5 signs you're falling short in your website redesign project

It’s all too easy to fall down the quick and dirty route for your next web redesign project. Here are 5 tell-tale signs that your up-and-coming new website will end up underachieving.

a cat curled up in a basket

1. Lorem ipsum

If you’ve got latin placeholders in design suggestions or even on your website, then you’ve decided that content is of secondary importance and perhaps even irrelevant. It screams out that words and pictures don’t really matter to you.

2. Design first

If you receive wireframes as part of a pitch from an agency. Run. It shows they are willing to reduce the entire complicated and detailed web design process to a few mock-ups delivered for free.

3. Content last

If you are planning to produce all your content just before launch, then you’ve probably not got a content plan and you’ve probably got pages filled with Lorem ipsum and pictures of cats.

4. No user research (or testing!)

Not planning to talk to real users during your redesign project? Not planning to test (and test early!) with real users? This is a sure-fire way of missing the mark and guessing blindly.

5. Goalless

“Why?” The big question. What are your goals and the goals of your website? What tasks are your visitors trying to complete? The answers to these kinds of questions should be crystal clear before wireframes start landing in your inbox.

Pull the handbrake

It’s frustrating at best to realise too late that your new website will be as underachieving as your old one – you’ve just switched old problems out for new ones!

By keeping an eye out for these tell-tale signs during the early stages of your website redesign you can perhaps avoid a whole load of issues and end up with a new site that’s much more effective.

At the same time you will create a long-term solution that can be improved gradually over time – avoiding another large-scale redesign and rebuild a few years down the road.

Tell-tale signs your redesign is gonna be great!

1. Clearly defined goals

2. Users’ needs and behaviour researched

3. Scenarios produced

4. Content planned and produced in advance

5. (Regular) usability testing scheduled

…just some of the tell-tale signs that your new site will be awesome!

Remember: Iteration and optimisation for digital domination!

James Royal-Lawson+ is a freelance digital advisor and web site optimiser based in Stockholm Sweden.