There are many reasons people consider a new web design. Maybe your last one doesn’t have the functionality you need, maybe it’s not driving leads, maybe it’s not a good representation of your brand, or maybe it’s just plain ugly and outdated. Whatever the reason is, you want to make sure that your new website DOES meet all of your standards. The tricky thing is, people typically know they want something different, but they don’t know what.
Find Your Vibe
We get it, you’re not a web designer, that’s why you’re hiring a professional. The trouble comes when you get handed a newly-designed, professional website, but it just doesn’t feel right. Before going into the project, make sure you look around at other websites to see what you like and don’t like. Bring examples to your designer, and don’t be afraid of not having the right words to describe what you want! Sure, “modern” and “clean” are great starting points, but sometimes “colorful, but not bright,” or “Not a lot of straight lines, a swoopy design, like that,” is more useful.
Remember to reflect on what you like about the websites you picked out. Was it how easy it was to find what you were looking for? Was it the colors? Was it the messaging? Was it a feeling of energy, or dignity? Web design encompasses a lot of different things. If you’re not sure how you feel about all of them, talk it over with your designer. It’s better to have a longer discussion at the beginning of the project than to get your website back and then realize what you wanted was something else.
What Do Your Customers Need?
Of course, websites aren’t just about creating a vibe, they are tools to connect you and your customers. Why do you customers visit your site? Are they looking for information? Downloads? Ways to set appointments? For some businesses, the website just needs to basic information and business hours and to give people a way to contact you. For some businesses, the website is your customer’s hub to get essential updates, chat with you, schedule classes or appointments, buy your product and more.
Be sure to keep your customer front of mind in every step of the web design. Communicate with your web designer all of the functionalities you need, and what the most important actions for your customers are so they can be properly highlighted.
What Do You Need?
It’s easy to get caught up in style guides and customer journeys, as these things are important to the process. But don’t lose track of what your end goal is. What does your business need from your website? There are many blogs about how to drive conversions on your site, but what do you want your conversions to be? What is your end goal? Is it scheduling appointments? Is it just to get information to your customers? Is it to get people into your email nurturing campaign? Don’t have a website just because you think you should, have a website that will benefit your business. If you’re not sure what your conversions should be, talk it over with your web developer and business partners before moving forward. Having a pretty website is great, but having one that can produce measurable results is better.
Don’t Approve Your Design Alone
Finally, unless you are running a business by yourself, make sure to show the web design to your partners before you approve it. You don’t want to complete your web design only to find yourself back at square one because your business partner dislikes the design or disagrees with you on how it serves your business goals.
In short, communication is key, whether it’s with your designers, your partners, or yourself as you rethink what you really want. Website redesigns can be an exciting and useful investment to your business when done right, as long as everyone has the same goal in mind.