August 7th, 2006
Every week we get calls from people who are looking for help with a redesign of their site. They are rethinking the entire design and hoping their new concept will get them what they want.
The sad thing is they are very likely to fail. We’ve been studying web site design for more than ten years and, if we’ve learned anything, it’s that redesigns rarely improve a site. At best, it just rearranges the elements. At worst, it frustrates the existing, loyal users without bringing anything valuable to all those new users the site is trying to attract.
For several years, we’ve recommended our clients take a strategy of incremental change. Pick one small piece of the site to change and focus on that. You’ll have less stakeholders to cater to, fewer personas to integrate, and you’ll keep the risk down to something manageable, all the while you’ll be learning about your users and what they need.
Back in 2003, I wrote an article entitled the Quiet Death of the Major Re-Launch. This article is just a relevant today as it was back then. That’s why we decided to republish it in this week’s UIEtips.
Is your organization thinking about a major re-launch? Have you come up with a strategy that reduces the risk? We’d like to hear from you. Join the discussion in the comments below.
[This is one of the many design strategies we'll be covering in our sessions at the User Interface 11 Conference, October 9-12, in Cambridge, MA. You'll want to check out the impressive array of speakers and topics at the conference site.]Tweet