A better way to redesign your site

February 23, 2009

If you’ve ever been through a website relaunch, you know that it’s an overwhelmingly huge process. From approving designs and structure to creating the new site, moving over old content and making sure it actually works the way it should, you’re looking at many, many people devoting many, many hours to making your site look fresh.

Todd Zeigler at the Bivings Report has another suggestion: iterative site design. Instead of treating redesigns as a finished product, done only every few years, he suggests thinking of your design as a continual work in progress, open for tweaks and updates based on design trends and user feedback and behaviour. Benefits, he says, include the ability to evolve quickly and easily incorporate reader feedback, and the fact that you won’t need to ask staff to devote their lives to one big project.

An iterative approach can save pain by giving providing a sustainable methodology with which to attack site improvements.   Instead of working on your website intensely every three or four years, try making a manageable improvement once a month.  I think you’ll find you have a better website.

Next time you’re faced with refreshing or redesigning your site, look at design models (front and back end) that include modular components and design elements that can be easily modified and updated without major investment in design or development. Then, when you’re ready to update further, the process will be easier and quicker for everyone.

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One Response to “A better way to redesign your site”

  1. JennG Says:

    I definitely think the iterative model is the way to go. I heard rumours (maybe someone can confirm) that the Star used to have two web design teams – one working to implement the next revision, and one working to plan the revision after that one – at the same time.

    As long as feedback from the first team and the users was folded in I think that would be a pretty ideal model, in theory at least.


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