Redesign for dummies
June 6, 2011 12:22 PM   Subscribe

Redesigning a website and need to explain to supervisors and other departments all the aspects of redesigning a site that is optimized to current best standards. Is there a map for that? (pls click for more details)

Hello hive!

So it's easy for people at work to say lets redesign the website, without understanding the intricacies of redesigning it. I want to explain how a redesign works, how the different departments (PR, Mktg, Service, IT) need to work together to make this possible from an aesthetic design to content being SEO to maintenance and how a redesign should be incorporated with a social media/e-marketing strategy..etc. in the simplest forms possible. Does anyone know of diagrams, maps, images that convey this or any parts of this?

What about books, sites, checklists..?

I hope I'm letting myself be understood if not please ask and I'll clarify. FYI - this is my first huge website redesign, our competitors have done it and we are lagging behind so there is extreme urgency behind this project and has fallen on my shoulders.

Thanks again!
posted by xicana63 to Computers & Internet (3 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
Web Redesign 2.0 is a pretty good book. It's older, so it may be a tad outdated, especially with regards to social media/marketing.
posted by backwards guitar at 12:35 PM on June 6, 2011

One of the biggest questions is to determine what the scope of the project is. Are you just changing the layout? Rewriting all of the HTML/CSS? Integrating new functionality? Switching your platform entirely? Where are you at now and where do you want to be?

Once you know where you want to be going, you need to figure out where your gaps are and how to overcome them--is there technical expertise available to do this? When do we want it done? Who is going to rewrite all of our content and (this is the important part) maintain it going forward? Plus, what can you measure to show that you were successful? If you're not using web analytics of some sort, a redesign is an excellent time to add them.

Sample checklist: Web pages that suck checklists on what not to do on your site.

Also, obligatory Don't Make Me Think reference.
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 1:08 PM on June 6, 2011

Best answer: This is a tough one. I own a web design business and when I get called in to do this sort of thing, every case is different. Examples:

1. SEO beyond the template level would be a waste of money that should be put toward a real marketing plan. (More work at the forest level, less work on individual trees)

2. Too much of the current strategy relies on visitors opening PDFs, merrily, all throughout the website. Suddenly it's time to really dive into content and perhaps leave something else out entirely.

3. The current marketing budget doesn't make allowances for social media upkeep, and in many sections a "Like" button is pointless. However, in some sections, we have products with existing Facebook Pages. We want to be able to paste a URL into a custom field and show a "Visit the Facebook Page" button instead of a simple "Like" button. (Just did that today)

I will also say that I'm very experienced at creating charts and diagrams. I offer a free planning flowchart download at my website, even.

BUT people never seem to read them.

I've been very surprised, in fact, at how often college-educated adults will look at a simple flowchart and immediately become confused. I don't mean complicated processes. A simple YES/NO branch will stop many people dead in their tracks.

IMO charts and diagrams work best when you're training people who work for you, but not so well with people who work with (or above) you. A good diagram requires a bit of energy on the part of the reader.

Anyway, don't mean to discourage you. But I would suggest doing one-on-ones as much as possible up front, and then putting a written plan together based on that. People will feel much more comfortable.
posted by circular at 7:31 PM on June 6, 2011 [1 favorite]

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