Website Redesign Tips
So your company website needs a redesign: the budget’s been signed off and you’ve found a list of agencies that you’re sure will do a great job. Great. But before you begin do you really know what your website needs to do?
Commissioning an agency to redesign and build your new website can be a daunting task – especially if it is your first time. A client’s idea of a website can often be quite different from an agency’s interpretation, and this can easily become a point of friction or even turn the project into an outright disaster. Before a web project begins it’s important to do some preparation to ensure that the agency understands your objectives, so the right decisions can be made by both parties as the project progresses.
With this in mind, my post aims to give some pointers for anyone thinking of commissioning an agency to design and build a new website.
1. The first port of call is to organise your team and choose your project manager. This is the person who will run the project, be the key decision maker and who will be meeting with the agency on a weekly basis. Ideally, throughout the project, this individual’s priority should be working with the agency on the project design and build rather than their usual work. Having a single point of contact will ensure that communication is clear and consistent between agency and client.
2. In most cases you won’t be the main user of your website, so, for now, you should set your personal tastes aside. Rather, start defining who your users are and what exactly it is that they want the website to deliver. A good way to start is by simply asking some of your users what they want from your website, either in person or perhaps using a simple online questionnaire such as Survey Monkey. Once you have a catalogue of these findings make sure you analyse them and agree internally on what they mean before moving on to the next stage.
3. The third point is relatively easy. Based on your findings, try writing down a broad set of objectives based on what the main functions of the website are and in what ways you think the website should deliver these functions to your users. Something as simple as “the website should have an events calendar so that users can view and book a table” is a good example. A useful next step (if you have time) is to order these objectives into a hierarchy. After you’ve ordered these objectives, you’ll find it a lot easier to chat through the website’s requirements when it comes to sitting down with your agency.
These simple steps will help you to prepare for an upcoming web project or even writing a brief. Best of all, you can do these yourself without spending a penny.