Refreshing a website is a natural evolution and an ongoing approach towards enhancements and developments can give new life to a website.
1. Update your content
Lighten the tone of the site or make it more personable by improving the tone of voice in the copy, adding new copy or offering the answers to user’s questions. A fully engaged audience needs essential information that they can rely on.
2. Refresh images and colors
Review the use of images on the site. Could it use a few new photographs or an image gallery? Maybe a change in the color or styling within the site. There may be new tools or functionality that will enhance the website and deliver real value to the users.
3. Define the target market
Identifying a website’s target audience is essential in user experience design. There are many parameters that will skew a website towards certain market segments and taking the time to research and identify the end user will result in better overall communication.
4. Identify areas for improvement
Regularly browse through the website with an impartial eye. Try to see it through the eyes of a new visitor and see what seems slow, frustrating or simply clunky. Any areas of stress or weakness should become quickly apparent and then they can be adjusted accordingly. Reorganize content and introduce links or tags which will take visitors on to another page with more detailed information about the topic.
5. Maintain the brand
Updating doesn’t mean wiping the slate clean. Refreshing the website should be looked at as an opportunity to reinvigorate the brand. Drastic changes to a corporate logo can dilute the brand with the existing market. Better to make changes in small doses to existing typefaces and colors, which compliment, extend or enhance the brand. These changes can make a big difference in terms of a fresh look.
6. Change with the times
As with any project that requires an investment in time and effort, it can be hard to let go and make a change. Try to keep a clear perspective and remember these are improvements. A website is elastic and a constant work in progress. Enhancements, made regularly along the way will keep everything up to date but when the design trends change and the site looks dated, it’s time for a redesign.