important to keep it up-to-date.