We’ve been working hard on web development the last few months, and we’ve launched three website re-designs so far in 2014 (with at least half a dozen redesigns planned). Without going too in-depth, we use the following process to complete a redesign.
1. User testing and/or user feedback. Between user feedback and paid testing, it’s not hard to come up with a list of website issues that need attention.
2. A review of the most important pages. When you launch a new site, your priorities are based on a very limited understanding of your web users. This means you might emphasize the wrong content, waste precious screen space on things that don’t matter, etc.
3. A review of the top-converting and most effective pages. Which pages lead to a sale? A catalog download? A newsletter sign-up? What do these pages have in common?
4. A review of what isn’t working. What pages are performing really terribly? Why?
5. Re-assess all your creative. Things that looked nice or “adequate” 2 or 3 years ago might look stale today. A website redesign is a good excuse to revisit your logo, your color scheme, etc.
6. Build around your content plans. It’s hard to know if your content strategy will stay the same, but for now, it’s a very good idea to create your site with an eye towards promoting the content you plan to create later.
Here are three redesigns we’ve launched so far this year. Click on each image to see the live site.
Powered by BigCommerce, this site replaces an ancient Joomla-based ecommerce site. It’s faster, easier to manage, and has an updated look.
Built on top of the TradeMotion platform, our design of GMPartsOnline.net proves that it is possible to build an effective ecommerce site even when the ecommerce data must be served up in an iFrame.* GMPartsOnline.net saw dramatic increases in time on site and pageviews/visit, as well an an improved bounce rate. Of course, conversion rates improved too.
*When we customize TradeMotion sites, we’re forced to iFrame the parts catalog and shopping cart. This is actually quite common with OEM parts ecommerce systems. The reason why is a story for another blog post.
Olathe Toyota Parts Center
Last but certainly not least, the new Parts.OlatheToyota.com website is more conversion-focused than the design it replaces. Like the others, the update has lead to improved interaction stats (more time on site, more pages/visit, lower bounce rates, and improved conversion rates).