Redesigning your existing website is something that your business should consider doing at least every three years. Internet trends and styles change and if you wait too long to update your website, it can end up looking dated and stale.
When it comes to redesigning your site, look at other existing websites, particularly those representing your competitors or peers, and take note of what you like and what seems to work best. However, it is important to consider the user and what they expect to gain from the site.
One way to ensure the customer satisfaction with your website is to use what's called a user-centered design. This proven process considers the requirements, expectations and skills of the end user at each stage of the design and development process.
By getting users to provide input into each step through the user-centered design (UCD) approach, businesses can avoid time and cost overruns.
When you analyze user needs, you will produce a list of content elements and consider the layout and the functionality of the design. Developing wireframes at this point is the way to go.
Wireframes should consider how users navigate the site. If you plan to adapt the website for mobile or tablet use, now is the time to look at that as well.
Next, give careful consideration to your content by categorizing it into a coherent structure that people can understand quickly and easily. Information architecture will lead to the design of the site's navigation.
Next, you can start thinking about the design. Start with simple aesthetics and do user testing.
This stage helps you to save time when you get feedback that something isn't quite right and you need to start again.
As with any creation, the final stage is to apply the finish. You should think carefully about accessibility in terms of colors, contrast and font sizes.
This approach will result in a better website than a cut and paste job through competitor analysis. However, you're not finished yet. Your website should continue to evolve through user feedback.
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