You might consider a website redesign for a variety of reasons. To incorporate rebranding, improve usability, add functionality such as a blog or e-commerce. Perhaps you just feel it's time for a change, but do you need a better reason than that?
If your website is not responsive and looks terrible when viewed on a phone or tablet– this is a great reason to adapt your website's design. Mobile web-users are becoming the majority and in today's age it is important to have a responsive website design for the increasing amount of mobile devices accessing the web.
Is it a myth that you need to update your website design periodically? You've sat and stared at your own site for ages, but users typically only view a website for 3 minutes. You might be tired of it, but they might not. It's not all about you!
Does a visual revamp of a website increase conversions and attract new customers? User feedback has shown that in general users hate change in this area– just think of how many of your friends complain every time Facebook gets a layout change. Unless there is great reason to, a website redesign just for the sake of it might not be beneficial to a site's overall success.
Users Hate Change
So, users have told us that they hate change. Familiarity is key to a user-friendly web experience, users just want to know where their desired information is or where features are found on a site, and to access them easily. If major visual changes to your site need to take place, it may be best to roll them out over time in small increments.
Although a well-thought out design will allow for easier access to desired information, going overboard in the design area can lead to a less cohesive website where the site becomes convoluted and information actually becomes less seamless to access. Users will generally complain about a new design, however if it is in fact more useable than it's precursor it will eventually catch on.
When Is It Time?
One juncture that may pose as perfect for a complete redesign would be when you have virtually no current visitors to a website. If you decide to change your design at this point, you won't be bothering anyone with the change. Although in a situation like this it seems hard to lose, it doesn't necessarily mean a redesign will help that visitor base grow.
In summary, major overhauls to a website's design should only be done with great reason (to add functionalities, or improve user experience), and carefully planned out. A great method to change a design of a website is to tweak or tune the design over time with small changes, to keep existing users happy. However, if you have done the math and are confident that certain changes must take place– follow through and know that even though some will not like the change, if it is for the greater good of the usability of the site, it will eventually be loved!
AUTHOR: Abbey Hills