One of our websites was in need of a 2015 makeover – it was time for a redesign! The words “redesign” may fill some with dread, but absolutely thrill us (crazy & excitable ecommerce/designer people that we are). Rather than starting from scratch, there is a wealth of material to work with, to sort through, to move around, to refresh and revise.
First, before any colors or fonts, we organize, review, and most importantly, re-evaluate. What is the message of the site? Where should the homepage lead? What are the most important links, and what is our end goal? Once we have a strategy in place, we work on structure, building the site from the bottom up. Before you can paint a house, you need to put down floors, and decide how many closets you’ll have, and how you’ll access them! Then, once the building is standing, we start to decorate it.
The redesign I’m referring to was actually our second for this company, Preservation Solutions. Our first redesign was when we first started working with the client, and at that point we made some careful ecommerce decisions and focused on structure that would yield results. For example, we included a form for gathering leads right on the homepage, and designed the site with not only a slider for promotions but a product slider with clickable live-pricing products. We also created a lighter background and more simplistic design, making the products “jump” off the page and keeping the message clear with information to sort through.
The original site, as it came to us:
Our First Redesign:
Okay, so we had the new site up and running, were happy with the structure of the house, and the decor was working well enough to bring in guests (I appreciate you allowing me to go on so long with this metaphor – I’m obviously enjoying myself). With our second redesign, done at the very end of 2014, we wanted to step back, re-evaluate, and simplify. But we didn’t start with the design/”decor” – we went back to the beginning of the process, and reconsidered the message of the company. Their products were being aptly displayed and were accessible, but we wanted to turn the focus onto what makes this company so special: they manufacture non-toxic, environmentally friendly products for wood and leather. We withdrew some of the darker site elements, leaving the site with clean, bright, light design, with dashes of green. We also turned the focus onto their three main categories, making navigation easier for the customer who knows what they’re looking for.
Late 2014 – Present
Our Second Redesign:
It’s important when redesigning to take a step back and rethink the site from the beginning. If you are carrying forward unnecessary elements from past designs, they could be a deterrent to reaching customers and getting your message across. Re-evaluate, simplify, and don’t worry so much about the paint until you have a nice, solid, happy house.