Article from iMedia inc. ()
October 28, 2008
Top Ten Questions When You're Considering a Redesign
by Jeff Samson, Senior Graphic Designer

Letterman might be credited with popularizing the Top Ten list, but that’s not to say we can’t have a few of our own lists here at IMA. The following questions will help you analyze your current site and determine what a redesign can accomplish.

10.) What don’t you like about your current site?
Get all of your concerns on the table, from “the layout is confusing” to “the checkout process is counter-intuitive” to “I’m just really tired of royal blue.” It will help separate genuine concerns from personal gripes early on.

9.) Is your site meeting your company’s goals?
As your company grows and changes, your business goals will expand and alter as well. Your Web site may have effectively attained your goals a few years ago; but how well does it meet those goals today? And does it position your organization for tomorrow’s challenges?

8.) Does your site successfully target your customers?
Just as companies expand and change, their audiences can shift as well. Are the people using your products or services the same ones who used them five years ago? How successfully does your Web site “speak” to your current customer base?

7.) Is your site consistent with your company’s identity and branding?
For a company’s identity to be strong, it needs to be consistently presented across all marketing media. Has your Web site kept up with your print and broadcast marketing materials? Are all your core brand strategies and concepts consistent?

6.) Does your site convey a strong concept?
Concepts make for compelling and memorable user experiences on the Web. Is your Web site simply attractive? Or does it present a concept that engages and leaves a lasting impression with users?

5.) How effectively is your site structured?
Layers and cascading style sheets have spawned an explosion of creativity in design, layout, and presentation of content. Does your site use the outmoded, and rather stifling, tabular layout? Does it meet the W3C standards for Web code? And is a Mac/Safari user seeing the same site as a PC/Firefox user?

4.) How wisely do you utilize your space?
Are you putting all of your 1024x768 space to good use? If your site is designed for 800x600 you probably are not. Does your site maximize content, while still maintaining a clear and intuitive layout? Are you saying everything you need to say, without overwhelming the user with information?

3.) How do you currently manage the content?
How effective is your system for updating the news and events section on your homepage? Do you have to endure two weeks of confused back and forth eMails before every change is made? Businesses with little to no programming knowledge can now maintain their Web sites internally with the aid of user-friendly, client-side content management systems, such as Ektron, Contribute and Drupal.

2.) Is your content dynamic and engaging?
Users are far more likely to make return and regular visits to a site if they know they’ll be greeted with something fresh and new. How often does the content on your Web site change? Is your site static, or does it effectively incorporate animation and dynamic content?

1.) Is your site SEO compliant?
With the Web as crowded as it has become, making your site SEO friendly is critical. Does your site appear 101 instead of first in a Google search? If so, chances are your site is not optimized for the search engines. And that means potential clients and customers can’t find you.

Once you’ve answered this Top Ten list of questions, you may well decide it’s time for a site overhaul. And if you do, give Len a call at 973-539-5255 x301 or send him an eMail at len@imediainc.com. Your answers to these top ten questions will help us help you!


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