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What Potty Training Has Taught Me About The Website Redesign Process

Sep 18, 2015
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Website Redesign Melbourne FLI’m glad the title grabbed your attention, now let’s take care of business (pun intended).  One of the many joys of running my inbound marketing agency from home is the ability to be a part of the everyday life of my four-month-old and two-year-old.  Believe it or not, I’ve learned a ton about running and growing my agency watching them grow. A few months ago I wrote about the lessons I learned from my newborn about customer relations (You can see that post here). Today I want to cover a slightly messier subject, website redesign, and a few tips that potty training has taught me when tackling these complex projects.

When it comes to redesigning your website there are a number of essentials that, honestly, many businesses overlook. This is not a project you should ever do just because you feel like it. Your redesign needs to be data and user driven. A clear and focused strategy is a must to ensure the project is not only accomplished on-time, but done with excellence. At our agency we have found that the traditional website redesign process has way too much risk for both sides. Instead of doing what everyone else does, we’ve opted for a better method, growth driven design. While these tips will be coming from a growth driven perspective, they are also helpful if you choose to use the traditional design formula. By following these tips, you should have a much smoother process with less “accidents” along the way.

Aim is the Name of the Game

Website Redesign GoalsWhile we have had some pretty good success in potty training our two-year-old, one thing he needs some practice on is aiming. When you are thinking about redesigning your website, setting goals is the first step. Your aim will dictate everything else you do. When creating these goals, we encourage that you make this SMART. This ensures that they are tied not only to real numbers but also have a timeline to accomplish them. If you need help creating SMART goals, check out this free template. When creating goals look at your past user data, visitors, bounce rate, interactions and any metrics that are important to your company and then project what you want to accomplish with the new website design. 

Planning Prevents Accidents 

One thing my wife and I know is that having quick access to a potty is a necessity during the potty training process. Because we never know when nature is going to call, we took matters into our own hands and now travel with a porta-potty in the van. This forward thinking, by my wife, has helped to prevent accidents while on the go. When it comes to your redesign, the plan is what makes the goals come to life. Goals without action produce no results. When creating your plan here are a few questions to ask yourself.

  • What do I currently like and dislike about my website?
  • What is missing from the current website?
  • Will this be a whole new website or are there small changes that can be made?
  • Are things like URLs well structured and search engine friendly?
  • Which content is worth keeping and what do we need to trash?
  • What is a realistic timeline for this redesign? Define a target date.
  • What is our budget for this project?
  • Can we do this work in-house or do we need to hire someone?

We also recommend that you create a wish-list of everything you want to have on your new website, at least 75 items. Be specific and put it all out there. Then go back through and organize the list according to must haves and wants. This will help prioritize what you need to do and make sure that you stay focused during the build process.

Website Redesign ProcessTeamwork Makes the Dream Work

There is no way my son could potty train himself without the assistance of his mother and me. By working as a team, we can have great success. Without teamwork… well, use your imagination. After the goals are set and the plan is created, it’s time to do the work. This is actually where most of the issues come to life. It’s in the process of doing that we often get hung up and get off track. Too many business owners just hand the redesign off to a staff member and expect them to carry it to the finish line without any assistance. Website redesign is a complicated process and team work is extremely important. Even those without design skills play a very significant role by user testing the design to see how real people use and interact with the site. The more data you can collect pre-launch the better idea you’ll have about how your users will interact your new design. After all, that is who you're designing it for anyway, right?

So you have your goals, you’ve created a plan and built a team to take this website redesign all the way to the finish line, what’s next? 

Don’t Stop Short

One thing we continually have to do is ask my two-year-old if he needs to use the potty. Why? Because he gets busy doing what two-year-olds do and forgets. Once you launch your new site, don’t forget about it. Look at the numbers, see how users are reacting and using your site. Hotjar is an awesome tool for tracking and recording user experience. And don’t be afraid to tweak the site to better serve the users. This is what makes growth driven design so awesome. Your site is living and breathing, always adapting to your users. This means your website will be more and more targeted to your visitors, which leads to better results.

 See How Growth Driven Design is Working for Our Website

Your website will be the first place many of your prospects will interact with you and your business.  It is also the centerpiece of your inbound or digital marketing efforts, so it needs to be a great reflection of who you are and what you do. You may only get one shot, so make it a good one. If your site is old, outdated or preforms poorly, a redesign may be needed. If things don’t go perfectly, that’s OK. Accidents are great opportunities to learn and reinforce the process. But don’t just do things because you feel like it. Back up your intuition with data and then create a site that rocks!

Build a website that grows with your users. Get your free copy of “An Introduction to Growth Driven Design.” Isn’t it about time your website actually works for you and your users?

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Ryan Shelley, CPBI

By Ryan Shelley, CPBI

Ryan is passionate about helping companies make a more personal connection online with their customers and prospects. He is a regular contributor to Search Engine Land, the largest and most popular SEO news site on the web. His works have also been featured on the HubSpot Blog, Business2Community and by LinkedIn Marketing Solutions.

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