Who Should Be Involved in a Website Redesign?

By Patrice Meadows — Wednesday, October 4th, 2017 at 11:00am
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Websites are the cornerstone of many companies’ digital identities. Because websites serve as a key source of information for various stakeholders, leaders must ensure that they reflect the best of what brands have to offer.

Typically, cross-functional teams tackle web design or redesign projects in stages with each department providing their input at a designated point. Leaders from communications, IT, graphics, and marketing manage competing priorities to develop what they hope will be a cohesive, easy-to-use site.

As you might imagine, tackling a redesign amid such varied opinions can be difficult. These difficulties (and resulting bottlenecks) can be avoided with careful planning and meticulous project management. Here’s a quick list of things you, and other key parties involved in the redesign (listed below), can do to ensure positive and productive redesign experience.

What to do:

Before you begin researching vendors or discussing design options, determine exactly what you want your site to achieve. Sure, some elements will migrate from the old version to the new one, but which portions are better left excluded from the next iteration?

Here are a few pre-planning questions to consider:

  • How will remaining site elements change to suit your audience?
  • What features improve user experience?
  • How do we deliver more value efficiently?

These are important questions whose answers will dictate a  lot about your future site. Gaining consensus on the goals of your site will help your team focus on those vendors, features, and site elements that get your closer to reaching your goals. Documenting your goals on the front end saves time and energy later as teams are presented with new information or extraneous features that threaten the success (and timely completion) of your work.

Who to involve and why:

  • Web Developers have the technical knowledge about your existing system and the potential it has to support any changes. Chances are, they are also aware of new technology and emerging trends your team may need to consider. Their knowledge can help your team stay grounded and ensure that the site you imagine is 1) possible based on your resources and 2) a wise choice for your organization’s IT strategy.
  • Web Designers possess the skills to make your ideas a reality. They too can provide sobering information about how certain choices will perform within your existing tech ecosystem and what features will be best for your team based on your goals.
  • UX experts consider how individuals interact with sites and can help temper team’s enthusiasm for technology by pointing out simple solutions that make sites more intuitive. With so many sophisticated systems available, it can be easy to overcomplicate processes. UX designers help ensure that added sophistication doesn’t frustrate users.
  • Marketers are gaining more influence over websites. Websites are prime vehicles for communicating brand value and marketers are typically the ones that craft corresponding brand messages. Their input can help ensure that branding and messaging are consistent across platforms and that information used on the website is best suited to resonate with key audiences.
  • Agents on the frontline, be they sales representatives or customer service agents, should be included in website redesigns. Their regular interactions with customers give them a unique perspective that may otherwise be missing from the team. They can work with marketers to validate messaging, provide feedback on functionality and help your team ensure that your website presents the information that users care about.
  • Leaders should provide input and approvals at critical steps. Periodic check-ins should be identified early on and used to move processes forward. Incorporating this step helps ensure that key stakeholders understand why key decisions are made and how they influence the final product. Their buy-in reduces the likelihood of dissatisfaction at the end of the project.
How do you and your team tackle website redesigns? What are some of the steps you take to make the project a success? Share your tips in the comment section below or tweet us @hannon_hill

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