It is important to review a website on a regular basis in order to assess whether it needs a full or partial redesign, or just a bit of a refresh. Here are some of the key areas to pay attention to when reviewing your website:
In an article in the Journal of Consumer Research entitled “When Web Pages Influence Choice: Effects of Visual Primes on Experts and Novices”, researchers N. Mandel and E.J. Johnson looked at a car website that had a green background with images of coins on it. This primed visitors to be ‘money aware’ and they spent longer looking at the price information. A second site design primed visitors for safety, and a third for comfort, with visitors paying more attention to the corresponding safety and comfort features of the cars.
The way people’s attention changed according to the background was the same for both car experts and non-car experts alike.
This research suggested that website visitors can be primed to change their behaviour and preferences just by displaying different webpage backgrounds.
Most people believe they have free will when choosing products, but research suggests otherwise.
Visuals affect responses and choices on a subconscious level. Are your visuals directing visitors’ attention to the important benefits of your products or services, or are they directing attention away from what matters?
The attention span, especially of young people, appears to be shrinking. In the old days of slow internet speeds, it was normal to wait a minute of two for a page to load. Now, visitors want pages to load quickly and will leave rather than wait patiently for a slow site to load.
If your website is slow to load then it may be time to have it optimised for fast loading. A website should really download in a couple of seconds. There’s an argument for a mobile web page to download in under a second. Anything more and your potential customers won’t be prepared to wait, or happy for it to consume their mobile data allowance.
When a page is first designed, important content is featured on the homepage, or at least has a prominent link from the home page. Over time, priorities change and more important content may be created. If newer content is more important than the older content, then the site needs redesigning to bring the new content to the foreground. Ensure you reevaluate your website to see if the most important content is presented as such to new visitors.
If a business has changed or diversified, the website needs to reflect this. The content needs to be different and the web design should reflect the changing values and image of the business.
Every year there are new trends in web design, so over time your website may look visually tired and dated. While not every fashionable design trend needs to be followed, it is useful to review your site to judge whether new design trends can be incorporated. It’s especially important to ensure any design elements of your website weren’t added during the height of a particular design fad that is no longer ‘on trend’.
Is it time to get rid of those shadowed, rounded buttons and go for a flatter look, similar to Apple’s IOS interface?
Redesigning a website to make it look better is not just to make the designers happy; there are strong business reasons too. A responsive, attractive looking, easily navigable and fast-loading website can attract visitors, and this will lead to increased sales.
Don’t let bad website design negatively affect your business.